The following comes from a comment posted by Dr. Allen in response to a recent post – Survivalist First Aid Kits: What Do I Need? I appreciate Dr. Allen’s willingness to share his thoughts and expertise. – Rourke
The postings for a “first aid kit” have been of interest with some of them of concern.
Only FYI and substantiation: my training/experience has been rather extensive both in years (13 in training and (37) “on site application” years in in Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, on site in Mexico missions to the “shack” and “garbage dump” patients; Haitians just after their earthquake; “under the bridge – (literally)” patients in Corpus Christi and Austin, Texas; and male and female inmates in Texas. So you may take the offered information for what it may be worth.
There will be differences of professional opinion among health care individuals as to correct and proper diagnosis and treatments due to many factors – mainly what is called “standard-of-care” recommendations from our various state and federal licensing boards.
1. You might ask your physician/pcp for a written prescription for your medications to mail to Canada for “backup”. And let your pcp know why. Such as for disaster backup.
2. You should ask your pharmacist what the most distant date of effectiveness is for your medications – assuming they are refrigerated they may well last much longer than the “expiration date”. Most medications have a “half-life” of reasonable effectiveness and potency and many are able to be “stored” to enable extension of said effectiveness/potency.
If you do obtain your necessary medications in greater quantity then you should ROTATE them – first in-first out.
3. ONLY ONLY ONLY utilize different medications in the same class IF your pcp/pharmacist agree. DO NOT change/stop taking or utilize another person’s “similar” medication. You risk significant adverse side effects if you do not.
4. Contrary to much anecdotal information on the Internet – herbs/minerals/vitamin supplements/and any other “wonder” preparations are just that – anecdotes (personal stories of some sort of verification/effectiveness). Whether you agree or do not agree with the pharmaceutical companies/FDA – usually much time and money is allocated to determine the many qualifications necessary to approve use of pharmaceuticals in humans. There are too many such stories of success with alternates that FAIL in the light of accurate measurement to list – in my own experience.
5. Please do not assume you can read a book and – somehow – vicariously know what to do in a disaster/survival situation. You can gain the experience – but gradually. Audit classes, take available online courses in anatomy/physiology/pharmaco-therpeutics/trauma – especially trauma.
Begin with CERT, American Red Cross training, volunteer in an ER (if allowed in your community) – ask pcp, emt/ems, nursing, military medics; for help. Most are very willing to teach – if asked correctly.
Read and obtain reasonable supplies in case there is a trained person available who will need those supplies.
Last – everything (that reads EVERYTHING) is contaminated with bacteria/virus/fungus/spores unless labeled and dated as “sterility guaranteed unless opened”.
Soap is great – but the water, your hands, the bandages/ointment/environment may well not be sterile.
Also FYI – there are no companies or any government agencies with which I have affiliation.
Hope this is of assistance and email if there are individual questions or concerns.