Let’s Get Started With Medicine

This will not be a comprehensive class on medicine. My intent is to share a couple of things with you all and perhaps start a thread. There are many who stop by the Revo who are far more qualified to speak to medical issues than I. But my meanderings through life have allowed me to discover some helpful things.

Mrs22 and I lived for some time on a sailboat. Not in a marina but actually traveling. We believed that we had to be pretty self-sufficient – medically as well as in other ways.

First, here is a website to check out. It’s not the only useful one where you can find medical supplies but it’s a start. It’s a medical supply house that’s aimed toward veterinary medicine. Surprisingly, though, an awful lot of what they offer is directly suited to use on people. A couple of examples: Here is a suture kit for $39.95. They describe it thus, “Survival & Suture Emergency First Aid Kit 26PC w/carry case”

It has everything necessary to suture a wound including some sutures.

Don’t think you know how to sew someone up? Here is a lesson. It auto starts so I just posted a link. It illustrates the technique on what appears to be a pork shoulder. There are lots more and some are more graphic. You’re on your own there.

You will also need anesthetic and wound cleaning agents. The site has those as well.

Comments from those more qualified than I are solicited.

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26 Responses to Let’s Get Started With Medicine

  1. WildRiver says:

    Helpful information, a rarity these days.

    I think your new direction is apropos.



  2. jacksonsdad says:

    Air Splints are great. They work beautifully as a pressure dressing for wounds (especially hard-to-control arterial bleeds) and they’re see-thru so you can visually verify that the bleeding is controlled without removing the pressure. They take up next to no space and never ‘expire’.


  3. R.D. Walker says:

    One of the biggest problems with Obamacare is that it will reduce access to doctors. Learning to care for yourself is a good start.

  4. Locke n Load says:

    outstand links Jim. I was just trying to find them the other day but forgot the name you gave me.
    Wife will want some of this in the house and thankfully she’ll be skilled with it in 18 mos 🙂

  5. DocO says:

    Antibiotics can save your life. The good news is you can buy them for your dog or cat and they’re the same compound as you’d use for humans. Below is a list of the most common antibiotics you can get online.

    More good news, army studies show most antibiotics last upwards of 10 years (except tetracycline and other cyclines)

    • FISH-MOX (amoxicillin 250mg)
    • FISH_MOX FORTE (amoxicillin 500mg)
    • FISH-CILLIN (ampicillin 250mg)
    • FISH-FLEX Keflex 250mg)
    • FISH-FLEX FORTE (Keflex 500mg)
    • FISH-ZOLE (metronidazole 250mg)
    • FISH-PEN (penicillin 250mg)
    • FISH-PEN FORTE (penicillin 500mg)
    • FISH-CYCLINE (tetracycline 250mg)

  6. DocO says:

    Which antibiotic to use?

    2. Cellulitis . This is a potentially serious infection. It usually arises from an injury, like a cut, or puncture wound. It is easily recognizes as an expanding area of redness. It is warm, and tender to touch. As it enlarges, you will eventually develop a fever, and have chills. Swollen lymph glands may appear nearby. This may also develop into the classic “red streak” going up an arm or leg. This is called “lymphangitis,” but is a type of cellulitis. The idea is that it is expanding/enlarging, usually quickly, over hours you can see a difference. This is life threatening, and requires antibiotics. It might have been prevented by washing a wound, and applying antibiotic ointment, but now it is too late for that. Systemic antibiotics are necessary. This is usually a type of streptococcus (“strep”) infection, similar to what causes strep throat. It is sometimes Staph. The best antibiotic for this is Cephalexin (Keflex), or Erythromycin if you are allergic to Penicillin.

  7. DocO says:

    Which antibiotic to use? continued

    Sinusitis You will know you have a sinus infection if you have sinus pressure or pain, discolored drainage, and swollen glands in the neck. Sometimes a fever will be present. Usually Amoxicillin will work for this, or Augmentin. If you are allergic to penicillin, then Bactrim is a good choice.

    4. Bronchitis This is almost always viral, and does not require antibiotics, unless you have chronic lung disease, or if you are a smoker. In that case, Amoxicillin will work for this, or Augmentin. If you are allergic to penicillin, then Bactrim is a good choice.

    4. Pneumonia Pneumonia is not easy to diagnose, even for a Medical Doctor without x-rays, but if you have a cough, and fever above 101 degrees F, I would assume it is pneumonia, especially if you are having chest pain or shortness of breath. The best choices here are Avelox, Levaquin, and Azithromycin. If these are not available due to cost, Amoxicillin, and Augmentin will usually work, as will Erythromycin

  8. R.D. Walker says:

    This is pure gold Doc.

  9. DocO says:

    More antibiotic usage notes.

    4. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) The symptoms are painful urination, and the feeling of needing to urinate frequently, and an urgent feeling to urinate. In women, this is usually a bladder infection, and three days of Cipro, Bactrim, or Macrodantin will usually work. If there is also flank pain, and fever, I would assume it is a kidney infection, and treat with Cipro or Bactrim for two weeks. For men, unless you have some abnormality in your bladder or kidneys, it is almost always a prostate infection (prostatitis). A fever may or may not be present. This requires 30 days of either Bactrim or Cipro.

    5. Gonorrhea and chlamydia For men, the symptoms are painful urination, and a discharge. We always assume both gonorrhea and chlamydia are present, and treat for both. Ideally, this would be treated with an injection of ceftriaxone, or oral Suprax (cefixime) 400mg, and a week of doxycycline. In TEOTWAWKI, I would try a single dose of Cipro 500mg orally for the gonorrhea, and a week of Doxycycline 100mg twice daily. Resistance to Cipro is being reported, so it is not ideal treatment. If you have Azithromycin, a single oral dose of 1 gram (1000mg) will take care of Chlamydia, so the simplest regimen would be Cipro 500mg orally, and Azithromycin 1000mg orally as a single dose. For women, the symptoms are pelvic pain and discharge (PID), and sometimes fever. Please do not treat this at home unless you have no alternative. This is a serious infection, and it is easy to confuse this with appendicitis, or other serious, life threatening conditions. The only oral regimen recognized for PID is Levofloxacin 500mg daily for 14 days.

  10. DocO says:

    RD. I’ve got about 8 more other usage notes. I tried to post this as a single post but I think there’s a character cap.

    Do you want me to keep posting in pieces?

  11. JenR says:

    I need to print all of this and make a binder.

  12. R.D. Walker says:

    There should be no limit to the size of a comment if you register. In fact, go ahead and register and I will upgrade you to contributor and you can write it in post format.

  13. Jim22 says:

    Ah – this is the kind of stuff I was hoping would start. Good job DocO and thank you RD for helping him.

    Jen’s right. I’m gonna copy his stuff, paste it into my word processor, and try to organize it.

    DocO, I’m curious about the FISH prefixes on the drugs you mention.

    The veterinary site I linked to has lots of drugs at good prices. They aren’t listed with a FISH prefix, though.

  14. DocO says:

    6. Boils These are easily recognized. They are enlarging, painful cysts. Like giant pimples, they usually come to a head eventually, and open and drain pus. The best treatment is to open them, and drain using a scalpel. Do not squeeze them, because if they rupture internally, you have converted a minor thing into a serious thing. It is best to apply heat, and take antibiotics until the boil is “mature.” It will come to a head (have a white point in the center) and can be easily drained, or will become fluctuant (mushy feeling) where you can lance it open to drain. The best antibiotic today is Bactrim, as this is almost always a Staph infection, and many are resistant to other antibiotics. These are MRSA Staph infections.

    7. Impetigo These are superficial skin infections. They are weepy, crusted patches on the skin. Children are most prone, but adults can get it also. It is usually strep or staph infections, and the best antibiotic is Cephalexin, or Augmentin. Erythromycin will work also.

    8. Middle ear infection The symptom is a painful ear. Sometimes also a fever. It is not always easy to differentiate it from “swimmers ear,” which is an infection in the ear canal. If the ear hurts, and there is not obvious swelling and tenderness in the ear canal, I would assume it is a middle ear infection. Amoxicillin, Bactrim, Augmentin, Cephalexin would all work.

    9. Swimmers ear This is the other “earache.” The ear hurts, and if you look in the ear canal, and compare with the normal ear, the canal will be obviously swollen, sometimes swollen shut. If you gently wiggle the ear, to put some traction on the ear canal, it will be very tender. Middle ear infections will not be tender. Antibiotic ear drops are needed here. If you want to conserve money for supplies, have some antibiotic eye drops on hand. These can be used for eye infections, and will also work in the ear. DO NOT TRY THE REVERSE. DO NOT PUT ANTIBIOTIC EAR DROPS IN THE EYE. IT REALLY HURTS!!!

  15. DocO says:

    10. Toothache This is always caused by mouth bacteria. They are always sensitive to penicillin, so Amoxicillin is best. Erythromycin is a good alternative if you are allergic to Penicillin .[JWR Adds: But of course don’t ignore treatment for any underlying cause of the ache such as impaction!]

    11. Pink eye This is usually viral. So cold compresses, and artificial tears will do. If the drainage is especially foul, discolored, then it could be bacterial, and antibiotic eye drops may help. Sulfacetamide ophthalmic solution is inexpensive and should work fine. Ofloxacin if you are allergic to Sulfa.

    12. Diarrhea illnesses These are usually viral infections, and will resolve on their own in a few days if left alone. Just take Imodium, and drink plenty of fluids. If you are having a lot of abdominal pain with the diarrhea, or are having blood tinged diarrhea, and running a fever, it could be a bacterial infection, so in TEOTWAWKI, I would try Cipro. This will treat most of the bacterial causes of diarrhea. Remember also, these are usually sanitation failures. So good sanitation, and hand washing are good preventatives.

    13. Cold sores/ genital Herpes These are caused by essentially the same virus. They are easily recognized as clustered small blisters, and are very painful. The blisters are easily ruptured, so sometimes all you see are small ulcers. The key thing is that they are very painful. Acyclovir is effective for cold sores on the lip, and genital herpes. Acyclovir also works for shingles.

    14. Influenza Influenza is usually only seen in the “flu season.” It is also easily recognized. It is like a cold on steroids. It is a respiratory illness, causing a cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, muscle aches, and fever. Fever is usually 101 F or higher. One hallmark of influenza is extreme fatigue. If you are not exhausted, you are not likely a “flu” victim. Tamiflu is effective, but must be started within 48 hours of onset of illness to be effective.

    15. Animal bites Animal bites are considered infected from day one. Most Doctors initiate antibiotics immediately. The best thing to try to prevent infection is to thoroughly cleanse the wound. If the wound is open, that is actually better, because you can more easily irrigate copiously with water. Sterile saline is not necessary. If you have clean tap water, that is fine. Use liters of irrigation. Bandage the wound, apply antibiotic ointment, and immediately start antibiotics. Augmentin is usually used because of the bacteria which usually cause the infection.

  16. R.D. Walker says:

    You have been upgraded Doc. Check your email and then the dashboard. You may turn this into a front page post if you like.

  17. Jim22 says:

    Here is an example of the drugs they offer:

    Ciprofloxacin Tablets 500mg, 100 tablets on sale right now for $14.00.

  18. DocO says:


    Don’t worry about the prefix, that’s just a brand name. The important part is the actually antibiotic name

    FISH-MOX = amoxicillin 250mg

    Look at the package contents and it will list the actual drug name.

    You might find antibiotics for birds as well, same thing.

    IMPORTANT : Despite my handle I am not a medical doctor. Do not self prescribe unless the zombie pocky lypse is upon us. I’ve run this by my Physician Assistant friend and she says it’s on the up and up, but please, please, please don’t fore go a doctor unless you have absolutely no choice!!!!

  19. Jim22 says:

    Thanks, DocO. I’m looking forward to your posts.

    By the way, here is a product I have used when unable to get immediate dental work. It’s called Dent Temp. You can use it to replace a crown that has come off and it will form a temporary filling if one falls out. Cheap, too. The temporary filling lasts longer than they say.

    The stuff at the link is called one-step. They have another product that requires mixing. I believe it’s more durable.

  20. Locke n Load says:

    Damn Doc, great list. Isn’t still Bactrim considered a fallback med in case of resistant infections? Its listed as a MRSA drug

  21. fubar says:

    Jim22 :
    Date: November 8, 2012
    Here is an example of the drugs they offer:

    Ciprofloxacin Tablets 500mg, 100 tablets on sale right now for $14.00.

    is that from the vetmed catalog?

    I’d like to mention that livestock drugs that come in pill form are HUGE. ‘Horse’ pills, and are dosed in the 100lb/pill range. normally. I have no idea how a human would swallow one of those. It would take alot of manipulation to cut them into smaller pieces. or crush them maybe.

  22. fubar says:

    some of those drugs at shopvetmed can’t be ordered without an RX or a medical license.

    I just called and that ciproflaxin is one of them.

    can get penicillin, tetracyclines and a few others OTC at ag sources –

  23. Jim22 says:

    Fubar, If you follow the link it will take you to the shopmedvet home page.


    On that page they display whatever is currently discounted – on sale. Second item from the left, right after lidocaine is the cipro.

    I don’t know about pill sizes. I found dosage guidelines here:


    And here:


    The second one is from FDA. It’s 31 pages long.

    Might want to copy some of that info as well.

  24. DocO says:

    Locke n Load: re MRSA.

    The main bacteria present these days in open trauma wounds is called methicillin (penicillin family) resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA). The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta) top recommended oral
    antibiotic for MRSA is Bactrim DS, 3-4 tablets per day for 10 days. This is more than the classic Bactrim dose of two tablets a day that got used for female urinary tract infections and other less serious infections. Pharmacists sometimes challenge the higher dosage, but only because they are uneducated on this use for the drug. Other drugs that are often prescribed for for open trauma are Levaquin, and Augmentin. Levaquin cannot be given to kids. Augmentin syrup is the number one antibiotic for kids.

  25. fubar says:

    Note to Readers:

    DocO states:
    Antibiotics can save your life. The good news is you can buy them for your dog or cat and they’re the same compound as you’d use for humans. Below is a list of the most common antibiotics you can get online


    I’d like you to be aware that buying pharmaceuticals online or thru a catalog for livestock or pets is limited. Antibiotics and most other drugs are controlled substances (other wise we’d probably have an even worse situation with antibiotic resistant bacteria, then we do now). If you don’t have a medical license or an RX you aren’t going to get most of the useful drugs.

    There are SOME antibiotics that are OTC for farmers, and if anyone has any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. I was a dairy farmer for almost 15 yrs and now raise beef cattle.

    The information that Doc posted is great! there should be no limits on what we learn, especially if we are going to be in situations where there may be no licensed medical care — however, I wanted to inform you that if you had planned on stocking up on meds, it’s not going to be possible, and you might end up getting scrutiny you certainly don’t want. As preppers, we are already labelled “extremist”.

    In case of the alpaca-lips and you have a wounded party member, I hope we can remember these bits of info and be able to find sufficient meds somehow –
    but at this point, I think your focus should be getting in shape, staying healthy and strong, get any dental or medical treatment NOW while you can, and Stay Positive.

    And by all means, if you want to stock up on non controlled articles that do come in handy, DO SO while you can. I have stated before the benefits of vet-wrap or horsewrap as bandanges/bandaids. Also, having a good first aid guide, or basical medical/survival guide in your house or bug out shelter would be useful.

  26. oda551 says:

    As a current PA student I am a bit reticent to add to the best medications above. It would be nice to have cookbooks for medicine and what antibiotic to use in a condition. But, human bodies are awfully complicated as well as the diseases we get.

    Instead of trying to treat yourself with antibiotics a better approach would be to have some antibiotics available so that if you get a diagnosis from a practitioner you then have the medication on hand. (or you have something great to barter with)

    I think in some ways for bad scenarios (TEOTWAWKI)it may be more beneficial to look at sanitation, etc. That is where a real threat lies for disease. The following is a link for resources used in Africa where resources are scarce and you need cheap/easy solutions for health problems. (this is a bit of a lefty site, but they have great materials)


    If you are really adventurous there are also two great texts that are downloadable regarding surgery. I offer these with great caution, it is really easy to screw up the body with knives. But, they are good at opening your eyes to the challenges in treating surgical conditions in austere conditions.