Medical Supplies for SHTF kit?

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    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Medical Supplies for SHTF kit?

    Thinking about putting together a SHTF emergency survival kit. Other than the usual items that would go into such a kit, where would one get anti-biotics and possibly morphine to put into the kit?

    I know anti-biotics have a short storage life in the form they come in from the pharmacy. Is there a way to get them in a form that is good for several years storage?

    What about morphine? I know its probably illegal to have without a prescription (and it may not even be prescribed anymore).

    What about some other hard-to-get medical necessities? Whats your plan to carry/store these medical items?
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    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    for long term storage in a SHTF medkit, I'd say you'll probably be limited to Neosporin or antibiotic burn creams. Most of the chances for infection will probably be from injury anyway - if you get an actual disease, treating it yourself without Dr. House on the phone is probably very iffy.

    Morphine-wise, you're probably even more out of luck. If you have chronic pain, you could probably get a prescription for Codeine or some other opiate, but I don't know what kind of shelf-life it has. For pain relief, some good old over the counter extra-strength acetaminophen and ibuprofen is probably safest, even if it won't give you instant results.

    One thing you definitely should have is some epinephrine. Anaphylaxis can kill you as fast as anything if you have an unknown allergy or get snake-bit, and the only thing that treats it is a dose of epi. If you can get a prescription for epi-pens, great. If you're like me and can't, the only over the counter option I've found is the generic anti-athsma epinephrine inhalers. It's not a big dose, but neither is an epi-pen.

    Moving away from drugs, Quick-Clot Sponges are good items to have, along with a few compression bandages of whatever type you feel most comfortable. I think an Asherman Chest Seal is nice to have too.

    An assortment of dressings and bandages is a must-have, as much for protecting an injury while it heals as for immediate treatment.

    You can get as big and complex as you want with a medkit, but having the essentials in your go-bag should not take up much room. I found it helpful to divide my supplies by type of injury:

    1 - RFN (Right-*ahem*-Now) injuries that will kill you unless you do something about it RFN. GSW, SCW, deep punctures, arterial bleeding, snakebite, etc.

    2 - Serious Injuries that are debilitating or painful. Non-arterial cuts, burns, broken bones, and a few others.

    3 - Minor injuries, like digestive issues, sunburn, allergies. The small annoying stuff that probably won't kill you, but you should fix it anyway.

    Pack stuff for Group 1 first, keeping it easily accessible, then start loading Groups 2/3 until you either run out of space or weight allowance.
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    Oh boy, being in narcotics investigations, there are a ton of ways to lay your hands on the "good stuff", you just need to be creative... but almost everyway is illegal and can land you in prison. I suggest you leave the narcotics alone no matter the reason you want them, honest or not.

    For the other things, I have asked my wife (a surgeon type) to come up with the ultimate first aid kit. She is still working on it for me. (my health insurance must stink, its been on her back burner since I asked months ago) I'll try to light a fire under her to get it done and post the results here.
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    In a true SHTF scenario, "legal" wont matter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    In a true SHTF scenario, "legal" wont matter.
    True enough, but it does here and now while we prepare.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    In a true SHTF scenario, "legal" wont matter.
    That was my thought as well. Once we are "in the s h i z", stuff like antibiotics and morphine will be nearly impossible to get and if it was really necessary to save my life I wouldnt much care if it were illegal at that point.

    Still, there may be other very potent pain killers that are easier to aquire than morphine.

    But my other question remains unanswered; what type of antibiotic, or in what form, will last in storage for a few years?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tally XD View Post
    But my other question remains unanswered; what type of antibiotic, or in what form, will last in storage for a few years?
    Most anything in pill or capsule form will last that long provided its been stored correctly, but keep in mind that the effective contents will start to degrade over time; how much is a guessing game.
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    Above and beyond the painkillers, etc...just ordinary monthly drugs for cholesterol, high blood pressure, or meds for normal continued health could become a much bigger problem.
    We already have a large first-aid kit, and I'm working on trying to get 90 day supplies for my 30 day scripts.
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    I have a military IFAK (the one with quickclot) for trauma injuries and a standard first aid kit for minor injuries in my truck. Thing has turned into a near perfect SHTF vehicle with all my emergency and offroading equipment.
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    If you control the temperature and humidity, many antibiotics far outlast the labeled shelf life and continue to be quite effective. For evidence of this I suggest you take a "web-look" at the DOD Shelf Life Extension Program.

    Another book with some good ideas is Ragnar Benson's "Survivalist's Medicine Chest."

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    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Great answers so far!! Checking in on several of these. Thanks!
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    You can get several antibiotics at pet stores. They're the same quality as those for humans. However, the real problem is knowing when to use antibiotics, and if you have more than one antibiotic you need to know what each are used for. It's not just take one antibiotic for everything, Narcotics are prescription only. You're not going to be able to get them legally any other way. I suggest that lay up a supply of acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspiring, and ibuprofen (Advil). But also, learn how to take them, and the maximum dosage (for instance, the maximum dosage of Tylenol is 4000 mg/day, and going beyond that puts you at risk for liver damage, or even death).

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    You might want to add some Benedryl for allergic reactions and itching in case of poison ivy.
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    aspirin pain reliever anticoagulant, treats cardiac disease. fairly long shelf life

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    For moderately severe pain look into Toradol (aka Ketorolac), non narcotic in pills or IM injection. Relieves pain very well but does not degrade your mental abilities.

    Ketorolac - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If you are near Mexico you should be able to get this easily if not talk to a Doc.

    Antiobotics are available at farm supply also along with injection supplies, the needles will be corser than ones for humans but will get the job done.

    There was a good article on this subject in Ocean Navagator magazine quit a few years ago had alot of great emergency medical info. for off shore sailors. If you can locate the article maybe you could put it on here.

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