A typical first aid kit provides only the bare minimum of supplies that a well-equipped home should have when it comes to health and medicine. After giving this a good deal of thought, here are 23 additional medical supplies you should have on hand. Some will be easy to acquire, while others may take more effort.
A few items are notated with an * and are to be used only by individuals with advanced medical training. If this isn’t you, don’t cross the item off your list. There may very well be a doctor, nurse, EMT or other individuals with training nearby, and if you have the supplies they need, it will be a huge advantage to keeping someone alive.
Medical Supplies You Should Have on Hand
1. N-100 High Filtration Face Mask/Respirator
2. A secure treatment area
Being able to attend to urgent medical needs in a secure area is something you may not have thought of. In addition to the presence of hysterical family members and friends whose loved ones’ lives are in jeopardy, there could be additional threats from outsiders. Take some time to plan where your makeshift treatment/triage area should be located.
3. Medical skills and ability
Acquire and practice knowledge, concentration, control, stamina, will, training, and expertise. By all means, take a First Aid and CPR class, but don’t stop there. Wilderness Survival classes are offered at REI stores and some community colleges offer classes for EMT students. Red Cross offers a lot more than just basic First Aid and CPR.
4. Spare battery for cell phone
This could be your own life-saving connection to the outside world. If you have a smartphone, download Red Cross apps as well as other survival apps.
5. Reference Materials
6. Penrose Drain Tubes
These can be used as tourniquets or drains, etc.
7. Suction Device, manual operation (non-electric)*
For anyone choking who is needing “suction” or as you “intubate” (only for advanced care professionals).
8. Foley Catheters*
Used for urinary blockage relief, but also for a make-shift “chest tube” when necessary!
9. Nasogastric Tubes and Large Syringe*
These can be used for Rectal IV instillation when an IV cannot be accessed.
10. Bouillon cubes
Can be mixed with water for an electrolyte solution to drink when very ill. The solution can also be administered rectally with the concept above as well. Very handy to know and have on hand in a pinch.
These will be a must-have in any post-collapse scenario! Check out this article for more details about how to stock up on antibiotics and which to buy.
12. Oropharyngeal Airways or OP Airways*
These can save a life if you know how and when to use them!
Pedialyte is best, not Gatorade! You can also mix up your own with this recipe.
14. Over-the-counter medications
See list here.
15. LED Lights
You will need lights at night: headlamps, strobes (possibly for attracting moving vehicles or people nearby), reflective vests, powerful LED flashlights (for runners or operations with kit) & possibly a “surgical light”, for which we use a 12-volt car light connected to a car battery!
Hypothermia is a real danger outside when any patient is traumatized.
17. Ear Candles
These are easy to carry and used to provide relief with ear pain.
18. Organic (not synthetic) Natural Multi-B Vitamins
19. Large Commercial Trash Bags
Used to contain waste, worn over your torso as a make shift “rain coat” (don’t forget to punch three holes in the “top” for your head and two arms), or for “shields” when dealing with bloody/infectious messes.
20. Needles and scalpels
Along with these, you’ll need the knowledge to use them properly. Training is necessary to use these items, and DO NOT USE this stuff if you don’t know how to do so, ever! However, if a medical professional is able to provide assistance, they will be invaluable.
21. Reflective Cones
These are often nowhere around when we need one – “outside” in the “Outback” (or on the side of the road)!
22. Emotional Stress Treatment
Have on hand extra meds you and family members are already taking. If you run out of special meds that treat acute episodes, it will definitely be a time to panic!
23. Comfort items
These may not have to do with “medical care” at all. Think of things like candy, DVD’s, animals in our care that we love, protective and security items.
Prevention is the best mode of “medical care” in the world. If we thought this way as a nation – before the accidents occurred – well, I’d be out of a job, wouldn’t I?
There are a few excellent medical websites that are prepper/survival focused:
Prevent first and make sure to gather these medical supplies you should have on hand!
Article by the Outback Doc. Get to know him at his website and blog, Outback Medicine.