Survival Skills

DIY Tips: Applying a Tourniquet, Pulling a Tooth, Stitching a Wound, Giving Birth

You’re bugging out or already bugged out. And you cut yourself. Bad. What do you Do? Remember, this is post-SHTF. The doctor is available and the nearest ER, miles away, is surrounded by zombies. Medical emergencies still happen. You have to be ready.

Dayton at The Survivalist Blog wrote a good article on how to handle DIY Emergency First Aid. Therein he examines several common types of medical problems you might encounter. Read it and get ready for whatever might happen out there.

Photo by Clip Art Kid.

Prepper’s Emergency Medical


Dayton recounted his own experience with a wayward beer bottle. A deep cut. He first recommends accessing how bad the damage is. Unpleasant as it is, take a good look at the wound.

The cut may require trimming and cleaning. Don’t leave debris in there. You need to close the wound and you don’t want bacteria festering. Remember to clean it regularly while it heals. Assume the hospital and antibiotics are not an option. If you have to use stitches make sure they will bend with joints.

If it is an animal bite, don’t necessarily close it up completely. That could lead to infection. And irrigate as much as you can.

Use pressure and medical tape (or duct tape, etc.) to stop the initial bleeding. If that doesn’t work, stitches may be needed. Always sterilize your needle and any equipment. Dayton recommends one stitch at a time with each independent of the rest. When you’re done cover the area to get dirt and germs out.

If the bleeding is really bad you may have to use a temporary tourniquet. And remember those are for very bad cuts with life threatening bleeding.

Tooth Pain

While it doesn’t seem as bad as a deep gash on the leg, a toothache can be miserable. Again the first step is to look as best you can at the tooth. Access how bad and extensive the problem is. Simple cleaning may suffice to halt the pain.

If not, more extreme measures may be required. You might have to pull a tooth or two. The bigger the tooth and the further back it is the more roots it has. The more roots, the harder to pull out. When pulling you want to remove the whole thing. Pieces left behind can lead to infection.

Dayton’s preferred method is pliers or forceps. Pull fast and hard. Then consult with the ice bad and some pain medication. Keep the area clean until it heals.

Giving Birth

This one really isn’t an emergency. People have been giving birth – women, actually – for as long as there have been people. Yet in our modern age this usually happens in a hospital.

In the field you might have to act as a midwife.

A woman can (and will) deliver a baby without much help. And, in the wild, they usually prefer as little “help” as they can get. You’re job is to be handy and helpful.

Listen to the mother and to her body. Make her comfortable. When the baby comes out, support the head and neck. Then you have to keep both mother and child comfortable and happy. Take care of the umbilical cord and placenta. Keep things clean. When you’re done “helping” get out of the way and let them get to know each other. Go have yourself a cigar.

Dayton left off with a disclaimer of sorts. I think I’ll keep it verbatim:


The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call 911 when possible. This content is intended for informational purposes only.

Photo by JC Toys.

I’m not a doctor and I don’t even play one on the internet. You’re probably not one either. Yet you may have to stand in one day in the field. It’s best to understand what might happen ahead of time.

Consider adding a little medical training to your preps. And make sure you have a really good first aid kit. Many experts recommend buying a full trauma kit – just in case. And make sure you understand how and when to use it.

Prep now or suffer later. The solutions might not be easy but they may be needed one day.

Related: Here are the top 5 medications you should have in your EDC!

Perrin Lovett writes about freedom, firearms, and cigars (and everything else) at He is none too fond of government meddling.

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