"We have four boxes with which to defend our freedom: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box." - Congressman Larry McDonald M.D.
(1 April, 1935 - 1 Sept., 1983)


God Save The Republic

15 July 2010

What's In Your Med Kit

Before I get into this subject, I suppose it prudent to issue a disclaimer:

(1) I am not a medical professional in any sense of the word. The information I am posting here is intended for discussion purposes only and is in no way meant to be construed as professional medical advice. In any medical emergency, seek treatment and / or advice from a licensed medical practitioner.

(2) I strongly encourage everyone to obtain professional first aid training, such as through the American Red Cross. And if you can arrange for more advanced Emergency Medical Technician type training, go for it. At any cost, it's worth it.

When I began my adventures in prepping, I tried to consider various disaster scenarios that are most likely to occur. Even though disasters fall under three categories, natural, accidental or human caused, the acts and their potential results are almost endless. So, since we could be talking about any act from an insect bite to a nuclear war, I decided to prepare for the absolute worse case scenario. In this case, a total societal collapse where, among other things, professional medical services may be seriously delayed or non-existent.

Consider the after effects of a massive solar storm or electromagnetic pulse (EMP) discharge that might take out electric service over a wide area, disrupting most forms of communications and rendering the majority of automotive transportation useless. In a medical emergency situation, doctor's offices, clinics and hospitals may be closed or so severely crippled that only the most basic of care could be administered. And that is assuming you can even get there, let alone get there in time. I suppose this could easily rate a high ten on the worse case top ten list.

In a situation like this, any number of serious, life threatening, injuries could occur. I considered some of the worst injuries that might come from either attacks by zombies (humans gone feral) or relatively common accidents that can occur in both survival and non-survival (day to day) situations. These injuries would include; blunt force trauma, deep tissue lacerations, deep tissue punctures, amputations and gunshot wounds. The kind of injuries where a shot of Bactine, a bandage and a kiss on the boo boo just aint gonna cut it.

Again, at this point, I want to stress; I am not a medical professional. I am NOT posting this information as advice to anyone. I have made certain decisions as they might apply FOR MYSELF and for MY FAMILY MEMBERS, based on my personal convictions and after some very long and serious due considerations. With this in mind, I have included some "advanced" medical instruments that would ONLY be considered for use in ABSOLUTE WORSE CASE situations, like the one mentioned above. When listed, I will mark these with an asterisk (*).

One item I believe is a must have for any serious med kit is the "Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook." This book is available through the U.S. Government Printing Office for $59.00 plus shipping. (some online sources have it for $200.00 to $400.00) Inside, one can find page after page of easy to understand symptoms, diagnosis and treatments, including some surgical procedures, found in both combat and non-combat situations.

I have included a stethoscope, blood pressure and pulse / oxygen rate monitors in my kit. The stethoscope I chose is a Sprague Rappaport model, that uses two sound transmission tubes rather than one. My hearing isn't all that good so I need all the advantage I can get. The blood pressure monitor is a basic pump up cuff type since there is always that chance the digital type could be rendered useless or electric services and / or batteries may be non-existent. The pulse / oxygen rate monitor is digital and battery powered. However, I can easily revert to monitoring pulse by palpation. Monitoring oxygen without a monitor is difficult, at best.

* 3M Vetbond: is a cyanoacrylate (Super Glue) tissue adhesive that is approved for human use in some foreign countries, but not in the United States. Here, it is available for veterinary use only. I was able to purchase it online ($16.00 each) from a veterinary supply source, as it is available to the public.

* QuikClot 1st Response: is a blood coagulant (clotting) sponge for use in the temporary control of traumatic bleeding. This particular model is a mesh bag containing 25 grams of a chemical coagulant agent. I purchased a five count box ($45.00 Amazon.com) plus I have two field trauma kits that came packed with one sponge each. ($40.00 each at Amazon.com) The only negative factor I find with QuikClot is a short (two year) listed shelf life.

*** (Three asterisks for obvious reasons) A U.S. military surgical instruments kit for performing minor surgery. This kit contains stainless steel wound probe, scissors, hemostats, scalpel, suturing tool, pull back pick, tweezers and penlight. The kit is about the size of a lady's clutch type purse and I bought it at a military surplus store for under thirty dollars.

* Suture packs: Are small foil packs that contain a sterile suture needle and attached suture media. (thread, if you will). I picked up several types at the military surplus store for about $1.50 each. I have also found them available online for a few dollars more.

That's pretty much it for the more exotic stuff in my med kit, at least for the time being. I would be interested to hear what others have or, have to add in the way of discussion.



  1. Very impressive. I need the Quik Clot and the surgical kit. I've just got scalpels and hemostats but not much else.

    Consider adding a dental kit as well. Temp fillings, numbing oil (clove I think), probes and other gear. Pretty inexpensive.

  2. I did buy a dental kit ($13.00 as I recall) but was totally disappointed with it. And to tell the truth, I was a bit ashamed to mention it.

    Among the contents of this pocket sized kit were a couple of feet of dental floss, some toothpicks, a non-herbal tea bag, some cotton pellets and gauze rolls. The only semi "exotic" items are dental wax and a small tube of a temporary filling mixture.

    Considering the cost, including shipping, I kinda felt like a pair if needle nosed Vice Grips for performing extractions and a pint bottle of bourbon for anesthesia / antiseptic mouthwash / pain killer use would have made it a better deal.

    In short, I think I could have come out ahead if I had purchased the items individually and had lots left over to see us through a long haul situation.