Three Dollars to Building a Suturing Capable First Aid Kit
Three Dollars Will Cover Your First Aid Kit Suturing Needs
Suturing wounds closed is one of the easiest and rewarding skills a prepper can learn, and for $3 a person, it’s an inexpensive way to dramatically increase the functional capacity of your first aid kit. It’s time well spent, and adds another valuable contribution you bring to your group. Practice the techniques a few times on a pig’s foot, and you’ll be able to show others how to do the same. After all, prepping is more about cooperation and sharing with like-minded people than competition for resources. The first alleviates the need for the second.
First introducing his technique to the world on silver screen, John J. Rambo demonstrated a personal method of wound closure with nothing more than a travel sewing kit and no less than two gallons of applied body oil. Since then the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest have never been the same… but thankfully his technique has been refined a bit.
Rambo used a straight round needle to sew with. The type found in a typical sewing kit. While this certainly can be done in a pinch, ideally you’d want to use a modern straight triangular cutting needle instead. Round needles will puncture through skin, but it takes a bit of force, and the needle can easily slip through your fingers.
If you are only going to get one type of suture and no instruments for your kit, get 2-0 or 3-0 silk like the one shown above. Or 2-0 to 4-0 Prolene as shown below. These are about $3.00 a package, and you can buy them individually or in a box of 36 from esutures.com. (Item #623H).
To close a laceration using a straight needle, irrigate out the wound as best possible with clean water, pinch the wound edges together, and puncture through both sides:
In these images we are starting at one end of the wound, but it’s really better to start in the middle. Now send the needle through in one quick motion, and pull on the leading end until you can grab both legs of the suture material with your fingers.
Rule of Halves
Here is a video on the straight needle suturing technique:
Here is a hospital grade suture kit that I recommend.
To find out more about suturing techniques and survival medicine, click the book image above.