Medical Prepping in Three Months: A Guide To Safeguarding Your Family

Recently by Cynthia J. Koelker, MD: The Inevitable Future of Electronic MedicalRecords

Today I offer part 1 of a 3-month medical prepping guide for your family, group, or community. Please note the following abbreviations: ORG = organizational concerns OTC = over-the-counter products Rx = prescription products ED = education and skills The supplies listed under OTC can all be purchased without a prescription, though some are only available online.  For prescription items, assess what your group has and what each member is likely to be able to acquire.  The three-month period is divided into 13 weekly tasks, divided according to topic, making the project more readily manageable.  For more detailed information on medical prepping, please visit ·

Week 1



Identify each member of your group and begin a medical chart or notebook to include each individual

· Identify current and probably future medical needs of each member, including reproductive concerns · Identify current medical training and abilities within your group · Identify needed medical training within your group (First Aid, CPR, suturing, casting, special concerns) · Identify transportation concerns · Designate one or more go-to individuals who will be responsible for the medical needs of your group · Determine an approximate budget for your medical prepping and how costs will be distributed · Schedule weekly to monthly meetings to assess your prepping progress



Begin purchasing items with a long shelf life:

· Dressings, gauze, Band-Aids, Telfa pads, medical tape, Coban, Ace wraps, · Kotex for large wounds · Wound cleaning supplies including antibacterial soap and/or Hibiclens, clean or sterile water or saline · Wound closure supplies including suture kits, suture, staplers, staple removers, and Steri-Strips · Thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, adult and pediatric scale

Begin acquiring medications that cannot be purchased in bulk, and continue purchasing these as desired throughout your preparation period

· "Real" Sudafed (pseudoephedrine – requires signature; can only be purchased in small amounts) · OTC Insulin, if needed · OTC Primatene Tablets (or preferably Mist, if available)



Medication-dependent persons should assess their long-term needs and make a list of needed long-term prescription refills to request from their physician.  This is best done in person, per Week 2, below.

· Diabetics should also request testing strips, lancets, needles, and other supplies from their physicians. · Hypothyroid patients should consider stocking up on nutraceutical desiccated thyroid, and/or locate an adequate source of mammalian thyroid tissue to make their own. · Asthmatic patients should request nebulizer medications in quantities of 100 vials. · Oxygen-dependent persons should obtain a concentrator and reliable power supply.



· Obtain or create forms for medical record keeping

Week 2



Schedule needed appointments for each member, as appropriate, to include the following:

· Medical concerns, including current, recurrent, acute and chronic problems, as well as reproductive status · Dental exam, cleaning, and restorative work · Vaccines (Tdap, influenza, pneumonia, MMR, chicken pox, shingles, hepatitis A and B, as needed) · Vision (make sure to get a copy of your eyeglass or contact prescription to order extras online)



Order the following in quantities sufficient for the ages and size group you’ll be caring for:

· Casting supplies:  Plaster rolls, stockinet, cast padding, gauze rolls, Ace and/or Coban, bucket for water · Pre-formed splints and braces (for wrist, knee, ankle) · Slings · Crutches for adults and children, walker, cane, wheelchair



· Those who suffer from back pain, arthritis, or other chronic or recurrent painful condition should request a small quantity of Tylenol #3, Vicodin, or tramadol from their personal physician, perhaps 15 – 30 tablets.  Note:  it is currently a felony to share these with other individuals, but should society collapse, a physician in your community could re-allocate them to a needy individual within your family or group.



Schedule needed training identified in Week 1

· First Aid · Special concerns (such as diabetic training, catheter care, fluid administration) · Suturing · Splinting and casting · CPR (primarily useful for near-drowning victims and obstructed airways, otherwise rarely successful)

Week 3



· Make a medical chart or page in a notebook for each member of your family or group. · Discuss confidentiality issues and how you plan to keep private information secure. · Designate who should have access to your personal health information and who should not. · Discuss consequences for breach of trust.



Acquire the following items, as appropriate for your group:

· Vitamins, including folic acid for pregnant women, Vitamin B12 for the elderly, Vitamin K for newborns · Salt, sugar, water, and fruit juice for Oral Rehydration Solution · Calcium and Vitamin D for all when milk/calcium and sunlight not accessible · KI (potassium iodide, for potential radiation exposure) · Order extra inexpensive glasses and/or contacts online · Order pinhole glasses online and obtain multiple pairs of inexpensive reading glasses · Purchase OTC eye meds including contact solution and Alaway or Zaditor for allergic eyes



· Have all group members begin requesting antibiotics from their personal physicians, one at a time, to include the following: amoxicillin or penicillin, doxycycline or tetracycline, erythromycin or azithromycin, amoxicillin-clavulanate or cephalexin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, metronidazole, ciprofloxacin.  Upcoming travel outside the US is commonly a legitimate reason to procure antibiotics for potential use.  In some countries, these are sold OTC as well. · If this is unsuccessful, see "Infection" in Week 4, below.



· Practice suturing on a pig’s foot, chicken breast, turkey, or hot dog. (Online videos available) · Practice working with plaster, making splints and casts. (Online videos available)

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Cynthia J. Koelker, MD is a board-certified family physician with over twenty years of clinical experience. A member of American Mensa, Dr. Koelker holds degrees in biology, humanities, medicine, and music from M.I.T., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the University of Akron. She served in the National Health Service Corps to finance her medical education. The author continues to practice medicine in Akron, Ohio where she resides with her family and beloved golden-doodles. She is the author of 101 Ways to Save Money on Health Care: Tips to Help You Spend Smart and Stay Healthy.