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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More on medical preparedness

Another point of medical preparedness is having what you need where you need it. Personally, I have several medical kits: my main one, one in my car, one in my “hurricane kit,” one in my pack for camping, a pocket one for hiking, and so on. Have a kit near-by whenever you might need it, but you don’t have to have everything in each kit. Tailor the kits to whatever activity you are doing. My mother is diabetic—she is likely to be in my home and my car, but not in my camping tent and the last time that she went on a hike Regan was president…so where do I keep my sugar tabs? What you place in each kit is up to you, the possible items will reflect your ability and needs. Purchasing a good commercial kit and adding to it is a good place to start. You don’t have to break the bank, start small and work with what you have and can get. By all means, maintain a “medicine cabinet” in your home. That way you are less likely to find that someone has taken all of your bandages from your main medical kit in a few months when you go to check on it, taking instead the Band-Aids™ from the medicine cabinet.

Packaging your kit is important. Imagine this, you have your nice, neat little medical kit stuffed full of goodies. Then you try to use it to care for someone. They are bleeding. There is a lot of blood. They are screaming. To say the least, you are distracted…and all of your dressings and bandages are where in this kit? Try to organize everything so that you can find it quickly.

FYI: a dressing is what you put against a wound. A bandage is what you use to hold the dressing in place.

In combat medicine school we were taught to organize everything with Zip-Lock™ bags. If you have all of your dressings and bandages in one big bag, with different sizes in different bags, finding what you want in a hurry is easier. Keeping everything clean and dry is simpler. Plus, you can use the Zip-Lock™ bags themselves. Everyone knows that you can put ice in one, wrap it with a piece of cloth to make an ice pack, but what about a heating pack? Fill one with a warm liquid (heated water, coffee from a thermos, even freshly voided urine) and you have a heating pack that you can place in someone’s armpits and groin to treat hypothermia. Same with an ice pack, if it is very hot (or cold) don’t put it against bare skin, instead wrap it with a piece of cloth—otherwise you might burn them. Got a bad cut? Fill a Zip-Lock™ bag with potable water (anything clean enough to drink, even if you have to use a purification tablet) zip it closed and poke a hole in it with a safety pin and wash out a wound with the resulting stream. Get creative. Consider wrapping a swath of duct tape around your kit. Duct tape has a million uses, and in survival medicine it is great for holding dressings in place. If a wound has been well cleaned and isn’t bleeding much, small strips of duct tape can be used to pull and hold the wound edges together, in lieu of sutures/stitches. But making sure that the wound is clean and can be closed like this takes a little bit of training, so for next time… Prep on...............................

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Louisiana Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Louisiana Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.