Thursday, May 3, 2012

Helpful Medical Kits Items

Periodically, I profile general household tools which are nice to have.  Sometimes I profile kitchen and canning implements which would be wonderful to have, particularly those which operate without electricity.    Today, I am profiling medical supply items which would certainly be helpful.  Those new to preparedness should focus on the basic kits I discussed in earlier posts, rather than adding these refinement items, and diverting money from the basic kit every family really does need.

      The watches above were originally designed for nurses who need to count pulses, respirations, etc. periodically.  These are made from medical grade silicone which means that although the watches themselves cannot tolerate immersion or excessive exposure to water, that the silicone itself could be cleansed periodically with an alcohol swab, which makes these watches pretty desirable.  Note that they are upside down so that the nurse or medic need only look down to count the pulse when the watch is pinned to clothing.  In an emergency,  one or two of these would be wonderful to have.   They are being marketed on Ebay by a store named "arteleva".  You can run a search on Ebay for "  Silicone, Nurse, Medical, Military, Analog, Silicone, Watch"  and it comes right up.   Each watch is about $3.00 US and comes from China.  It might makes sense to have a few of these.   Of course any analog watch with a sweep second hand will do the job, and you may well choose to buy one of those.  Since the change in the rate or character or a pulse can be an important indicator in terms of patient condition, you should have a way of counting pulses.

The analog watch above is designed to be attached to the main tubing of a stethoscope. It could he helpful for medical personnel who are doing vital signs, but it also could be very helpful for those who are rendering some medical care in an emergency situation. Having an analog watch attached to a stethoscope at home could be very helpful. This is available from BP Medical Supplies which has an Ebay store. Go to and search "medical analog watch stethoscope" and it pops up. I have bought a variety of medical supplies from BP Medical in the past and I have found them to be reliable.   They also have a Facebook page, if you are a member.

 Speaking of stethoscopes, I recently needed one to hang in the tack room for our animals. I wanted a decent one but the watch word was inexpensive.  I do own a stethoscope for work for which I paid more than a couple of hundred dollars primarily for listening to heart valves, and this was definitely not the variety I needed for the tack room.  I wound up buying one from Wal-Mart's pharmacy for around $15.00 US.   I was flabbergasted at what nice quality and how comfortable this stethoscope was to use and to wear.  It was also long enough to reach larger animals, so it would certainly be wonderful for use for humans. Please consider this as a source too. has all levels not only of the Littman Cardiology scope which is used by many physicians and nurses, but a very broad and excellent line of reasonably priced stethoscopes with aneroid sphygmomanometers. (blood pressure cuffs).    A blood pressure cuff is an excellent thing to have, and Wal-Mart not only has excellent reasonably priced examples online, but has everything from child to large adult cuffs.

Aneroid blood pressure cuff shown without stethoscope.  I prefer these to electronic varieties. Of course, one needs to have or buy a low priced stethoscope to obtain a blood pressure. This is a skill which can be learned very quickly and easily.

          Normally, I use a stainless steel set of fine needle forceps to remove splinters or ticks, and I soak them in alcohol before and after.   Sometimes in the throes of an evacuation, or travel, this might not be so easy.    For only $2.99 US plus postage, one can purchase a "Splinter Out" kit.   This contains ten wrapped small tweezers, I would imagine are intended to be disposable, for splinter or tick removal.   This is also available on Ebay from BP Medical.   Just go to Ebay, and search  "Splinter Out Kit".  It comes right up. They are also a good source of a variety of unusual splints and medical supplies for first aid kits WITHOUT a large minimum supply as is the case with a number of larger dealers who deal with the profession itself.

Ten individually wrapped sterile sets of tweezers for a reasonable price. Good to have for pets or for human beings. In my travels today, I learned that the price of these varies very widely. Make sure you check out several suppliers before buying.

          Another item which could be invaluable, is BP Medical's Padded Aluminum Support Splint.
 This can be used to immobilize arms or legs following fractures or soft tissue wounds.  Search on Ebay "Padded emergency splint 36"".
Ideally, we should have a number of these.

I have mentioned Apinol before. I have almost replaced neosporin at our farm with Apinol for mild to moderate lacerations or abrasions to skin.

              Apinol is a pine oil derivative, that I have mentioned before. Apinol is helpful in preventing infection in lacerations (cuts) and abrasions (scrapes) on normal skin. (I would not use Apinol in ears, close to eyes or on mucous membranes.) Apinol works well because it makes it difficult for bacteria, viruses and molds to replicate within a cut. The downside is that for a time, the user will smell like pine oil, or a bit like Pine-Sol. In our home, we have almost stopped buying neosporin because the bacteria on our skin either seems resistant or because the maceration which occurs as a result of the neosporin makes it harder for us to heal. Apinol is available at many smaller drugstores, or you can use or go to

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