Generally speaking, if I buy an e-book, then I don’t buy the same book in print form, but I’m making an exception for The Prepper Pages: A Surgeon’s Guide to Scavenging Items for a Medical Kit, and Putting Them to Use While Bugging Out by Dr. Ryan Chamberlin. It’s that good.
What makes this book so good? Knowing exactly which items you should keep on hand for emergencies and having specific advice on how to use them.
If you are in a disaster area, there might be a doctor around but the odds are slim that they wouldhave sterile sutures and a scalpel on hand, or not enough for everyone in need. Having a small stock of your own scalpels and sutures isn’t a bad idea.
Since Dr. Chamberlin is a surgeon, surgical items and skills are covered more extensively in this book than in most similar books, but that is precisely what makes this so useful. He covers topics most skim over.
A secondary focus of the book is how to scavenge items or find them in non-traditional places. For the large number of people who get nervous having our data (including shopping habits) tracked, that’s a definite bonus.
Specific Items, Not General Categories
Like most preppers and people who live a bit far from emergency services, I have a substantial First Aid kit. However, there are things I don’t have because I simply have never figured out exactly what I need or how to get it. Scalpels and sutures are two of them.
Scalpels come with numbers and are different sizes and shapes. I’m not a surgeon, and I’m not going to become one. I don’t need or want 20 boxes of different sized scalpels. I want one, maybe two, so we have a sterile scalpel if we ever need them. (Side note: they can be handy in a pinch when doing detailed craft work.) This book explains exactly which sizes are best and why!
Dr. Chamberlin also talks about not only what suturing material is best for different uses both in ordinary life and in an emergency, but also where to buy it, what sizes to buy, and how to do basic sutures. In a true emergency, that could be a literal lifesaver. Other topics include the differences in vinyl, nitrile, and latex gloves, treating snake bites, and food poisoning.
Scavenge First Aid Items
While we all hope to never be in a situation with looting, Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy are proof enough that it can happen, even here. But if you could loot items from a place, you can certainly buy them there, and that’s good information to have.
Knowing where to scavenge First Aid items can also help you save money by giving you a less-expensive alternative or an easier place to buy them. It’s also nice to be able to spread out your sales and help several smaller stores, instead of one large one.
It is a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected. You may be confident that no one in your family has a latex allergy and will not react to the one kind of suture you bought, but the reality is that you might be wrong. I have used bandages my entire life – Band Aid brand, Nexcare, Care Mark, generic, all kinds, sizes, brands and types with no problems. I particularly like the Nexcare tattoo-style bandages.
Following a minor surgical procedure, I found out I am allergic to the adhesive in bandages. It’s not a big deal, but it could be in a true disaster, so remember to be flexible and have some variety in your supplies. We now have paper tape and more gauze squares on hand for me, but simply keeping a few different brands of bandages might be enough for other families.
Because The Prepper Pages: A Surgeon’s Guide to Scavenging Items for a Medical Kit, and Putting Them to Use While Bugging Out by Dr. Ryan Chamberlin contains highly useful information, much of which isn’t found elsewhere, I highly recommend this book.