Letter Re: LEO Medic

Dear Hugh,

I thought someone would have commented by now, so allow me then to chime in. I thought that LEO Medic’s five part series was outstanding. I’d say it was one of the best series ever on Survival Blog. It was very well written and informative. I especially liked the offering on canine medical care. I can’t imagine how much time it took to put that together, including all the helpful links to the products recommended, so I just wanted to say how much I appreciated the offering to us readers. Consider this a vote that you found a new regular contributor to the blog!

I thought I would share what action steps we have taken in response to the series. Prior to the series I would have described our medical preps as broad and deep. Compared to most people, they are. However, relative to LEO Medic’s suggestions, we have some holes to fill, quite a few holes.

The first thing I did was inventory everything. That took a while, but just putting it to paper revealed some things we were short on. So, I placed an order and received the items needed to fill those gaps. As an aside, we purchase our medical supplies from a local medical supply store. Primarily they sell scooters, lift chairs, walkers, and the like, but they do have a small wound management section. They don’t typically stock what I have on my purchase list, but they are happy to order it with no shipping charges and no sales tax. Orders come in the next day and the prices are better than anything I have found online. You just need to order items by the box. With a little creativity, it’s easy to explain away (OPSEC) why you buy first aid supplies $300 at a time. “I donate to missionaries in Africa who have a clinic” is all you have to say, if asked. Which in my case is true, but I donate money.

The second thing I did was to order some of the items in the articles that he suggested, such as the clotting bandages and tourniquets and will order more over time. We are looking forward to adding those tools to the “kitbag”.

Thirdly, I thought that two of the suggestions relative to canines were outstanding, things we hadn’t thought of before. Namely injectable Benadryl and having the animals base line temperature and resting respiratory rate written down for reference BEFORE a problem occurs. The places I looked online for injectable Benadryl required a prescription. We have a digital animal rectal thermometer, but we are pretty sure it is off by as much as two degrees. We have a Temporal-type thermometer also, but recently I read that the tool of choice for doctors treating suspected Ebola cases is the Thermofocus Professional Non Contact Thermometer, so we got one (link below). I pulled that out and tried it on one of the dogs. I put it in both ears a couple times, on the gums, and on the back of the throat; the readings were all over the board. So next week when my Vetrinarian is back from vacation, I am going to see if he will get me a couple bottles of Benedryl and make a recommendation for a good quality thermometer for dogs.

The fourth thing I am going to do is go back and re-read the series a time or two. If, on the first run through, I absorbed half of the content I will be surprised.

Finally, another suggestion that was made was to not purchase pre-made first aid kits, rather build them yourself. That is spot on. First, it amazes me how expensive those kits are for what you get. Second, when you build your own you know exactly where everything is and over time the kit can “morph” to serve different emphases. I built my EMT-sized first aid kit thirty years ago, and it has served me well all that time and is still in excellent condition. I also appreciated the underlying “can do”, “think outside the box” flavor of the series. To that end, I will close with a funny but true story that I bet LEO Medic will appreciate.

We have goats, and a week after birth you “disbud” them with a hot iron, which keeps them from growing horns. Somehow a two-month-old yearling tore off the cauterized part of one of the horns and was literally squirting blood out of the top of its head. The best treatment for that would have been to re-cauterize it with a hot iron, but that was not an option for various reasons. It is quite an interesting proposition to work with a patient who is literally, physically fighting you with all their might and screaming bloody murder all the while! We tried everything we could think of to stop the bleeding– direct pressure and gobs of blood-stopping powder. A half an hour later, we were exhausted, the goat was exhausted, we had blood everywhere, and it still was bleeding. I got a bright Idea (that I should have had 25 minutes earlier) and went to my truck, grabbed an IBD (Israeli Battle Dressing), put it on the site of the wound, strapped it around and under its chin, and in two minutes the crisis was over.

Thanks again to LEO Medic for the series. – B.O.