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Anesthetics/anesthesia?
#1
A first aid kit is a great thing to have and having "needle and thread" is a wonderful thing to have in that kit. What about anesthetic in case you need to use that needle and thread?
I hadn't thought about it until yesterday afternoon when I made a totally avoidable mistake and ended up with a laceration on my right forearm that I thought would be best attended to by a professional. It didn't really hurt but it did sting a little bit. I wasn't looking forward to the stitches that I knew were inevitable but I knew that I'd be numbed before the repair process would commence.
How would you go about suturing a wound in the absence of a medical facility with the needed comfort medications?
I was injected with several shots of what I presumed to be Novacain before the repair began and I was totally comfortable while the 17 stitches were lacing up the slice. I know it's possible to "butterfly" an incision and expect it to heal with relatively satisfactory results, and I was seriously tempted to do that myself, but my insurance premium is paid and my deductible has been met so I decided to let a professional make sure it was sufficiently clean and properly bound together to minimize scarring.
It took 17 stitches to close it to his satisfaction, 6 sub-dermal, (I think that was his term) and 11 on the surface.
In a SHTF situation I'm sure that scarring isn't going to be as big of a concern as bleeding so it could be done with fewer sutures and achieve the desired result but how would you go about suturing a wound without local anesthesia, or what could be used as a local anesthesia. There can't be anything as good as Novocain and trying to suture a wound on a twitching and writhing patient can't be expected to go well.
Is there something that would take the edge off of the pain?
What was used before modern medicine introduced GOOD local anesthesia?
I can't imagine getting ANY stitches without anesthesia, what's out there to take the edge off of it.
(FWIW, it didn't really hurt and it still doesn't but it was numbed before it was washed with antiseptic and sutured.)
Here's a snapshot of what the cut looked like:
Don't click the link if you're squeamish. It isn't too bad in my opinion but my opinion doesn't always equate to other people's opinions.

http://imageshack.us/f/209/armcut120112.jpg/
There are three types of people in the world:
Those who make things happen,
Those who watch things happen,
And those who wonder what happened.
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#2
I don't believe they use novacain for doing sutures. I'm pretty sure they use lidocain. At least that's what was used when they lanced the infected part of my neck in August.

As for what to do in a SHTF situation, unless you know how to suture (not just sew), it's probably best not to try. Sometimes it's best to keep the wound clean and let it heal from the inside out.

If you do know how to suture and have the proper supplies, there's not likely much you can do to numb it. There are three old school standbys. First is knocking the person out with a good punch. Second would be copious amounts of alcohol to get them drunk enough that they don't care it hurts. Third is giving them a stick or belt to bite down on.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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#3
Stitched are slow and that wouldn't help.
Years ago I cut my head pretty good and didn't realize it but after I made my delivery and was heading up 309 the blood was running down my face and neck and down my shirt so I went into Grand View.

They said I needed to be closed up. This was right after I saw the movie Roadhouse. Doc said staples , I said get it done and get me going I got deliveries to make and no Novocain. Got almost a dozen staples, it was quick, didn't have to shave my head but it felt like he was driving 10 penny nails through my skull each time he stapled.
Never again.....I'll take the Novocain.
Take this trouble for me: Make sure my shepherd dog remains a working dog, for I have struggled all my life long for that aim ~ Max von Stephanitz

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#4
Stock up on Orajel. I've never needed to try it but I hear that will work as a numbing agent for things like stitches. Should be readily available as well as OTC.

GB
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Certified Range Safety Officer. Proud member of the NRA, GOA and GSSF. PA2A since Sep 2012.
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#5
Not giving any advice here just thinking about a SHTF scenario. In a true on your own situation infection also should be a concern. A study from an era such as our Civil War confirms this. The saying dilution is the solution to pollution is still around today. Irrigating the wound with a sterile, or close to sterile solution should be a consideration. Cooled boiled water may be better than nothing. Also ice and snow has been used through time to numb areas.. Orajels main component is benzocaine. Some info here on it and other products that contain it: http://www.drugs.com/mtm/benzocaine-topical.html
Benzocaine is in the same family as novocaine so it's said caution must be taken with those allergic to novocaine.
From a trailer park on a strip cut where my neighbors call me Mister.
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#6
You can buy topical lidocaine OTC. http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Numb-Cream-Topi...d_sim_bt_1

There's several different brands, it's kind of pricy for the amount that you get, and I have no idea on what the shelf life is.
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#7
let me help get this in order.
0. Get person drunk
1. irrigate wound.
2. put some oral gel or like compound on
3. have them bite down on belt
4. punch the out
5. take their wallet and run.
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#8
I guess ether is pretty easy to make. Maybe a good bit of knowledge to have if the end of the world comes along.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diethyl_ether

And as a bonus you can make a contact explosive out of it as well.
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#9
Thanks to everyone for the input.
Yes, clean is important. I have 70% and 91% isopropyl on hand as well as 3% hydrogen peroxide. I didn't use anything this time because I knew I'd be getting professional help right away. I called MedExpress and they told me there was only one person in the waiting room and she was waiting for a ride. "SWEET, I'll be right there". I was back home in less than an hour, much better than an E.R. visit.
I didn't think of Oragel and didn't know about Lidocaine. I do have some Oragel and I've used on ingrown toenails to get me through a day at work, I keep it in my locker at work and in my medicine cabinet at home.
I guess that's something I should have an extra one or two of stashed away. I'll make that my "prep for the day" entry one of these days.
As I said, I actually considered not having this one sutured, it wasn't bleeding much and another scar wouldn't bother me too much. Those are really the 2 main criteria for sutures, stopping the bleeding & keeping it from starting again and keeping the scar to a minimum.
In a SHTF situation something like this could probably be held together successfully with band aids used in butterfly fashion after properly cleaning the wound. (Note to self; add more band aids to the SHTF kit).
I have to agree with the idea that if you don't know what you're doing it would be better to not try to suture a wound. I've seen some scars left by "professionals" that made me wonder how they got their medical certification, I could imagine how badly an amateur might mess it up.
Another consideration is that every puncture is another place for infection to set in and every suture introduces 2 new punctures. That in itself would be reason to hesitate if a professional isn't available to do the job.
I don't plan on doing this again but if you noticed the scar that crosses the new wound you'll see that this isn't the first time my right arm has had a bad day and when I did that other one I promised myself that I wouldn't do it again.
I didn't get the other one sutured but it wasn't as deep as this one. You know people get cut every day and sometimes those cuts may require sutures. If the world is in a bad way and professional help isn't readily available I guess the standards of necessity would change considerably but it's nice to know what to do and when to do it and when to avoid trying to do it.
I will be getting more Oragel and some Lidocaine cream though. Thumb
I doubt that they'd do as well as the injections I got yesterday but any help is better than biting a belt or a bullet.
Numbing with alcohol from the inside will take a bit longer and may have side effects that turn out to be worse than the original injury but it may be the preferred method for some people, not me though.
There are three types of people in the world:
Those who make things happen,
Those who watch things happen,
And those who wonder what happened.
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#10
ExcelToExcel;48283 Wrote:I guess ether is pretty easy to make. Maybe a good bit of knowledge to have if the end of the world comes along.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diethyl_ether

And as a bonus you can make a contact explosive out of it as well.

You have to be careful with ether. It's easy to give too much and cause problems. Not to mention the side effects from even the right amount.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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