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Emergency Medical Supplies September 25, 2012

Posted by federalist in Healthcare, Open Questions, Uncategorized.

I raised the subject of survival stockpiling earlier.  Here I’d like to build a list of the drugs and medical supplies that would be most useful during an extended disaster.  Ideally one would be prepared to deal not only with traumatic injuries but also with the sorts of medical problems that tend to emerge during prolonged stress and in the absence of first-world infrastructure and sanitation. (Ref also the truth about drug expiration dates.)

Beginning the list are “first aid” supplies that should be accessible to everyone:

  1. Antiseptic swabs and ointments
  2. Adhesive bandages
  3. Sterile gauze rolls, pads, and tape
  4. Sterile saline solution
  5. Hemostatic powder/pad (Zeolite, QuikClot)
  6. Thermometer
  7. Tweezers
  8. Scissors
  9. Anti-diarrheals: loperamide (Imodium), bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol)
  10. Rehydration powder
  11. Aspirin, ibuprofen, (analgesic, antipyretic, NSAID)
  12. Acetaminophen (analgesic)
  13. Antihistimines: diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  14. Decongestants: pseudoephedrine
  15. Expectorants: guaifenesin
  16. Stimulants: caffeine
  17. Laxatives
  18. Antacids
  19. Emetic: ipacec
  20. Ointments:
    • anesthetics (lidocaine, benzocaine)
    • antibiotics (permethrin, malathion)
    • antifungals (ketoconazole, miconazole, tolnaftate)
    • antihistamines (Caladryl)
    • antivirals (acyclovir)
    • steroids (hydrocortisone)
  21. Cold packs (note: also usable for improvised explosives)
  22. Heat packs
  23. Smelling salts
  24. Breathing barrier with valve
  25. Latex gloves
  26. Condoms
  27. Contraceptives: levonogestrel (Plan B)

Anyone with emergency medical training will also want

  1. Manual aspirator or suction unit
  2. Sphygmometer
  3. Stethoscope
  4. Epinephrine auto-injector (Epipen)
  5. Epinephrine inhaler
  6. Hypodermic syringes and injectable lidocaine and adrenaline
  7. Sutures
  8. Airway management devices (OPAs or NPAs)
  9. IV catheters and solutions
  10. Obstetric kit
  11. Antiseptic scrub (chlorhexidine)

During disasters that might involve extended disruptions of pharmaceutical supplies, a stockpile should also include the following drugs:

  • antibiotics: levofloxacin (Levaquin), doxycycline
  • antibiotic, amebicide, and antiprotozoal: metronidazole (Flagil)
  • antifungals: itraconazole, ketoconazole, griseofulvin
  • anthilmentic: pyrantel
  • oral antiseptic: chlorhexidine (PeriDex)
  • anxiolytics, sedatives, hypnotics, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants: benzodiazepines and barbiturates
  • narcotics: morphine, oxycodone
  • stimulants: amphetamines, modafinil
  • steroids: hydrocortisone, prednisone
  • vasodilators: nitroglycerin
  • bronchodilators: theophylline
  • urinary anti-infective: methenamine
  • general anesthetic: propofol


1. federalist - May 13, 2013

For battlefield conditions this Tactical Combat Casualty Care instructor focuses on “the Big 3 Life Threatening Preventable Death injuries: Major Bleeding (arterial), Loss of Airway, and Tension Pneumothorax.”

He recommends a kit containing a tourniquet, NPA (assuming you know how to use one), gauze, and duct tape. This response recommends a better tourniquet and clot-promoting gauze.

2. Survival Stockpiling | Federalist - July 12, 2013

[…] Medicine.  All varieties of analgesics, antibiotics, antifungals, antihistamines, antivirals, steroids, and vitamins are worth stockpiling.  (If you are concerned about biological or radiological catastrophes be sure to add doxycycline and potassium iodide to the list.)  They are a very dense store of value, though the ability to barter them may depend on how easily they can be authenticated.  Actual shelf-life needs to be determined, since “expiration” dates are really just a lower bound on shelf-life.  [Update: See this post on the question.] Other medical equipment should also be stockpiled though I would welcome a list prioritized by value density. [Update: See my list here.] […]

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