In a post-SHTF world, it is extremely likely that the cost of medical care will increase on a large scale. In some cases medical care may not be available at all.
In these situations it will be of great use for you to have some basic diagnostic medical devices that you can use in order to help establish what is wrong with an ill member of your family or group. They can also be used to simply monitor everyone on a regular basis to ensure good health is maintained and survival chances are improved.
Many medical devices are readily available, so it is well worth thinking about obtaining these now. If at all possible, purchase electrical devices that work with batteries and AC power. Stock up on rechargeable batteries and needed supplies as well.
Here is a list of some devices that may come in handy once the SHTF –
Blood Pressure Monitor
These small machines are a great tool to have. As the name suggests they measure a person’s blood pressure – digital ones are now more common and are extremely easy to use. Simply place the arm strap around the bicep muscle, press start and the machine does the rest.
A “Normal” blood pressure reading is around 120/80. If a member of your family is feeling dizzy or faint, a blood pressure monitor can be used to identify low blood pressure (90/60) as the cause. High blood pressure (hypertension – over 140/90) usually has no outward signs or symptoms, so by using the monitor regularly you will be able to identify this otherwise invisible condition.
It doesn’t take a big change in body temperature for someone to become fatally ill. Our body temperature should be around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. A mild fever of up to 102 degrees can easily be identified by taking a person’s temperature either under the tongue or under the arm pit using a traditional liquid in glass thermometer or a digital version.
High fevers need to recognized very quickly as they are potentially extremely dangerous. A fever of 107.6 or higher can cause permanent brain damage, so by having a thermometer on hand, you can get a casualty the care they need much quicker.
Blood Sugar Monitor
Being able to measure the level of glucose (sugar) in someone’s blood will be helpful in identifying whether they have eaten a sufficient amount of food. This monitor is extra important for people with diabetes to ensure appropriate levels are maintained.
To use one of these monitors, a small needle is used to make a small spot of blood on the finger, a test strip is then used to get a sample of the blood before placing it into the monitor. The result is then shown on a digital display.
Be sure to purchase an adequate supply of the test strips as well.
A stethoscope is used to listen to the internal sounds of a person’s chest. By using a stethoscope, breathing difficulties can be quickly identified and localized. Chest infections can be diagnosed by hearing clicking, cracking or whistling sounds when a stethoscope is placed on the chest.
These are used to look inside the ear. It allows the user to see the ear canal and ear drum by having a light and a magnifying lens to make everything clearer and bigger. Ear infections or obstructions in the ear will be easily visible by using an Otoscope.
If you have children in your family or group, this device can be especially useful for seeing if the child has an ear infection or something “found its way” into their ear!
An oximeter is used to measure a person’s oxygen saturation. The most common way of using these is by attaching a sensor to a person’s fingertip. Two wavelengths of light are then sent through the fingertip and into a photo detector.
The oximeter then measures the changing light absorbance of each wavelength and it is then able to give an oxygen saturation reading. Normal oxygen saturation levels are between 95 to 100%. A reading of under 90% would be considered low and the effects of hypoxia may start to be seen.
Nothing can be a suitable substitute for professional medical care but after a catastrophic event that may not be an option. Still, taking matters into your own hands may be the only option you have, so by having these devices to hand you will be in a much better position to make an informed decision as to what to do next in regards to treatment.