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How To Deal With Major Medical Emergencies

How To Deal With Major Medical Emergencies

As a UK prepper it is important to know how to deal with major medical emergencies whether you’re bugging in or out. Should you or someone else in your party have an accident or suffer from a medical condition that could have serious consequences, it will give you a peace of mind knowing you’re equipped

As a UK prepper it is important to know how to deal with major medical emergencies whether you’re bugging in or out. Should you or someone else in your party have an accident or suffer from a medical condition that could have serious consequences, it will give you a peace of mind knowing you’re equipped to handle it.

It’s vital to be mentally, emotionally and physically prepared in order to increase chances of survival. There are certain common medical emergencies you might encounter in a SHTF situation that need attention, we have listed a few below that can occur at any time, so ensure you are ready for whatever the situation calls for.

Common Major Medical Emergencies

Some of the most common medical emergencies you are likely to encounter may include:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal bleeding
  • Excessive external bleeding
  • Pneumonia
  • Hypothermia
  • Sepsis
  • Stroke or seizure
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Collapsing

In situations like these it is important to keep a patient calm and be in the know when a situation is serious. In the event that the SHTF there is unlikely to be anyone around, least of all a medical professional, to assist.

You could be out in the far depths of a forest or lost in the countryside or the vast moorlands found in the UK when a major medical emergency strikes and you need to know how to deal with it. If you are outdoors foraging, or have been forced to bug out and live outside, it’s essential that you travel confidently in case of a medical emergency.

The main thing is not to panic. A medical emergency can pose risk to a person’s life or cause long term illness and major issues can turn even worse if a person is not treated. By being prepared you can help someone by responding carefully and making sure that the patient is safe.

Carrying a medical kit or having access to one is key as you never know when illness can strike and accidents and disease can happen anywhere, at any time.

Be Ready For A Crisis

bloody trauma cotton wool balls scissors

Be aware of different types of disasters that are entirely possible. These might include the outbreak of World War III, nuclear attack, flooding, or an international pandemic. Being able to deal with different medical situations is key to survival so make a plan that can be modified should the worst occur – no situation is the same.

For instance, should there be a lengthy power cut, and you are forced to bug in do have candles and torches at the ready and a comprehensive first aid kit to hand. A small tent is sometimes a good idea if you need to get the patient out of the elements but always remember your first aid gear to deal with major medical emergencies as a prepper.

Work out safe routes and places to go if you need to bug out with a detailed map of the local area. Should there be a natural disaster, major illness, or manmade disaster, you can always improvise with what little you may have. If a medical emergency occurs at work, home, or whilst out and about you will want to feel safe and make sure those around you do too.

Whilst making up your plan make sure that you do an inventory of your first aid kit and that it contains enough product to help you cope during a medical emergency, whether indoors or out. Chances of survival are greater when you have at least basic knowledge of how to treat major wounds and deal with the major medical issues we mentioned before.

We recommend taking a first aid course before any SHTF event does occur. This will take you through the steps to being calm and being able care for a patient during a crisis, and give you a deeper understanding of how the body works, and how to provide reliable assistance in an emergency.

First Aid Made Simple

Keep your plans simple and prepare for practical treatment of major medical emergencies. Be aware of natural or manmade disasters that can cause a threat or illness. Creating emergency medical kits for you and your family that you can grab at the last minute will improve chances of survival.

Your first aid kits should be kept at home, work, and in the car. If you go out and about, a very small kit that is easy to carry can be prepared also, not forgetting items that will help during a major medical situation. Below are some items that should be added to all first aid kits:

First Aid Essentials

The below outlines the things you should have in your kit regardless, we are then going to address the genuine medical items needed should a major incident occur. 

Wound dressings

Steri strips, sterile eye pads, and other wound dressings such as plasters, both waterproof and fabric. The plasters can be applied to wounds, cuts and scratches and gel patches are used to protect blisters from rubbing and becoming sore or infected.


Rolled bandages are compact and can be used to limit any swelling, support painful joints, and can keep other dressings in place.

Triangular bandages are sterile and can be used to create slings for arm/shoulder injuries as well as treating wounds such as burns and large areas of skin.

Tubular bandages are used to support joints such as the ankle, knee and elbow. They are elasticated and limit soreness and keep joints from moving too freely. Other types of tubular bandages include those for fingers and toes, generally keeping dressings in place.

Infection control

In case of broken bones and major wounds, make sure you pack medical gloves to protect yourself from bodily secretions and fluids and prevent infection to your patient.

Major Medical Supplies

man fixing a sore bleeding leg on a woman

Serious trauma will need much more than a basic first aid kit. There are specialist items to keep in your home that you can rely upon during a medical crisis, and some tactical items too that you may need to stabilise a patient under critical conditions.

Consider adding items to carry on your person or keep indoors. Typical items a medic would carry for major critical emergencies are:

A chest decompression kit 

Where blood to the heart is blocked, a decompression kit will use a needle to remove excess air and fluids to help reduce pressure and help the patient’s condition to improve. Watch this video to learn how to do this emergency medical procedure, and only when you are sure professional medical help can’t be obtained. 

Measuring vitals

Vital functions will need to be checked when a major medical incident occurs to monitor the patient. Items to assist with checking those vitals will include a stethoscope to check the heart rate, a manual blood pressure monitor and a thermometer.

Other medical tools

In times of trauma there are other tools to consider. While some British preppers prefer minimal equipment so that the kit is lightweight, having some large pieces indoors is hugely useful. You never know if the next crisis will force you to remain inside or leave home.

For penetrating trauma and very deep wounds haemostatic dressings of various sizes aimed to stop bleeding should be included, as well as at least one injury seal to apply to an open chest.

Airway and breathing management packs are available so that erratic breathing can be stabilised. In case of the chance of respiratory arrest, a collapsible bag valve mask can be used in between chest compressions.

Roll up stretchers are easy to store and make transporting a patient from one location to another a little easier. Add to these tools an assortment of medicines and antiseptics for ICE (In Case of Emergency).



Plan ahead and make sure that you will be able to stay calm and cope during a major medical emergency. Illness occurs at any time and during a SHTF crisis it is unlikely that there will be doctors, nurses or medics on hand and no NHS or specialists to call for help.

Be understanding of the major illnesses that could occur – prepare for the worst and you can be ready for anything. A good UK Prepper will have a good plan and be able to manage the worst emergencies.


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