1) For anyone who is on routine medication, be sure you have a supply of your medications socked away for...oh, however long you plan to live, in case the neighborhood pharmacy is overrun by zombies and your doctor is hiding in his bunker.
2) Stock up on the basics: Aspirin, baby aspirin, acetaminophen and other pain relievers. (note: these pain relievers do not contain the same ingredients, so in case of extreme pain it's better to take two different pain relievers since they don't over-dose each other).This also goes for fevers. To get a fever down fast, try two different fever reducing meds and bathe the person down with wet cool cloths, but best to bathe the rest of the body and not just the face. There have been times when I climbed into a bath tub of coolish water with a fevered child. Also have some sterile water and hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds and isopropyl alcohol for sterilizing.
3. In case of bleeding-If it's an extremity, elevate the extremity (arm or leg) higher than the heart and apply pressure. This can be with a clean cloth, but one of the easiest things to have on hand is a few big, fat sanitary napkins. Unwrap, apply directly to the wound and apply pressure. Call 911, of course, unless it's the end of the world, in which case the response might not be timely. For nosebleeds the small tampons work well. (Are you laughing? If you were bleeding, you would be grateful if I shoved a tampon up your nose, wouldn't you?)
4. Splinting a broken extremity: two things~ First, pad the splint with old tee shirts or a towel between the splint and the skin. Second, use an elastic bandage, duct tape or torn tee shirt to attach the extremity to the splint. A splint may be fashioned from dowels, wooden spoons from the kitchen, sticks or an appropriate-size board.
5. Suturing an open wound. Yes, you can do this. The best kind of needle to use is one of the curved upholstery needles. Be sure to sterilize the needle and the thread. If the wound continues to bleed and it appears to be deep, you need to find out where the blood is coming from. Not good to just stitch up the skin and leave a blood vessel or organ in an active bleed untreated. This sounds pretty icky, but if this was someone you loved, you would gut up and do the deed.
6. Finally, fill your first-aid kit with some OTCs to treat most anything else you can imagine. Triple-antibiotic ointment is a must. Something for itching, such as a cortisone cream and an antifungal ointment. Also throw in the requisite cough syrup and anti mucus pills. Benedryl for allergies and bug stings. A bottle of the pink bismuth stuff for the tummy ailments.
I do have a very complete first-aid kit and I'm the person that my friends want to have on hand in case of an emergency. Yeah, I'm the woman who gave CPR to an Australian Shepherd after reaching down his throat to retrieve a bone. How was it, you ask me? This mouth to muzzle experience? Well, the dog was revived. And my elderly neighbor cried and hugged me. And I've kissed worse. ;-)
I'm not planning on the world ending anytime soon. I know this because I decorated the Christmas tree and spent time and money on presents. I'm planning on feeding the family and having leftovers on into the year 2013.
Be sure to follow the next blog in the hop to learn about water purification with KC Klein.