The last time that I covered the topic of traumatic injury, a lot of EMT types came into the comments. Anyone who has been trained in the medical profession of course would feel that only a trained professional doctor should attempt any kind of medical procedure. And for them, that included any real wound care at all. I disagree. Some issues require a complex diagnosis. Some things require a trained and experienced hand. But some things are just one course in medical school, plus some non-human practice. Suturing is one of those things, and in a survival situation, it is more likely than not something you will need.
I don’t suggest that anyone just buy sutures and Lydocaine and add it to your kit. As you’ll see in the video, I found an extremely thorough suturing course made for the do it yourselfer. They take you through not only the proper method of handling the suturing needle, but also several knots and examples of where in the tissue you would pierce to close a wound. It comes with practice skin, and a CD with instruction and videos, using the practice skin.
There are also sections on cleaning wounds, tying knots, and a lot of other useful material, and the kit comes with a full set of suturing tools that are used on the CD course. At $69, the course is not overpriced for what you get. The tools alone go for $15-$30, and if you just buy the tools, you don’t get specific instruction using those tools.
What the CD course does not cover is how to select a suturing material, and a suturing needle. I have linked above to the PDF sent to me by TheApprenticeDoctor.com that covers these topics. Their PDF is put out by a suture company, and I have linked to a separate PDF from another suture company. With all of the PDFs above, you don’t absolutely need the $69 kit, especially if you don’t intend to sit down and practice with the practice skin right away. But if you can afford it, I think it is a great investment. They will send you a link after you buy it to the CD content in an Ebook as well, with screencaps of the videos. It’s a great value from a company that put a lot of effort into making you competent at wound closure.
Bulk sutures on Ebay go for about $1 each to $3 each, depending on whether you are ok with less known name brands from overseas. The expensive sutures are from Demetech, which is right here in South Florida. The sutures I have linked to above are fresh and have a 5 year freshness date on them. For silk or nylon, there is probably no expiration date at all, and that may be true of the synthetics as well I don’t know. Once you understand how to select suture material, and that it isn’t really important in a survival situation whether you leave a scar or not, you won’t waste a lot of resources buying different materials and thicknesses. I strongly doubt that any of us will be repairing individual blood vessels or nerves, so there is no point going dainty, only to be frustrated by breakage. A 3.0 silk with a 3/8ths or 1/2 circle reverse cutting needle will cover most major trauma. Just make sure you learn the basics and hopefully practice before you need your new rudimentary skills and tools.
I have also linked above to a suture kit that comes with some good basic supplies for cleaning wounds and suturing an actual human with a serious injury, and that kit comes with Bonus Material that will make the job a lot easier. If the link above is sold out, he has asked me to give you his email address of aberc4stts1 at yahoo.com as a backup.
If you have a source for Lydocaine yourself, the injection kind, not the topical kind, grab some. It is not technically a controlled drug, but the online pharmacies will not sell it to you directly. As explained on this website, Lydocaine that contains epinephrine is preferable to doctors because the epi slows down the absorption of the Lydocaine, and if you have a seeping bleeding problem, it can stop the bleeding. Be very careful with any injectable Lydocaine. Use a very small needle, and make sure to draw a little before you inject, because if you inject into a blood vessel it will kill the patient. Those little glass vials are meant to be used with a dental aspirating syringe and disposable needles, and they are popular because Lydocaine is very thick and can be a pain to draw. If you are drawing from a bottle, you may want to get some 18 gauge needs to draw, then inject with a 25. I am not a doctor of course. This is just what I have read in my own research.
It would also behoove you to get some antibiotics. I have explained before that you can get medications made for fish and birds that contain exactly the same antibiotics that humans get. Amoxicillin, Erythromycin, Ciprofloxacin and others are available through Ebay and other online sources. Just look. Modern combo antibiotics, like Augmentin, are available from India. Don’t be afraid to order from them, and at the same time you can stock up on your blood pressure meds and even birth control pills. If you are clicking this article long after the November of 2016 release date, that link may not work. They are pretty aggressive in taking down any source of medication that are not from the American medical cabal. The book Survival Medicine explains the differences in the antibiotics, and it is only $15 these days at Amazon.
Many of you have noticed that I shut comments off for these articles some time ago, and articles like this are why I did that. If I left them on, we would see an instant barrage of people saying that you’ll kill your friends and get sued if you try to close a wound yourself. The point is that if need this skill, all the doctors are already dead, or the hospital is so hopelessly overrun that you’d never get stitched up in time to make a difference. Your friend is going to die if you don’t figure out how to stitch him up, and the legal system will not be accepting any torte cases for the foreseeable future, if there is any legal system left at all. This column isn’t about preparing for a hurricane or big snowstorm. We are talking about the end of our civilization for a long long time. It is coming, and these recent developments suggest that it could be coming sooner rather than later.