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Emergency First Aid Books and Supplies

Copyright March 1, 2005 and February 8, 2014 by Robert Wayne Atkins, P.E.
All Rights Reserved.

The following is not medical advice nor is it a medical recommendation.
Please consult a licensed medical practitioner to have your medical questions answered.

Emergency First Aid Training

If you have the time, and if you can afford it, then you should enroll in an American Red Cross First Aid Training Course. These courses are usually reasonably priced and they can usually be completed in less than one day.

Emergency First Aid Books

The following books describe your options when you don't have immediate access to professional medical care or prescription medicines. The books are listed in the order I would purchase them if I could not afford to buy them all. Some of the material is duplicated in two or more of the following books but the discussion is different and that provides you with a different perspective on the same medical problem.

Time Life Reader's Digest Red Cross DK Merck Tooth

  1. The Medical Advisor - The Complete Guide to Alternative & Conventional Treatments, by Time/Life Books.
    Hardcover ISBN: 0-8094-6737-2 (1,152 Pages, Size: 10.25" x 8.25" x 2.5").
    (Out-of-Print but you can usually find copies at amazon.com).
    Comment: Has an excellent section on emergency first aid for the most common types of problems. It contains information on about 300 common ailments with detailed information on which symptoms are usually present and what your treatment options are, including both herbal and diet, plus common home remedies and over-the-counter medications. It also describes how to prevent the problem from reoccurring. It has separate sections on medicines, vitamins and minerals, and an illustrated atlas of the human body.

  2. Reader's Digest Guide to Medical Cures & Treatments.
    Hardcover ISBN: 0-89577-846-7 (480 Pages, Size: 11.125" x 8.5" x 1.25").
    (Out-of-Print but you can usually find copies at amazon.com).
    Comment: Begins with an illustrated anatomy of the human body based on its major functions. It then lists about 500 of the most common health and medical problems, frequently with color pictures. For each medical problem it explains what your options are, including self-treatment and herbal healing when appropriate. It also contains a nice section on medications and a brief summary of the benefits of vitamins and minerals.

  3. American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook, Kathleen A. Handal, M.D., 1992.
    Paperback ISBN: 0-316-73646-5 (321 Pages, Size: 9.25" x7.5" x 5/8").
    Hardcover ISBN: 0-316-73645-7.
    Comment: Explains how to handle the most common types of accidents. It also contains a ten page section on childbirth.

  4. DK First Aid Manual, American College of Emergency Physicians, 2004.
    Contains simple easy-to-follow instructions with full color pictures for the most common accidents and basic medical problems.

  5. Merck Manual of Medical Information, 2nd Home Edition, 2004, Paperback, more than 1900 Pages.

  6. Kelley's Textbook of Internal Medicine, 4th Edition, 2000, (no picture).

  7. Tooth Extraction, A Practical Guide, Robinson, 2000.
I do not make the above recommendations lightly. Over the past 40 years I have gradually acquired approximately 50 different first aid books and general reference medical books. In some cases I purchased the book because it received a "glowing" recommendation from someone on the internet. However, in almost every case I was very disappointed with my purchase. At the current time I have a copy of most of the medical reference books that have been recommended at a variety of internet web sites, blogs, and discussion forums, including the "Where There is No Doctor" and "Where There is No Dentist" books. The above seven books are the ones I would buy today. The above seven books are also the ones I would take with me if I had to quickly evacuate my home and I could only take a limited amount of stuff with me.

Where There is No Dentist can now be downloaded for free at the following web site: http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download_wtnd.php

Where There is No Doctor can now be downloaded for free at the following web site: http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download_wtnd.php

First Aid Kit

Emergency First Aid Supplies

A basic first aid kit, such as the one in the picture on the right, is adequate for the majority of common household accidents.

In addition to the bandages that are included in the first aid kit you should also purchase at least 200 more bandages in assorted sizes, such as 5/8 inch, 3/4 inch, and 1 inch widths. During hard times you will need small bandages more often than you do today because you and your family members will be doing some activities that you have not done before, and accidents do happen.

If someone is involved in a serious accident then a more advanced first aid kit could make a big difference.

On the other hand, if the person using the kit doesn't know what he or she is doing, then the person could do more harm than good.

When it is feasible then you may wish to wait for a medical professional to arrive, or you may wish to take the person to a medical professional if that is possible.

Herbal Home Remedies

About 20 years ago I became extremely interested in herbal home remedies. For about ten years I planted and grew a variety of popular medicinal herbs and I occasionally used those herbs on myself to see if they were as effective as what I had been led to believe in my collection of herbal home remedy books. In almost every case I was seriously disappointed in the results and I eventually purchased an over-the-counter remedy to resolve my minor medical condition. If you wish you may conduct these experiments yourself. However, my suggestion is that you reserve whatever garden space you may have available for edible vegetables and instead purchase a reasonable supply of over-the-counter remedies that you can find at any drug store.

However, if the hard times continue for an extremely long time then the vast majority of us may eventually have no other options except herbal home remedies. Therefore herbal home remedy knowledge may become extremely useful at some time in the future. If you are interested in learning more about medicinal herbs then I recommend the following two books:
  1. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, by Andrew Chevallier, 2000.

  2. The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, 1993, or Complete Guide to Medicinal Herbs, by Penelope Ody, 2000.
The above two books will help you learn the basics on how to grow, harvest, prepare, and use medicinal herbs.

Emergency First Aid Over-the-Counter Medicines

Each family has its own unique medical history. For example, one family may have reoccurring constipation issues and they may periodically need some type of laxative. A different family may have migraine headaches and they may periodically need some type of migraine headache remedy. Therefore each family should immediately purchase a reasonable supply of the over-the-counter remedies they have frequently purchased in the past. But each family's choice of these remedies would probably be different from another family's choices.

Walk down the aisle at Walmart, or your local Discount Drug Store, and pick up a least one of each medicine you think you might need. Pick up several of the medicines your family has used on a regular basis in the past.

Some over-the-counter remedies you might wish to consider are the following:
  1. Anti-Itch Cream (Diphenhydramine Hydrochloidre 2%, Zinc Acetate 0.15%).
  2. Zanfel Poison Ivy, Oak, & Sumac Itch Relief (1 ounce tube).
  3. Antifungal Cream (Clotrimazole 1%).
  4. Triple Antibiotic Ointment (Bacitracin, Neomycin Sulfate, Polymyxin-B Sulfate).
  5. Allergy 25mg Tablets (Benadryl or Generic) (for itch relief from poison ivy or multiple insect bites).

Pet Medications

The following is not medical advice nor is it a medical recommendation nor is it an endorsement for the following company.

The following is one place where you can purchase pet antibiotics online: http://www.revivalanimal.com/Fish-and-Bird-Antibiotics.html

Pet antibiotics can also be purchased online at amazon.com.

Please consult your veterinarian before you give any type of medicine to your pets.


Any medication, including over-the-counter medications, should usually not be taken until after you have discussed the medication with your licensed physician and the medication is approved by your medical doctor for your specific medical condition. While you are taking any medication you should be under the supervision of your medical doctor.

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