Disclaimer: The following is for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should always consult your physician for any questions regarding your health or that of a family member. The authors are merely discussing items you may wish to have on hand to care for a family or group, for when a licensed healthcare provider is available but supplies are hard or impossible to come by.
We write from the perspective of patients (a Type 1 diabetic with hypothyroidism and his wife who has had her spleen, gall bladder, most of her pancreas, and half a pinkie removed) and parents of numerous children with their own experiences (gastroparesis, abdominal wall injury, duodenal ulcers, kidney stones, lots of stitches, chronic constipation, migraines, tendinosis, failure to thrive, corneal abrasion and ulcer, excruciating menstrual cramps—are we leaving anything out?); basically, the stuff of everyday life.
We have absolutely no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned; they are merely sources where we’ve been able to purchase (sometimes difficult-to-find) supplies.
The Bring Your Own Band-Aids Clinic
Most SurvivalBlog readers have prepared and continue to prepare for their families’ well-being in the coming crises. We cover our bases with the four G’s—God, guns, grub , and gold, or the five B’s—beans , bullets, Bible , bullion, Band-Aids . But how many Band-Aids should you have? What kind? This article is for those who are planning to stockpile medical supplies for themselves and others, and for those who aren’t.
Grid-Down Medical Courses, Importance of Acquiring Basic Essential Supplies
Over the past eighteen months, I’ve attended two separate grid-down medical courses offered through SurvivalBlog writing contest sponsors Gunsite Academy and OnPoint Tactical. Both were taught by former Special Forces physicians with a wide range of experience on the battlefield and in emergency rooms. Both courses were for lay people who want to be able to give medical care to their family/group when there is no doctor available.
While the classes focused primarily on treatment options, also emphasized was the importance of acquiring basic essential supplies and medications, even if we did not know how to use them. History has shown us, and Venezuela is showing us now, that in a long-term crisis, it will be much easier to find a physician who knows how to prescribe medications and utilize supplies to care for patients, than it will be to find those medications and supplies. This is the situation where you want to bring your own band-aids and supplies to the clinic.
Physicians Cannot Be Expected to Stockpile For Others
Realistically speaking, physicians cannot be expected to stockpile medications and supplies for others. There are reasons why this won’t be the case. For one, physicians are like the rest of the population in that most are possessed by the normalcy bias that afflicts others, namely that “it can’t happen here”. Those doctors will only have basic supplies on hand to care for their own families to avoid a trip to the emergency room. The few physicians who do recognize the crisis looming in our world may be in a better financial situation than the rest of us, but they can’t logically finance drugs and supplies for everyone in the community, even if they had the space and even if they were aware of everyone’s individual medical needs.
Today, Not Much Concern About Using Up Supplies
Furthermore, in an urgent situation today, there is not too much concern about using up supplies; there will always be more. Most supplies are relatively inexpensive. Carts and cabinets in hospitals, clinics, and offices are always stocked, and pharmacies always have basic drugs on hand. That won’t be the case when TEOTWAWKI  hits, but people will still have that mindset. When the crisis initially starts, community supplies will be used at the same pace and will be quickly depleted.
Stocking and Maintaining Supplies For Our Families
While stocking and maintaining supplies of Band-Aids and aspirin for a group shouldn’t be much of an issue, other items will likely be an entirely different matter. We need to recognize that we cannot prepare for everyone. We do have the responsibility to prepare for our individual families.
Prepare Ourselves Mentally For Deaths
All of us need to prepare ourselves mentally for deaths we will witness among our families and community in the initial days of the crisis as well as the long term. Some people will not be able to accept the reality of the situation and will opt for suicide. Others will be overcome by the stress and suffer heart attacks. We read of increasing numbers of suicides of chronic pain sufferers who can no longer get the relief they need due to stricter opioid regulation. In the months that follow, people dependent on life-saving/preserving medications for conditions such as congestive heart failure, renal failure, organ transplants, and other conditions will also pass on, as those drugs run out.
Without Advanced Medical Care
Then there are the injuries or events that aren’t necessarily life-ending now but will be without the advanced medical care that is only available in a fully functioning hospital. A patient with internal bleeding in the pelvic area, as is often seen in car accidents, can survive with the right care in a hospital. Without it, that person may live for a few hours, but there’s not much a lay person can do. It is likewise for a patient with burns covering 30% or more of the body. In a grid-down situation, that patient may survive for days or weeks, but they will use up so many supplies that could be used to save so many other people, and that person is going to die anyway.
And then there are the heart attacks. While cardiopulmonary resuscitation is used today to keep heart attack patients alive until they reach the hospital, without advanced care they will not survive. If a person has suffered a heart attack, s/he already has other underlying conditions that can only be addressed with advanced technology and drugs, which simply won’t be available. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation will not bring these people back. The three exceptions to this are those whose hearts have stopped due to drowning, choking, or, believe it or not, lightning strikes. The patients in these cases were healthy individuals before the event, and CPR has a good chance of restoring them without the need for any other medical intervention.
Those Who Do Not Have to Suffer Or Die If We Are Prepared
This article concerns those who do not have to suffer and/or die, if we are prepared. It is not meant to be a miniature medical handbook or a substitute for training. It is written and presented with the purpose of motivating readers to prevent medical issues in the first place and acquire supplies that will be needed to treat problems that will inevitably occur.
Greatest Medical Advances in History
Before getting into illnesses and injuries, let’s review what physicians surveyed in 2007 considered to be the greatest medical advances in history.1 There are many advances, but these four stand out.
Water and Sanitation
The greatest medical achievement in their estimation was clean water and sanitation. Unfortunately, our easy access to clean water will likely evaporate when our society collapses. The first order of business, therefore, before acquiring any medical supplies, is to assure that you have the supplies, equipment, and knowledge to treat water and manage waste. Numerous articles on SurvivalBlog and all over the web can help you with this.2
Running a close second to clean water and sanitation was the advent of antibiotics. Ideally, you will have established a great relationship with your personal physician who will prescribe a wide range of antibiotics for you and your family and who will be around to direct you on their usage when needed. Lacking the ideal, overseas pharmacies are another option. We’ve been happy with All Day Chemist in India. Numerous survival and veterinary supply stores sell fish antibiotics.
Walmart online carried them in the past, but they appear to be changing policies as the selection available through them appears to decrease daily. Remember, you don’t want to self-medicate when a physician is available. You are only acquiring these antibiotics for when the grid is entirely shut down and no help is coming. You should have hard copies of medical references that indicate antibiotic dosages. There are also several SurvivalBlog articles on antibiotic usage written by physicians.3
Placing fourth in greatest medical advancements was the development of vaccines. While there are those who will debate the safety of and need for some vaccines (Gardasil, anyone?), being current on tetanus should be a must for everyone. In a collapse situation, there are going to be a whole lot more dirty wounds in everyday life. Measles will be making a comeback. Hey, it’s threatening now. Make sure children are up to date on the vaccines you are comfortable giving them.
Hopefully, SurvivalBlog readers have already done what it takes to achieve the following and found that:
- you’re in great physical condition,
- you have covered all known personal medical issues, and
- you have planned for most conceivable medical problems that could arise within your group and many of the problems sheeple consider inconceivable.
But just in case, or for review, or for encouragement, maybe you should:
- Lose weight,
- Eat properly,
- Quit addictive behaviors,
- Get enough sleep,
- Keep a close eye on infants and children,
- Wear sunscreen ,
- Wear shoes,
- Wipe from front to back,
- Wash hands,
- Be clean,
- Keep hydrated,
- Brush your teeth, and
- Look both ways.
Doing these things and taking other preventative measures will go a long ways toward keeping you and your family healthy, and they’ll help keep you out of the “Bring Your Own Band-Aids Clinic”.
Tomorrow, we’ll begin to focus on the supplies we will require to address the medical issues we are most likely to experience, beyond the first aid kit.
2 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 2, by A.&J. R.  (Active on 5/9/18)
3 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 3, by A.&J. R.  (Active on 5/10/18)
4 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 4, by A.&J. R.  (Active on 5/11/18)
5 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 5, by A.&J. R.  (Active on 5/12/18)
6 – Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 6, by A.&J. R.  (Active on 5/13/18)
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part one of a six part entry for Round 76 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest . The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator  from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course  (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses , excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper . These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees  in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product  from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses .
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4  Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit  from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of  Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners , donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections , a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord  (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 76 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail  us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.