Personal Hygiene and Family/Community Health Reply

 

Medical Team 01A message from one of our 36READY team doctors:

During an emergency situation a few very simple precautions may keep you and your family healthy. This is critically important.  Remaining in good health will not only help you cope, it is essential for peak performance during high-stress or dangerous situations.  It’s a simple truth that healthy people can respond more effectively to a disaster situation.  Moreover, when health risks are greater and medical care more difficult to obtain, hygiene and sanitation mistakes can produce disastrous consequences.

 

Personal Hygiene.  Personal hygiene and cleanliness is a serious challenge during many disaster situations.  Unless you have adequate clean water, hand washing and bathing and other activities of hygiene may be difficult or impossible.  Unfortunately, dirty bodies are breeding grounds for microbes.  As a result, emergency situations where there are limited bathing opportunities can be expected to bring additional health challenges.

Even small cuts, blisters, thorns, insect stings and minor burns can become infected and lead to serious complications, additionally so if they are not cleansed and treated quickly.  Be aware of even minor injuries.  Anytime the skin is penetrated, take steps to clean and protect the skin in that area.

 

Hand Sanitization.  Numerous medical studies have proven that the most effective way to prevent the spread of contagious diseases is very simple—wash your hands.  Avoid touching your mouth and rubbing your eyes with your hands.  Scrub your hands for at least 30-seconds (sing the “Happy birthday” song twice) with antibacterial soap and hot potable water after every trip to the latrine, after contact with someone who is ill, before food preparation, before touching clean cooking utensils and water purification equipment, and of course, before eating.  This is vitally important.

If you can’t scrub with soap and hot water, at least cleanse your hands with a hand sanitizer or wipes.  Since pure water may be in short supply and reserved for drinking, stockpile a quantity of alcohol-based hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes.  For your GO-Bag, include a small bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

 

Dental and Oral Health.  Oral hygiene remains important, even in a disaster situation.  If regular tooth brushing and flossing is not possible, and a toothpick and mouthwash aren’t available, after eating use a clean handkerchief to rub your teeth and tongue.

Now, in advance of a disaster, keep up to date with your 6-month dental checkups and teeth cleaning.  If your dentist finds a problem such as a cavity, cracked tooth or a loose filling, get it fixed right away.  Problems which are simple to fix today might become debilitating in the future.  If a problem develops during an emergency situation it will diminish your ability to cope with the problems you need to face.

Keep a dental-emergency kit in your GO-Bag, and a more complete kit with your other emergency supplies.  You can build your own kit with the help of your dentist.  Or, at the very least, purchase an inexpensive basic kit such as the one produced by Adventure Medical Kits.

 

Sneezing and Cough Hygiene.  Many communicable diseases are transmitted by airborne (aerosolized) pathogens.  A simple way to prevent the spread of these diseases is to insist that everyone always cover their mouth and nose any time they sneeze or cough.  Turn your head and cough or sneeze into your shoulder, rather than covering your mouth with your hand.

Those who have a contagious illness, like the flu, must wear a mask.  Their caregivers must also wear a mask, as well as eye protection (wrap around inexpensive plastic safety glasses are effective).  Caregivers must always sanitize their hands after contact with the patient, as well as bedding and other items that their patients have touched.

Medical masks are best, but inexpensive masks like those available from hardware stores, can be very effective.

 

Family and Community Health:  Safe disposal of human waste is one of the top needs during any disaster situation.  Moreover, after some disasters, a previously safe water supply may have become compromised.  Don’t assume tap water is safe to drink.

 

Toilet:  If plumbing doesn’t work, create a latrine outdoors.  Fecal material should be buried, ideally after sprinkling a spade-full of lime over the excrement.  The deeper the hole the better, as the same hole can be used repeatedly.  Remove a toilet seat from the house and use it to build a makeshift seat over the hole.  Dig the hole at least 100-feet away from creeks, rivers, lakes, water-well heads and food-growing gardens.  (Do not use human excrement as fertilizer for growing food as it can contain harmful pathogens that can be transferred to growing food.)  Locate your makeshift latrine in a place which affords privacy, and where prevailing winds will not send odors into living space. Covering it with a canvas tarp or old sheet can diminish the inevitable annoyance of flies and other flying insects.  If toilet paper is unavailable, use paper napkins, book pages, and other sources of non-glossy paper.  (Newspapers are less than ideal as the ink is often water-soluble and can become messy.)  Pioneers used fresh grass and tree bark.  

 

Sanitization of Counters, Toilet Fixtures, Furniture, Toys.  A 10% solution of plain (no additives like scents) household bleach (Chlorox) is an excellent disinfectant for bathroom surfaces, kitchen counters where food is prepared, children’s toys (as possible), as well as objects in the “sick room” where a patient is recuperating.

* This solution is not recommended for disinfecting skin or open wounds.

 

Quarantine and Isolation.  Even if no one in your group is currently ill, make plans for a place where you can effectively quarantine individuals who become ill.  In the no-so-distant past, epidemics of influenza (“flu”) killed many people—especially children, the elderly and the infirm.

These higher-risk groups will generally be more susceptible to secondary serious complications.  This is because their immune systems are not as effective as that of healthy, young adults.

If an outbreak of a contagious disease occurs in your group, the individual and their immediate caregivers must be immediately isolated from the group.  In advance, consider now how you will accomplish this task.  To reduce resistance, make sure that each member of your group understands this policy prior to the need for implementation.

If multiple individuals are sick, if possible, isolate them in separate rooms.  If this isn’t possible and you have to place two or more individuals in a single room, erect a barrier between their beds (folding screen, hang a tarp or blanket, etc.).  This will help prevent the patients from passing infectious agents back and forth when they sneeze or cough.

During   pandemics, such as the “Spanish flu” outbreak in the early 1900’s, patient beds were organized so that the position of each patient’s cot was alternated; the head of each patient was at the feet of the patients on either side of him/her.  This helped as a coughing patient projected their infected aerosol toward the adjacent patient’s feet rather than their eyes, nose or mouth.

 

Medical Readiness: Proactive Personal Responsibility Reply

Prevention is KeyA message from one of our 36READY team doctors:  Whether your focus is preparing for a major natural disaster or one that is human caused, too many of us focus on two or three areas of preparedness while ignoring or putting off other important issues.  As a friend recently reminded me, “We tend to prepare most vigorously in the areas of our interest.”  Very true.  When we concentrate on one, or just a few facets of preparedness we are often neglecting others which are also critically important.  These deserve our attention, too.  We cannot afford to be myopic when it comes to preparedness.

Medical readiness is such a topic.  Unless your career or vocation is in some aspect of medicine or public health, your medical preparations are probably inadequate.  Having a well-stocked first aid kit is not enough.

Be proactive.  Be thorough.  Make preparedness a lifestyle of readiness.

 

Prevention is the first step in medical preparedness.

Safety Precautions.  During an emergency situation you will likely engage in activities, and use tools, that are not part of your typical life.  Simple precautions such as properly handling a knife, hammer, chain saw, ladder and other tools which can inflict injury, are a must.  During an emergency situation, medical care may not be readily available, so even simple injuries can become serious as a result of inadequate treatment or infection.

Relatively minor injuries like a twisted ankle can disable you, or reduce your effectiveness at a time when you need every ounce of your physical abilities.  Be safe.  Wear safety glasses, gloves, toe and ankle-protecting boots, as well as and other activity-specific safety gear.  Safety is your #1 priority during an emergency situation.

Expect fatigue.  Stress and physical exertion will increase fatigue, and the onset of fatigue.  Fatigue mixed with hazardous activities, tools and equipment is a situation ripe for disaster.  When possible, frequently rotate heavy physical work among several individuals.  This will delay the onset of fatigue and help heighten attentiveness.

 

Stay Hydrated.  As the tagline of the most popular water bottle/bladder manufacturer reminds us, “Hydrate or Die.”  This isn’t an empty slogan.  After air, your next priority for survival is to drink water.  Generally, at least 100-oz of water per day for an adult, much more as the temperature or exertion increases.

Adequate hydration is critical for your health, additionally so if you are engaged in manual labor, hiking, or operating in a hot climate.  Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are very dangerous but entirely preventable conditions.  The likelihood of either condition can be significantly decreased with frequent rest breaks and adequate water (and mineral) intake

Naturally, the water you use must be potable (i.e. safe for drinking, cooking and brushing your teeth).  Unsafe water can kill you.  If it doesn’t kill you, it can make you extremely ill with diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

During periods of exertion or high temperature, add to your water a Gatorade-like sports-drink powder product that is high in electrolytes.  Recipes for homemade electrolyte-replacement powders can be found on the Internet.  They typically include Kool Aid for flavoring to make it palatable to children, sugar, electrolytes and salt.

 

Get Physically Fit.  Strength and stamina may be life-saving attributes in an emergency situation.  With almost any disaster your physical abilities will be taxed.  Moreover, those who are physically fit and suffer an acute illness or injury almost invariably recover more quickly, more completely and with less medical intervention than those who are physically unfit.

Fitness requires consistency, time, perseverance during fatigue, and a mindshare commitment.  With your physician’s approval and guidance, setup a slowly graduated program to improve your overall fitness.  If you have not been getting exercise, start with a daily walking program or other aerobic exercise, alternating days with resistance (weights) training.

Many of us know how and what to do, yet we fail to consistently apply our knowledge. If you don’t know what to do, get your physician‘s help or find a certified trainer with a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) degree.  Private gyms are oftentimes better than big chains.

The time is now.  Add exercise to your daily schedule as if it is an important appointment.  It is.  Recruit a friend to join you; together you can help each other remain consistent.  You are more likely to faithfully exercise if you are doing it with someone.

 

Lose Excess Weight. Morbid obesity is a common and serious medical disorder involving excessive body fat, but simply being overweight by 15-20 pounds can also create health risks.  Excess body weight increases the risk of other health problems.

Stress and new levels of exertion during an emergency situation can be deadly for an overweight person.  Excess weight also interferes with basic physical activities such as breathing, sleeping and walking.  It will be a serious handicap in a scenario where everything is being accomplished by strenuous physical activity.

Those who are significantly overweight are at much greater risk for developing other serious disorders, too.  This can include health problems such as:  diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, chronic heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux disease), gallstones, degenerative arthritis, and even stroke and many types of cancer.  Medical conditions such as these can reduce your survivability during even a minor disaster, so do what you can now to improve your health.

Ask your physician for help in maintaining a 2-3 month supply of the medicines you need.  This may be a life saver during a disaster.  Notwithstanding, if your medicine is left behind or damaged as a result of a disaster, or the situation is protracted and you don’t have access to a pharmacy, your health problems may proliferate explosively.  Weight loss is a simple way to mitigate these potential problems.

Excess weight isn’t just a health risk; it may also reduce your ability to respond to the disaster.  Moreover, as your family and friends try to help you, it may increase their risk, too.

If you are overweight, schedule a doctor visit and start dealing with this problem today.  Lose the weight.  It can save your life and maybe the life of your loved ones, as well.

 

Eat Right.  Our bodies require high quality nutritional sources to run all of our bodily systems.  Even if you are typically health conscious about diet and nutrition, you may not have access to the foods you normally eat.  A change in diet can cause stomach upset, heartburn, constipation or diarrhea.  Keep medicines for these ailments with your food supply.

It is difficult, but nevertheless important to be nutrition-aware during an emergency situation.  Read food product labels, be aware of calorie intake (a minimum of 1,200 calories for most adults), and do what you can to maintain a balanced diet that includes fiber (and plenty of water).  You may ordinarily avoid fats and sugar, but these may be advantageous if your situation involves stress or exertion.  Alertness and good decision making are aided by a balanced diet.

An extended period of dietary deficiency can also produce serious illnesses.  The classic example is scurvy, a disorder that was literally killing British sailors who were at sea for extended periods.  Scurvy, caused by a lack of vitamin C, was easily prevented once sailors were given citrus fruits and other foods high in this vitamin. (For British sailors, a daily ration of limes was added to their diets.  As a result, the “Limeys” no longer suffered from scurvy.)

 

Take a Multivitamin.  Consider taking a daily multivitamin, now, and rotate a supply through your Emergency Supplies Kit and GO-Bag.  Since vitamin products degrade quickly when exposed to heat, light and moisture, keep this in mind when you select your storage method and location.

It’s not just advertising “hype” that multivitamins can enhance health, particularly for those who don’t eat nutritionally well-balanced meals.  Keep in mind, too, that people have different nutritional needs.  For example, growing children have different nutritional needs than adults, as do pregnant women and women in their reproductive years.  Seniors need age-specific multivitamins or supplements.

Though some physicians and dieticians dismiss the need for vitamins and supplements, most people find them helpful.  Today, most of our foods are over processed or prepared in a way which significantly decreases their nutritional value, so taking vitamins and selected supplements seems to provide some added “nutrition insurance”.

With the help of your physician or a competent advisor, decide what multivitamin is best for you; your health needs and your environment.  Since many major brands are useless because they fail to dissolve fast enough to be absorbed by your body, test each vitamin and supplement you are considering.  To test absorption, put the vitamin or supplement in a glass of room temperature water and wait 30-minutes.  If the pill has not dissolved in the glass, it may not dissolve in your stomach.

* As with medicine, protect children from unauthorized access to vitamins.

Selection of Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements.  If you and your physician think that it is safe to take these products, do your own research.  The websites for manufacturers of effective vitamins and nutritional supplements will contain more than marketing hype.  For example, the website for “Life Extension” (www.lifeextension.com) includes information on clinical research conducted using their products, blood testing services, articles on specific health concerns, a helpful online magazine which includes erudite articles, and evidence that their products are routinely referenced in independent medical and health journals.

Vitamin and Supplement Details:  Multivitamins can be a cost effective way to cover all the basics, but you may also want to include nutritional supplements for specific health goals.  The following information is for an adult, and is provided only as an example.  We include it here to help you formulate your own plan.  What you take, and the dosage, should be determined as a result of your own research, and validated in consultation with your physician.

Vitamin C, 1,000 mg/day.  Vitamin C boosts the immune system and promotes rapid healing of connective tissue injuries (cuts, sprains).  Some nutritionists advocate much higher doses, especially during a disaster scenario.  However, with a normal diet that contains vitamin C (citrus fruits especially), 1,000 mg/day is generally considered adequate.

Zinc, 50 mg/day.  Reported to be a significant immune system booster.  Do not exceed a dose of 50 mg per day as a higher dose can produce adverse effects.

Magnesium, 500 mg twice or three times per day.  Magnesium helps to keep blood pressure normalized.  It also helps decrease the risk of stroke and heart attack and helps prevent muscle cramps.

Fish Oil, 2000-8000 mg/day.  Fish oil is an effective anti-inflammatory, and also has effects similar to mild blood thinners.  These two beneficial effects may help decrease the risk of heart attack and brain attack (stroke).

Other Popular Supplements:  Green Tea Extract, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine).

Top-10 Medical Preparedness Questions to Ask Your Doctor Reply

Medical-QuestionsAt 36READY we are thankful to have a team of volunteers that are medical doctors and emergency medical care specialists.  We are using this opportunity to highlight the top-10 medical preparedness questions that we receive from those who are preparing for, “When there is no doctor” and “When there is no medical care” situations.  

This article is not medical advice, it is solely to help you prepare your own questions for your personal physician.

 

Question #1:  

What can the responsible individual do to minimize the adverse impact of no modern medical care for himself and his family?

Doctor:  In my research I came to realize that there are numerous medical conditions and events that we can avoid or mitigate with the proper preparation NOW.  Even those without any medical training can learn enough first aid and rudimentary health and sanitation principles to make a life or death difference for their loved ones.  This preparation will require the same diligence that we use in any other area of preparedness.

 

Question #2:

I have no medical knowledge or background, so what can I do to prepare medically for me and my loved ones?

Doctor:  Let’s be clear.  It will take diligence and a serious commitment of time and effort to be an effective caregiver for your nuclear group.  Set realistic goals for yourself.  Unless you decide to go to medical or nursing school you won’t get that level of knowledge and experience.  However, basic and advanced first aid can be learned by almost anyone and can be a lifesaver.  But to be proficient you will have to read, study, take courses and gather materials.

 

Question #3:

In addition to gaining knowledge, what practical things can me and my loved ones do now to begin to prepare for a medical emergency?

Doctor:  Start today, and begin the process of assembling three (or four) medical kits.  Though we often own many first-aid products, very often we can’t quickly find what is needed.  Change that today.

First, develop a small first aid kit that can be carried on your belt (or in your GO-Bag).  After you’re satisfied with the contents of this first small kit, make a duplicate for each family member’s GO-Bag.  Second, pull together a more complete medical bag to keep at home.  You can use this at home if needed, but it is designed as a self-contained multipurpose kit to grab if you ever need to evacuate (bug-out).  Design your third kit to be routinely carried in your vehicle.  The contents of this shoulder-bag size kit should be oriented toward traffic accidents and other serious injuries.

Fourth, if you are preparing a ‘safe haven’ retreat as a destination for evacuation, you will want to have heavy-duty plastic bins filled with all sorts of first aid and medical supplies.  In addition to quantities of first aid bandages and related gear, these bins of supplies should also include prescription drugs needed for you and your family, and nonprescription medicines for routine ailments.  In addition, these bins should have sanitation gear and other health care goods that might be needed for your family / community.

For the first three types of kits, use soft-sided bags.  This makes them easier to carry, transport, and easier to cram into limited space.  If you don’t currently have something suitable, don’t let that stall your implementation.  A cardboard box works fine as a container to start the process. 

Inventory what you already have, and make a list of what you need.  To save money, basic bandages can be obtained at a Dollar Store or Wal-Mart, while other items can be purchased online or at a medical supply store.  If you are planning for a protracted emergency situation, you will want a lot more in the way of medical supplies. 

At the very least, you and each adult and teen in your family should obtain formal first aid training.  The American Red Cross and other organizations offer courses such as, ‘Wilderness and Remote First Aid.’ This particular class was developed cooperatively between the Red Cross and the Boy Scouts, so you will probably find this type of medical training more helpful than just a basic first aid course.  Though not as practical as the hands-on classroom version of this course, this class is also offered as an online 16-hour course. 

The “Emergency Reference Guide” for this Wilderness and Remote First Aid class can be downloaded for free from the Red Cross website.  Print or buy a copy of this 121-page handbook and keep it in your larger medical kits.  Inside this Guide you will also find a list of items to include in your first aid kits.  In my view these lists are far from complete, but it is a good place to start.  Also, if you have a smart phone or tablet device, purchase a first-aid app or an e-book on wilderness medicine and emergency first aid.  That way you’ll have these reference materials handy.

In addition to these medical kits, review my responses to the below questions.  This should spark other thoughts regarding what you can do to prepare for a medical emergency. 

  

Question #4:

My doctor recently talked to me about having elective surgery.  I’m not sure I want to do it, but I realize that this could become a problem, especially during a protracted emergency situation when there is limited (or no) access to competent medical care.  

Doctor:  If you or your physician know that an “elective” procedure will need to be done at some point—do it now!

Doctors use the word ”elective” in two entirely different ways.  A truly elective procedure is one which is not essential to good health but is desired by the patient.  Examples of truly elective procedures might be plastic surgery for breast implants or a face lift.  These are certainly worthwhile procedures if they are important to the patient but they will have little or no impact on enhancing survival.

Doctors also use the term “elective” to describe medical abnormalities that do not have to be fixed right now but should be taken care sometime in the future.  These medical abnormalities will likely cause a problem at some point.  I strongly urge you to get these procedures done now!  Right now modern medical treatment is available. Safe, effective anesthesia can be administered by experts.  This ideal situation will not be available in a meltdown scenario.

 

Question #5:

What are the medical procedures that are important to deal with right away?

Doctor:  Repair of hernia (herniorraphy), removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) if it has ever been symptomatic, removal of hemorrhoids (hemorrhoidectomy), sinus surgery for serious recurrent sinus infections, knee or hip replacement, herniated disk surgery, carpal tunnel release and removal of tonsils (tonsillectomy) for recurrent serious throat infections.  If you have decided that you don’t want children then you might consider a vasectomy (males) or women might consider having their fallopian tubes tied now.

One additional comment is needed regarding gallbladder removal.  At the present time just the presence of gallstones is not considered justification for removal.  At the present time and with the medical resources currently available I concur with that guideline.  However, the question is will your gallstones at some future time (when modern medicine may not be available) cause a blockage of the duct?  I can’t answer that and neither can anyone else.  Gallbladder “attacks” are painful, accompanied by nausea with or without vomiting and may produce a serious condition called pancreatitis (inflammation and damage of the pancreas).  The pancreas secretes the enzymes we need to normally digest food. It is also the organ that manufactures insulin for control of our blood sugar levels.  Another consideration– if you have gallstones and have never had symptoms from them it is likely that your medical insurance will not want to pay for the surgery.  It’s an issue that you will have to decide for yourself with the input of a trusted personal physician.

 

Question #6:

My best friend visits her demonologist twice a year.  Is this really necessary?  What is the likelihood that a skin problem would develop so quickly, that it would become a problem during an emergency situation?

Doctor:  I think it would be prudent to have a competent dermatologist perform a careful examination of your skin to identify any premalignant or cancerous skin lesions.  The vast majority of these skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).  If caught early they are easily treated and completely curable.  These two skin cancers almost never spread to other areas of the body but if left untreated they can become very destructive leading to open wounds that are disfiguring and subject to secondary infection.

 

Question #7:

I’m a father of adult children, and am wondering if there are any special medical tests I should undergo as part of being prepared for an emergency situation?

Doctor:  Is it time for your colonoscopy?  I urge you to get it done so that any benign polyps, precancerous lesions or other abnormalities can be dealt with now.

Chronic Conditions:  If you or your loved ones have any chronic diseases you will need to prepare for their long term care.  This will require careful thought and planning.

Start by making a list of every disease or condition currently affecting each individual. If a medical person is available in a societal collapse environment, just having this information could be lifesaving.  By having a detailed list of medical problems, the medic can do a brief survey physical exam and probably be able to quickly determine the cause of the current acute problem and deal with it.

You also need to have a complete list of all vitamins, supplements and medications being taken by each individual to provide to the medic.  Be sure to include the dose (amount), the frequency with which the medicine is taken and how it is taken (by mouth, by suppository, etc.).  Drug interactions can mimic medical conditions and complicate diagnosis.

 

Question #8:

Obviously we may not have access to medical clinics, medical tests, and hospitals during a serious disaster.  Should I somehow get some antibiotics or other prescription medicines in case they are needed?

Doctor:  If possible, start to accumulate “extra” medications that are needed for each individual.  This is going to be hard to do because most medications are now fully or partially paid for by insurance companies.  Understandably, these companies are unwilling to pay for more than is needed for a given period of time (usually a 30 or 90 day supply).  So try to always get a 90 day prescription from your physician, so that if the “balloon goes up” tomorrow you will have that three month supply instead of just one month. 

If you want more of a medication than your medical insurance allows, then you will have to pay for it.  There are ways to get around medical insurers’ limitations but to do so is dishonest.  Don’t go there; honesty is important.  Cheating a medical service provider or an insurance company is not just illegal, it’s dishonest and unethical.  If you want more than your insurance company will provide, pay for it yourself out of your own pocket.

There are other, honest and legal, ways to accumulate prescription medications.  For example,  Do not discard old medications that weren’t completely used.  Pain pills that were prescribed for treatment of pain after a dental or surgical procedure, can be used by that individual in the future.  But be sure you know what you are doing.  Improper treatment can create more problems than they solve, and even be life threatening.  A doctor spends years in school to make sure he prescribes the appropriate treatment, don’t assume that you can do this with no training. 

In any case, if you were given a five day supply of pain killers but you only used it for two days, you have the option to save the extra.  Many preppers are doing this to make sure they have it available during an extended emergency situation. 

* If this is what you choose to do, be sure these medications are stored in a safe place, where children and unauthorized people can’t access them. 

 

Question #9:

What about the expiration date on medications?  Can they be used safely after that date has passed?

Doctor:  Although every medication has an expiration date, it has been scientifically proven that most medications (if stored correctly) are still effective for years (in some cases even decades) after that date.  Besides, even if an expired medication isn’t at full strength, in a situation where no medical care is available and you won’t have access to care for a long time, past-date medicines may be far better than nothing. 

 

Question #10:

I’ve heard that it’s possible to order medications online, from other countries, without a prescription.  Is this true?  Is it legal?

Doctor:  In some locales, another way to legitimately accumulate your prescription medications is to ask your care provider to write an identical, additional 90 day prescription for you. These patients don’t turn this second prescription in to their local pharmacy.  They use the first prescription to legitimately obtain their medications locally, using their medical insurance pharmacy plan.  The second prescription is used to order additional medication online, at their own expense. 

If this is what you would like to do, you will need to see if this is legal in your location.  If it is legal, be sure to ask friends for reliable vendors, and undertake your own online research.  Many people have successfully used Canadian mail-order pharmacies as well as those based in other countries.  However, there are multitudes of scammers and unethical vendors who are taking advantage of those who seek offshore medical supplies.  So, use caution.

 

DISCLAIMER ON CONTENT AND THIS DOCTOR’S VIEWPOINT

This is only a conversation; we are not providing medical advice in this article.  We are only sharing general information to help you develop questions to ask your own doctor, so that you can better prepare for a situation when you cannot get medical care.  It is essential that you seek advice on these issues from your personal health care provider.  DO NOT act on this information without the corroboration of that licensed medical professional.

Doctor:  Although I am a physician, I am (obviously) not your personal or family physician.  So please understand, the purpose of this article is to respond to general questions, and share my thoughts and personal opinions.

As I consider the needs of my family and friends who are preparing for a “When there is no hospital or clinic” situation, I feel compelled to offer my opinions.  None of this should be considered a treatment plan, or medically directed advice.  It is solely for a “When there is no medical care for months” circumstance.

To be clear:  These responses are provided solely for those individuals who do not have access to medical care, and circumstances in which you have no choice but to handle medical care situations on your own.  Since I don’t want to leave you stranded, I have responded to these questions with the specific understanding that your circumstance is that no medical care will be available to you for many months.

Post Script:  I must confess that initially I was discouraged thinking about all the medications and technology I won’t have available to me in a societal meltdown situation.  But as I continue to study what can be done in such a situation, I became excited about the very real difference that we can make in the lives of others during a time such as this.  What an incredible opportunity to show the love of Jesus to those who will be desperate for help.

 

THIS ARTICLE SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE.  CONSULT YOUR FAMILY DOCTOR BEFORE YOU MAKE DECISIONS REGARDING ANYTHING CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE.