Two Letters Re: Survival Medicine and Ditch Medicine

Josh’s article [on Survival Medicine and Ditch Medicine] was very good. I wanted to address the fact that a medical oxygen bottle is illegal to possess without a prescription and/or doctor’s care.

Actually, I don’t think the bottle itself is illegal. Just illegal for someone to fill it with medical oxygen without a prescription. But that’s beside the point because there is a simple, legal alternative: Aviation oxygen.

Aviation oxygen tanks and gas are easily obtained and not inordinately expensive ($150-to-$250 depending on size). Aviation, medical and welder’s oxygen are all pure, dry and inexpensive. With the “ABO” (Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen) label the tank can only be filled with aviation oxygen. Remove the ABO label and it can be refilled at an industrial gas supplier that sells welding oxygen. No prescription required in either case.

The same people who sell the tanks also supply disposable nasal cannulas and masks. Best, – Matt S.


I was glad to see Josh in Montana submit his article on basic medical intervention. I just came off my duty shift as an EMT-I crew chief. I wanted to make you aware of a great online resource:

The AAOS EMT Basic 9th Edition is the current curriculum for all Army Combat Medics. My son went through Fort Sam last year and this site proved a good study aid for him and his fellow students. It provides a handy chapter selection tool if you are also using the textbook so you can stay coordinated with class study. But would also be a good overview for anyone.

Some features are:
Interactive Scenarios
Interactive Anatomy
Chapter pre-tests

– Steve P. , EMT in Wisconsin