First Aid Kit Supplies and Medical Reference Books : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

First Aid Supplies and Medical Reference Books

There have been a variety of posts by other individuals listing what items you should have in a first aid kit and what medical reference books you should own. If you have already made your purchases in this area, then my comments may help you identify one or two items you may have overlooked. If you havent made any preparations in this area, then now would be a good time to get started.

I periodically get recertified by the Red Cross in First Aid and CPR. That usually succeeds in making me aware of how little I really know. However, it has helped me figure out what I can handle at home and what must be handled by a trained medical professional.

I have collected medical books written for the non-professional for over 20 years. Over the past year or so there have been several medical books recommended on this and other forums and I have bought most of them, including Where There is No Doctor and International Medical Guide for Ships. Both of those are good books but they are not as well written nor as comprehensive as some of my other books. I have over 50 medical books (including first aid, herbal healing, and alternative medicine), and Id like to tell you which ones I like best. But please keep in mind that I have NO medical background. All I have to rely on is old fashioned common sense.

If you already have a medical book or two, then you probably shouldnt invest in the following books unless they offer something your current books dont. Most of us have a list of things wed like to buy between now and the onset of Y2K disruptions but we know we cant afford them all. Therefore, my most important suggestion is to carefully evaluate your financial resources against what you believe you need to accomplish, and then use that money as strategically as possible based on your own individual circumstances. That may or may not include buying medical reference books.

The following books describe your options when you dont have access to professional medical care or prescription medicines. These books are still in print and you could probably find some of them at your neighboorhood bookstore. I have listed the books in the order I would purchase them if I could not afford to buy them all.

Medical Reference Books:

1. The Medical Advisor - The Complete Guide to Alternative & Conventional Treatments, by Time/Life Books. Comment: Has an excellent section on emergency first aid for the most common types of problems. It contains information on about 300 common ailments with detailed information on what symptoms are usually present and what your treatment options are, including both herbal and diet, plus common home remedies and over-the-counter medications. It also describes how to prevent the problem from reoccurring. It has separate sections on medicines, vitamins and minerals, and an illustrated atlas of the human body.

2. Readers Digest Guide to Medical Cures & Treatments. Comment: Begins with an illustrated anatomy of the human body based on its major functions. It then lists about 500 of the most common health and medical problems, frequently with color pictures. For each medical problem, it explains what your options are, including self-treatment and herbal healing when appropriate. It also contains a nice section on medications and a brief summary of the benefits of vitamins and minerals.

3. Where There is No Dentist, by Murray Dickson. Comment: Tells you how to clean teeth, what to do for teeth problems, and how to extract a tooth if you choose that as an option. It also describes some of the serious health problems that can result from pulling a tooth.

4. The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook. Comment: Shows how to handle the most common types of accidents. It also contains a very good ten page section on childbirth.

5. The American Medical Association Guide to Your Familys Symptoms. Comment: Begins with color illustrations of human anatomy based on the bodys major functions. Instead of listing medical problems in alphabetical order, it lists major symptoms and through the use of flow charts it allows you to diagnose your medical problem based on your particular combination of symptoms (where the pain is, how do you feel internally, do you have a fever, what is visible on the surface of the body, etc.). In this respect, it is truly excellent. However, after you have figured out what is wrong, in most cases the book only recommends professional medical care instead of telling you what your other options are.

6. Heart and Hands - A Midwifes Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, by Elizabeth Davis. Comment: If you or someone in your family is pregnant and the child is due next year, then you probably need this book. However, if you aint expecting any new younguns anytime soon, then the other books listed above would be a better choice.

Those are the books I recommend. Some of the material is duplicated in two or more of the above books, but the discussion is different and that provides you with a different perspective on the same medical problem. If you cant find the book at your local bookstore, then try

Now I would like to talk about some simple medical equipment and first aid supplies that could make your life a lot easier next year.

Medical Equipment:

Most of the time you wont need any fancy medical equipment. A common first aid kit will get the job done. However, if someone is involved in a serious accident, then a simple medical kit could make a big difference. On the other hand, if the person using the kit doesnt know what they were doing, then they could do more damage than good.

I have purchased medical supplies from the following company. I aint affiliated with them and I dont own stock in the company. However, the stuff I have bought from them is good quality:

Emergency Essentials, Phone 1-800-999-1863

The above company sells the following products. If you have had a good experience with a different company and slightly different products, then please share that information with us at the end of this post.

1. Item Number CY1-KF-S100, Price $39.00
Description: Military Style Surgical Kit, Weight 0.6 pounds.
Contents: 3 hemostats, probe, tweezers, scissors, #11 scalpel with 2 blades, 1 suture (4-0 nylon 18 long with curved needle), 2 dental picks, all in a snapping cloth case.

2. Item Number CY1-KF-M100, Price $80.00
Description: Medics First Aid Kit, Weight 3.4 pounds.
Contents: Nylon carry bag, 25 adhesive bandages, 5 adhesive spot bandages, 5 adhesive extra large bandages, 5 adhesive fingertip bandages, 5 adhesive knuckle bandages, 5 small butterfly bandages, 5 large butterfly bandages, 3 - 2 X 3 sterile pads, 3 - 3 X 4 sterile pads, roll of cloth surgical tape, 5 rolls Micropore tape, 10 iodine prep pads, 10 antiseptic towelettes, 2 ammonia inhalant, 5 bacitracin ointment packets, 20 non-aspirin pain reliever, 20 alcohol preps, 2 rolls each of 2, 3 and 4 gauze, 24 sponges, 4 eye pads, 2 - 5 X 9 ARD pads, Instant ice pack, four oz. sterile eye wash, 3 elastic bandage, 5 safety pins, thermometer, 5 tongue depressors, triangle bandage, tweezers, EMT shears, bar of soap, 2 - 4 X 4 BurnFree sterile dressings, 1 four oz. bottle of BurnFree Gel, 6 exam gloves, bandage scissors.

3. Item Number: CY1-CM-B460, Cost $18.00
Description: Solar Battery Charger with Meter, Weight 1 pound. Will recharge AAA, AA, C, and D rechargeable batteries. (You may need a really good flashlight if the medical emergency happens at night.)

4. Item Number CY1-MF-T100, Price $5.50 per bottle
Description: ThyroBlock Potassium Iodide Tablets, Weight 0.2 pounds, bottle of 14 tablets, or a 2 week supply for one person, 3 year shelf life. (There has been a lot of discussion on this forum about these tablets. If you are too close to a nuclear blast then you will absorb a lethal dose of radiation and nothing can be done for you. But if you are a respectable distance from the blast site, then the primary damage is to the thyroid gland, based on the research done after the nuclear accident in Russia many years ago. These tablets will protect your thyroid gland and are therefore highly recommended. However, also use common sense and stay indoors for at least two weeks after a nuclear blast.)

The Medics First Aid Kit listed above contains most of the stuff you might need for an accident around the home. I would add the following items to that kit: blood pressure cuff and separate stethoscope, ear/nose/throat light and extra batteries, barber scissors, cuticle scissors with curved shank, dental repair kit (from Wal-Mart, for temporarily replacing lost fillings), nose/mouth masks, a few extra boxes of 3/4 and 1 Curad bandaids, and an extra box of butterfly closure bandaids. (The butterfly closure bandaids are an excellent alternative to stitching a wound closed.)

I also bought some cheap eyeglasses ($8 per pair) in 1.25, 1.50, 1.75, 2.00 and 2.50 lenses. You never know when someones vision will start to go downhill. Also buy the $2 soft case to keep each pair of eyeglasses in. If someone in your family now wears glasses, you can buy them a few cheap pair of backup eyeglasses from any Drug Store, K-Mart, or Wal-Mart right off the display rack (usually near the pharmacy). If you dont know the lens prescription, have them try on the glasses at the display rack. They will tell you which ones are best through trial and error. And dont forget a $2 eyeglass repair kit.

Portable First Aid Kit:

The above Medics First Aid Kit is too bulky to carry in a camping backpack. A smaller kit is recommended for that purpose. As many of the other people on this forum have already pointed out, most commercially available first aid kits are mostly bandaids and gauze. You really need a little more than that. Therefore, you might consider buying the items individually and building your own first aid kit.

On the other hand, I have found one small first aid kit that I really like. It is made by SAWYER and it sells for about $14. It comes in a hard plastic waterproof case that measures 7 X 4.5 X 1.5. It contains the following items:

Wound Clean Up: 6 alcohol pads, 3 antiseptic wipes, 3 cotton tip swabs, 1 resealable polybag.
Wound Care: 2 - 2 X 3 non-adherent sterile pads, 4 - 3 X 3 sterile gauze pads, 6 standard bandage strips, 1 knuckle bandage, 1 fingertip bandage, 1 extra large bandage strip, 1 adhesive tape roll, 1 - 2 gauze roll, 1 tincture of Benzoin, 2 antibiotic ointment, 1 iodine ointment.
Medications: 4 acetaminophen tablets, 4 ibuprofen tablets, 2 electrolyte tablets, 2 decongestant tablets, 2 antacid tablets, 2 sting care pads.
Specialty Items: 1 moleskin, 1 tweezers, 2 safety pins, 1 folding scissors, 2 tongue depressors for small splints, 1 Doc Forgery First Aid Field Manual.

In the above kit, the tweezers are worthless and must be replaced. Everything else is good quality. I would also recommend adding the following items inside the kit:

Additional Items: Fever thermometer (shake down type not battery operated), suture with curved needle, 1 hemostat (or forceps) (5 long with 1 nose), 4 diarrhea pills, 4 constipation pills, 4 aspirin, 1 small soap bar, 10 - 3/4 bandaids, and 5 butterfly closure bandaids.


Walk down the aisle at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or your local Discount Drug Store and pick up a least one of each medicine you think you might need. Pick up several of the medicines your family has used in the past on a regular basis.

Echinacea and Goldenseal:

There is a multi-purpose herbal remedy that will take care of a lot of different illnesses. That herbal remedy is Echinacea with Goldenseal Root (plus a few other herbs in small quantities). The echinacea is a mild natural antibiotic that will help cure many infections. The goldenseal is an immune system stimulant that will help your body fight off viruses (colds, flu, etc.). Sometimes you cant be sure what is wrong with you (infection or virus). The combination of echinacea with goldenseal will usually fix whatever ails you. You need to experiment to see how strong a dose you require. If you dont take enough, it doesnt do much good. If you take too much, you may get nauseated. Following the label directions is your best starting point. Dont become discouraged too easily. This stuff does work most of the time, but it wont cure everything.

Echinacea comes in two major forms, pupurea and angustifolia. In my opinion, the angustifolia is the more potent of the two. You can buy the echinacea separate from the goldenseal but my experience has been that they are more effective when used in combination. My favorite brand is sold by GNC in a yellow plastic bottle with the name brand Natures Way.

Colloidal Silver:

The only other multi-purpose medication I have used with good results is colloidal silver. Some folks will tell you to avoid it like the plague. I have used it on myself and my loved ones with good results, including ear infections and strep throat. I have heard that if you use too much of it for too long a time period, it will eventually turn your skin blue. However, if it is used in small amounts only when needed it will cure many ailments.

The most important advantage I can see to colloidal silver is that it has a very high probability of neutralizing any chemical or biological warfare pathogens that our enemies may decide to employ against us. It is the only hope I have of treating my loved ones and restoring them to normal health if that type of war unfolds. You must use your own judgment in this matter. If you have some colloidal silver you can always decide not to use it. But if you dont have it and really need it, what will you do?

Another option is to have the right type (and quantity) of a wide variety of commercial antibiotics to treat chemical or biological pathogens. Some folks are concerned about anthrax. Others are concerned about cholera, smallpox, or something else. Most man-made antibiotics are excellent on a specific category of germs. Thats why there are so many different types of antibiotics. No single one is a universal antidote for every disease known to man. If our enemies are any good at developing chemical or biological weapons, then they probably wont be releasing a pathogen with a commonly known and widely available antidote.

Therefore, the problem as I see it is that I may not be able to accurately identify exactly what is wrong with my loved ones next year. If I could send samples to a medical lab that would be different. But if I have to make a judgment call based on the symptoms I can identify, then I dont want to bet the life of my loved one on my limited knowledge. Therefore, although I have a few antibiotics in the refrigerator for future use, I suspect I will treat my loved ones next year with colloidal silver if they get sick. Colloidal silver has the potential for being effective against both known and unknown pathogens because of the way it works inside your body.

Most of the colloidal silver they sell in herb shops is worthless. Shop around and read the bottle labels. Look for a solution in the 5 ppm to 10 ppm range. Anything less is a waste of money. Anything more and the particles are too big for your system to use to fight disease. The important thing is the particle size, not the ppm. Unfortunately particle size usually isnt listed on the label. However, low ppm may be correlated to small particle size, but there is no way to be sure. Short of an expensive lab test, it is the only approximation I can offer.

My recommendation is to do a little research on colloidal silver and make your own decision. Dont let me or anyone else sway you in your final decision. Some helpful links are below. If you know of some other good links, please add them at the end of this post.

If this post follows the same pattern as previous posts that recommended colloidal silver, someone will add a link to an article about a woman whos skin turned blue in the 1950s as a result of taking some kind of unidentified silver compound. Their intention is to scare your pants off. If colloidal silver were that dangerous, it would not be available in herb shops, drug stores, natural food stores, and some grocery store pharmacies. Once again, please use common sense. There may be a lot riding on your final decision.

You can make colloidal silver at home if you have the right stuff. More information and instructions are at the following site:

Post-Y2K Colloidal Silver? III

You can buy a colloidal silver home generator by mail from the following company:

Rainy Day Supply, Phone: 1-770-748-3297
Battery Operated Colloidal Silver Generator, $69.96
110 Volt Colloidal Silver Generator, $84.95
Both of the above Generators, $104.95

If you know of any other good sources for colloidal silver generators, please add them at the end of this post.

Finally, if you decide to take colloidal silver, put a little in your mouth and swish it around your tongue for a minute or two. Your system will absorb most of the silver particles through the tissue in your mouth. You can then swallow the remaining liquid and let your stomach do its job of digesting any remaining silver particles.


Next year you may be the family doctor. If you want to be a good doctor, then you need to be prepared. The lives of your loved ones may depend on you.

May God Bless.


P.S. - If you would like to read my previous posts, please try the links below:

How to Survive Really Hard Times

Drinking Water Revisited

More Edible Wild Plants

Hunting Wild Game

How to Get the Best Value for Your Food Dollar

Is a Camping Backpack a Good Idea for Everyone?

-- Grandpappy (Grandpappy@old-timers.hom), August 16, 1999



Thanks for the great info.

I just wanted to add that Sam's Club has a great First Aid kit. We picked up two last week. It has 228 pieces packed in a hard plastic case all for $19.95.

I agree with you that people need have medical supplies stored and learn how to use them. Fortunately for me, my wife's a wound care nurse.


-- Bookworm (, August 16, 1999.

Also you should include some crazy glue in your first aid kit. Combined with butterfly's you will not need to purchase as many surgical sutures.

There are many links which describe it's use, but as a utility suture, it's a winner. After THOROUGHLY cleaning the wound, you put some glue around the edges of the wound (yes it will burn like hell) then pinch or pressure the wound shut and place a layer of glue over the wound. Then repeat after the layer has dried continuously applying the pressure.

Good luck.

-- Jim Smith (, August 18, 1999.




Be very carefull not to get your fingers stuck to the wound. If you are going to hold the wound closed, oil/grease your fingers or use surgical gloves, grease them too. Thats sticky stuff!

-- CT (ct@no.yr), August 19, 1999.

The following links will provide you with some more information about the benefits of colloidal silver. At some of the links you can buy colloidal silver solution and/or colloidal silver generators. ver.html /pwp/HISWAY4U/hwfupg1.html m/ e.html

-- Grandpappy (Grandpappy@old-timers.hom), August 19, 1999.

Another place to buy a colloidal silver generator:

-- Grandpappy (Grandpappy@old-timers.hom), August 21, 1999.

Sam's Club First Aid Kit

I stopped at Sam's Club and examined the First Aid Kit recommended by Bookworm above. For $19.95 it is a fantastic value. It contains a lot more than just bandages and gauze. I followed Bookworm's lead and bought two of the kits myself.

May God Bless.


-- Grandpappy (Grandpappy@old-timers.hom), August 24, 1999.

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