Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Medical Supplies

This is what we keep in our medical supplies.  Like food, we use these items as we go and replace them.  I wish I could think of a more interesting way to present this , but a list seems the most efficient.  I haven't addressed prescription drugs, because those are specific to individuals. I didn't put quantities because that will  be based on the number of people you are planning for.

We have a large quantity and selection of bandages and dressings:

1. Dressing sponges 4"X 4" 24 per pack.
2. Sterile pads 4"X4"  10 per pack
3. Eye pads 1 3/8 " X 2 1/4"
4. Bandage rolls 2 1/2" X 106", one roll per pack
5. Sterile pads 2"x2" 10 per pack
6. Ace bandages 1 per pack
7. miscellaneous band-aids, varied for size, shape and function.
8. battle dressings: 1 per pack
9. cotton
10. cotton balls
11. Curaid gauze, miscellaneous size and purpose.
12. Surgical tape.
13. First aid waterproof tape.

We have a German Army surgical kit , with the necessary instruments and items for sutures and other minor "repair" work.

We keep vitamins and minerals in the medical supplies:
  • B1
  • Calcium
  • C
  • D-3
  • E
  • Potassium Cluconate
  • Fish Oil
  • Centrum multivitamin/multimineral supplement
  • Equate Multi-vitamin supplement.
  • Sentury-Vite high potency vitamin/mineral tablets
  • Chelated Iron
  • St. Johns Wart
In terms of over the counter medicine:

  • Sterile eye drops
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Anti-fungal cream
  • Triple Antibiotic
  • Miconazole
  • Ibuprofen
  • Acetaminophen PM
  • Actifed cold and alergy medicine
  • Nyquil
  • Thera-Flu
  • Tussin DM
  • Nasal Spray
  • bee sting crush and rub vials.
  • Diphenhydramine (antihistamine)
  • Maalox
  • Bisacodyl (laxative)
  • Listerine
  • Benadryl
  • Loperamide hydrochloride (anti-diarrhea)
  • Aspirin
  • Pulvex all purpose ointment
  • Vicks Chloraseptic
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Rubbing Alchohol
  • Calamine Lotion
  • Sudafed
  • Vasaline
  • Aloe
We keep antibiotics of different types for different illnesses.

While this won't cover all the bases that might be necessary, we have two doctors in the extended family who live about an hour and fifteen minutes away, and I'm planning on them relocating here if things become that desperate.   My wife's sister is a pediatrician and her husband is a surgeon. They'd have to have some privacy so they'd have the apartment.


  1. I'd suggest a few more items for your kit, if I could:

    2 Blood pressure cuffs. The cheap-o's at WalMart are only 16 bucks and you get a stethoscope with each one. 2 is 1 and 1 is none philosophy.

    They're good for more that just blood pressures. They can be used as a tourniquet which can also numb an extremity while a laceration gets sutured up. Much easier to sew on someone who is not screaming in pain.
    Can also be used to hold a pressure dressing on in the event of an arterial bleeder.

    Also a couple of thermometers.
    Might also consider some IV angiocatheters ( 14, 16 or 18 gage and 20 or 22 gauge ), drip tubing and some sterile, injectable 0.9% Normal Saline, all available on Amazon last I checked.

    BTW, enjoy your goings on you post here.

    1. please substitute gauge for gage. Fricken auto correct. I am a retired 27 year retired Pmedic. I've done this shit before and happy to suggest anything.
      Your medical relatives can give you lessons on starting IV's and such.

      SHTF. you cannot rely on your medical staff getting to your location. Learn now.

    2. I am not familiar with that equipment so I appreciate the advice. I'll see what I can do. If by medical staff you mean the locals I'm sure you are right. In a real TEOTWAWKI situation they would be home with their families. My relatives are not self sufficient in terms of a bad situation and I believe they would come here. My brother-in-law is a former army doctor and very practical.

  2. I was also going to suggest the blood pressure cuffs as well. Youtube how to use it, or have family show you how to use it. A great tool to have around when SHTF.

    I might add a few more items as well: Tweezers and sterile eye wash(saline solution), Mercury thermometers, and some ace bandages for sprains etc.

    An EMT told me to never buy the same surgical tape. Smaller widths are easily taken off the roll.

    Another good post.

    PS- Oh and because I'm so old...a lot of Tums (wintermint smoothies are my favorite)

    1. It should read:"An EMT told me to never buy the small surgical tape."

    2. I'll have to look into the cuffs. I have a ton of that tape but will look for something to add to the stores to replace it. I have thermometers and tweezers so am good there. If you think of other things please let me know.

  3. Another well written post. I had med supplies built up before we moved, alas its been raided. Time to build up again.

    1. We use ours as necessary and try to replace them as soon after as we can. It can be hard to keep up.

  4. Replies
    1. We try. We had much more when the kids lived at home.

  5. How is this stuff packaged? 5-gallon buckets? What sort of protective containers are used to store them? And thanks for answering my questions. :)

    1. The supplies are kept in a steel locker in one of the store rooms. I don't keep them in plastic containers because almost everything has a finite shelf life. With the exception of antibiotics I tend to use up what I have before this becomes an issue. The bandages and dressings come packed in plastic bags, the gauze is in plastic wrappers.

      I don't keep as much medicine on hand as I would really need, should the population here increase. That's because I hate to waste the stuff. So the plan is a version of "just in time" where , if the news is bad and trends justify it, I'll make one last run to the Walmart Pharmacy and buy more. Of course, that means I have to make an accurate assessment of events, so I plan on erring on the side of caution. Should I wind up stuck with supplies I can't use up quickly (as I did during Y2K) I just have to accept that.

  6. I would like to have some good books on hand that dealt with herbal remedies as well, it could come in handy.

    1. There are a number of people who come by here who practice holistic medicine. I'm sure I remember a post where someone recommended some books on herbs. I'll try to run a scan on the posts and see if I come up with their recommendations. I bought the Saint Johns Wort based on a recommendation in a comment but I can't remember who made the comment.

  7. Medical supplies seem to have a shelf life of forever, for all of the basics anyhow. I have plenty of stuff for IV's as well as things like lidocaine and emla (topical local). You can download youtube video's with a program like Final Video, for free, and keep them as a reference for anything you don't know or need brushing up on in the future.

    Most people don't even have a dozen band-aids, good job on the stockpile!

    1. I don't have any equipment for IV type things. The big weakness in my medical supplies is the reliance on the brother and sister in law. They are not at all survivalist type people. They live in a big house with a big swimming pool and he collects corvettes (yes, doctors have it rough these days), but I doubt he could muster 5 pounds of survival supplies. So, should they have no water or power they'd have to go somewhere and they can be accommodated here. The risk is that they would not leave their patients. For him, that's not that big a thing because he does surgery. But she has patients that she has had since they were born, and my sister in law, for all her quirks, is a dedicated physician. If they refuse to come, all I have left is my collection of medical books like "Where there is no doctor", and my wife's medical knowledge garnished from running a mission clinic in Africa. Shelf life on medical products is really vague. The Army maintains stocks of "expired" medicines and continues to use them and to distribute them in emergency relief, because their research indicated the shelf lives were largely based on lawyer proofing and not reality. However, there are some medicines you can't take past the expiration date without risk.

  8. I have many of the same things. Some of the drugs we don't have. I have a lot of things from when my boys were sick with their major illnesses. We had to give the boys IV antibiotics. With that we had alligator tape, iodine and alcohol wipes. I kept all of it. Then with having 2 c-sections, I got a mess of other cleaning supply things.

  9. Sounds like you have had considerable experience with family medical issues. I know you live in a city so your storage space is probably limited. You might have to do "just in time" medical supplies too. In the interim, you have a pretty good collection from what I can tell.

  10. Medical supplies can be temperature-sensitive, making it required to sustain a cooled, iced, as well as background atmosphere during transportation. To prevent harm, musical instruments and also COLOSTOMIES equipment need to be stored properly and also safely and securely while becoming transferred above the path.

    1. Thanks, Afsana. I am not able to keep things that would require refrigeration because I only have one freezer and one refrigerator, both of which I keep pretty full. So what I have is primarily items which can be stored at room temperate. You are right about the temp issue though, I just have to work around it.