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I've seen a lot of threads about first-aid classes and first-aid kits.

All of these things are great, but they presume that definitive medical care (i.e. a hospital) is readily available, and all you need to do is keep a patient alive for a few minutes until help arrives.

Which, of course, made me ask the question "well, what if the only definitive care is you?" and "what if there are no hospitals anymore?".

This article describes what to do with wounds when you're out in the woods (an "austere environment") and you can't get to a hospital easily. It still presumes that evacuation to definitive care is eventually possible (e.g. with tourniquets), but it nonetheless gives great information about what to do with wounds. It also suggests things that people would want to have in a SHTF medical kit, which you won't necessarily have in your "I live in the civilized world" medical kit.

http://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(14)00112-4/fulltext
 

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wow. That's a lot more in depth and thorough than I was expecting.

my vote is this should be a sticky. Great thread!!!!
 

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That is a great resource!

Personally, if your "first aid" kit does not have pressure dressings in various size I don't see the point. I recommend a cauterizing pen, an epi pen, big and small butterflies (glue if you know how to use it), as well as a bunch of full tubes of anti-biotic ointment.

Any kit that just has Band-Aids and items for minor cuts/irritations is nearly worthless. To me first aid is for something serious, not anything that will take a Band-Aid to fix. Those are just to get my kid to quit crying.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That is a great resource!

Personally, if your "first aid" kit does not have pressure dressings in various size I don't see the point. I recommend a cauterizing pen, an epi pen, big and small butterflies (glue if you know how to use it), as well as a bunch of full tubes of anti-biotic ointment.

Any kit that just has Band-Aids and items for minor cuts/irritations is nearly worthless. To me first aid is for something serious, not anything that will take a Band-Aid to fix. Those are just to get my kid to quit crying.
The interesting thing is that, for big contaminated wounds (which, let's face it, are the ones we are worried about), the recommendation is that they be left open to heal by secondary intention (from the inside out) with good wound management. Doing that (including wet-to-dry dressings) is something that most people don't know how to do, but can easily be learned even with little medical training.

My SHTF medical kit will contain:
- a couple of towels, that can be cut up and boiled for dressings. Or used for regular towel things.
- one or two ACE bandages
- a high-quality standard suture kit (which has forceps and a clamp, so can be used for more than just sewing)
- a variety of different types of suture
- a couple of vials of lidocaine for local anesthesia
- a few needles and syringes
- a scalpel handle, and a bunch of #11 scalpel blades
- a large syringe and IV catheter (for wound irrigation)
- some form of hemostatic agent
- > "over the counter" pain relievers for use and barter.
- Zofran (medicine to stop barfing, because if someone needs fluids, I won't be starting any IVs and carrying around liter-bags of saline - they're gonna have to drink)
- one or two oral antibiotics, definitely including Bactrim

Other stuff, like a tourniquet, will be things that I have for other reasons, that can be repurposed to serve a medical function. I don't want to be weighed down by a medical kit. Although if I stay at home, I can do a lot more with just the stuff I have stored in my cabinet.
 

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Dr. Gimme Coffee I am just a welder . Anyone traveling with me will be at a extreme disadvantage on the medical side .

Don't get me wrong i have done IM type shots for my son , choking , know CPR., and some common sense stuff . But the large trauma's i am not going to be the best person for it . I just have basic first aid kits .
 

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Sometimes the "best" person to stabilize a patient is worthless next to the person who is there. There are a whole host of procedures and maneuvers that I would be unwilling to attempt beyond first aid that I would most certainly attempt (on a loved one no less) if no advanced care was forthcoming. If you don't it's very possible that you'll be doing something far worse with a hacksaw or a shovel in the near future.

I have everything you recommend except:

- a couple of vials of lidocaine for local anesthesia
I have the spray.

- a large syringe and IV catheter (for wound irrigation)
Don't have.

- XXXXXXXXXXXX
Don't have (for obvious reasons)

- Zofran (medicine to stop barfing, because if someone needs fluids, I won't be starting any IVs and carrying around liter-bags of saline - they're gonna have to drink)
Don't have.

- one or two oral antibiotics, definitely including Bactrim
Don't have Bactrim, but I do have some old azithromycin.

I'm going to get some anti-nausea medication (over the counter) to put into it. I also keep antidiarrheal, and tummy pills as well as smelling salts. There is a large bottle of iodine in there too, which has more functions that just wound dressing. It's also nice to have nice to have some preformed splints or splint material for broken appendages (along with a few Ace Bandages) rather than having to improvise them. It kind of sucks we can't have sedatives, strong pain medication, and other prescription drugs in your SHTF medical kit as a civilian, but I can certainly understand the reason why not. Whisky has worked for a long time in a pinch.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Dr. Gimme Coffee I am just a welder . Anyone traveling with me will be at a extreme disadvantage on the medical side .

Don't get me wrong i have done IM type shots for my son , choking , know CPR., and some common sense stuff . But the large trauma's i am not going to be the best person for it . I just have basic first aid kits .
Some of the stuff just can't be treated outside a hospital. Those are the people, in a SHTF world, who get the "I'm sorry, but you're not going to make it" talk.

But other stuff can be learned easily. For a big, non-fatal wound, you pick out the obvious contaminants. You squirt about a liter of drinking water under moderately high pressure around inside the wound. You take a wad of gauze or a piece of towel, wet it with drinking water (not too wet), and put it inside the wound, then cover it with an ACE wrap. In a few hours, the wet stuff dries, so you pull it out and do it again, over and over until the wound heals (that's a wet-to-dry dressing). Easy-peasy! Much easier than CPR, which is completely useless when the SHTF.

Of course, I will also gladly barter my services for a good pointy metal stick.
 

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I'm sure you'll have a bunch of customers in no time if we suffered a real breakdown. You'll probably have more .22s than anyone else. In fact, you'll probably be "Apocalypse Rich"!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sometimes the "best" person to stabilize a patient is worthless next to the person who is there. There are a whole host of procedures and maneuvers that I would be unwilling to attempt beyond first aid that I would most certainly attempt (on a loved one no less) if no advanced care was forthcoming. If you don't it's very possible that you'll be doing something far worse with a hacksaw or a shovel in the near future.

I have everything you recommend except:

- a couple of vials of lidocaine for local anesthesia
I have the spray.

- a large syringe and IV catheter (for wound irrigation)
Don't have.

- XXXXXXXXXXX
Don't have (for obvious reasons)

- Zofran (medicine to stop barfing, because if someone needs fluids, I won't be starting any IVs and carrying around liter-bags of saline - they're gonna have to drink)
Don't have.

- one or two oral antibiotics, definitely including Bactrim
Don't have Bactrim, but I do have some old azithromycin.

I'm going to get some anti-nausea medication (over the counter) to put into it. I also keep antidiarrheal, and tummy pills as well as smelling salts. There is a large bottle of iodine in there too, which has more functions that just wound dressing. It's also nice to have nice to have some preformed splints or splint material for broken appendages (along with a few Ace Bandages) rather than having to improvise them. It kind of sucks we can't have sedatives, strong pain medication, and other prescription drugs in your SHTF medical kit as a civilian, but I can certainly understand the reason why not. Whisky has worked for a long time in a pinch.
Iodine! Forgot that - will add Betadine to the kit. According to the article, irrigating an animal bite with a mixture of water and Betadine can prevent rabies, and I sure as heck won't have rabies vaccine with me.

BTW: all I ever use is Ibuprofen.
 

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Hey I'm just the shipping guy! If I can send you someplace you'll be in good shape!

Seriously that is a great resource. It will get bookmarked at home tonight.
 

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Dr. Gimme Coffee I am just a welder . Anyone traveling with me will be at a extreme disadvantage on the medical side .

Don't get me wrong i have done IM type shots for my son , choking , know CPR., and some common sense stuff . But the large trauma's i am not going to be the best person for it . I just have basic first aid kits .
I was gonna ask you to weld a Bucket on my head :wink:
 

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Great resource and something I'm sure we could all learn more about from you as well! Thanks for posting!!
 
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Some of the stuff just can't be treated outside a hospital. Those are the people, in a SHTF world, who get the "I'm sorry, but you're not going to make it" talk.

But other stuff can be learned easily. For a big, non-fatal wound, you pick out the obvious contaminants. You squirt about a liter of drinking water under moderately high pressure around inside the wound. You take a wad of gauze or a piece of towel, wet it with drinking water (not too wet), and put it inside the wound, then cover it with an ACE wrap. In a few hours, the wet stuff dries, so you pull it out and do it again, over and over until the wound heals (that's a wet-to-dry dressing). Easy-peasy! Much easier than CPR, which is completely useless when the SHTF.

Of course, I will also gladly barter my services for a good pointy metal stick.
Once i make you a pointy metal stick then that is when i will need your services .........................:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What About Snake Bites on the Butt? :blink:
If it's nonvenomous, it's just another wound. If it's venomous, then you either live or you don't. Unless you want to schlepp antivenin around and learn how to dose and administer it. Treatment and supportive care of an envenomation is probably too extensive to undertake in a SHTF scenario. Better just to avoid snakes. An overwhelming number of snake bites happen because the person who is bitten is drunk.
 

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If it's nonvenomous, it's just another wound. If it's venomous, then you either live or you don't. Unless you want to schlepp antivenin around and learn how to dose and administer it. Treatment and supportive care of an envenomation is probably too extensive to undertake in a SHTF scenario. Better just to avoid snakes. An overwhelming number of snake bites happen because the person who is bitten is drunk.
Every snake bite is not deadly (even with deadly/venomous snakes) they can (or may not) deliver venom- a large dose or small one - ironically they can control that somehow - IF they do you'll know it soon enough .

Luckily I do my drinking at home now and when I did frequent bars snakes on their belly were something I never did see

:image035:
 

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If it's nonvenomous, it's just another wound. If it's venomous, then you either live or you don't. Unless you want to schlepp antivenin around and learn how to dose and administer it. Treatment and supportive care of an envenomation is probably too extensive to undertake in a SHTF scenario. Better just to avoid snakes. An overwhelming number of snake bites happen because the person who is bitten is drunk.
That's great!! Because my SHTF gear is 30 bottles of Tequila and 1 soccer ball named Wilson....
Wilson is my new best friend :smile:
 
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