One of the problems with medicine is that there are lots of gadgets – everywhere you look there is a machine that wrrrr's or goes 'ping'. There are lots of useful gadgets which you could invest in, but most are horrendously expensive or require extensive servicing or very specific batteries to make them work.
In the same way that night vision goggles act as a force multiplier from a security perspective, many of these gadgets act as a force multiplier from a medical perspective. But what do you invest in?
There are 6 medical devices that may be useful when the SHTF.
In this list are some (mostly) cheap but potentially very useful pieces of medical equipment, whose usefulness can be glossed over or under-estimated.
There are two caveats – first, none of these items should come before getting your basics sorted – these are nice to have and not must have and second while these items are useful to have, you do need to have slightly more than a basic knowledge to use most of these items – you don't need to be an expert and it is more than possible to teach yourself to safely use these devices – but it is more than a basic level.
In no particular order, these are some medical devices you should consider.
AED (Advisory external defibrillators)
Having an AED on hand could save lives.
AEDs (Advisory external defibrillators) are what you see hanging on the walls of malls, gyms, train stations, and airports. When the heart finds itself in a chaotic rhythm a shock from the defibrillator stops the heart and hopefully when it restarts the rhythm is less chaotic and more organized. Education about when and how to use them is provided on entry-level first aid courses.
Heart attacks are common. In a post-SHTF situation, they will still be common. The two things which have been shown to save someone who has had a heart attack is taking aspirin immediately and then for at least a few weeks and having access to a defibrillator. Clot-busting drugs and having stents placed are life-saving but hard (impossible) to reproduce in an austere or grid-down environment. Fortunately, simple aspirin and treating shockable arrhythmias after a heart attack drops the chance of death from around 30% to around 10% – all the other interventions only further reduce the risk a few further percents. The big bang for the buck is in the simple things.