Zombie Apocalypse Survival Skill: Suturing An Open Wound

In the Zombie Apocalypse one of the most important survival skills to have is the ability to administer first aid under the most stressful of conditions. In today’s class we are going to be discussing Suturing or Stitching a wound on the battlefield. You will need someone on your team to act as a medic and each member of the team should be able to do basic First Aid on anyone on the team and themselves. I recommend making sure that all members of the team be certified for first aid ahead of time. The Red Cross offers First aid classes as do most community colleges in all areas of the US.

While having a suture kit in an emergency situation is a good idea, knowing how to suture wounds might be a better idea.  Many who have had medical training have been taught suture kit techniques, however that’s no guarantee that such a trained person will be handy or that they will have sutures in their pocket.

To be prepared for all apocalypse scenarios, it would be wise to have a suture kit in your first aid kit, your bugout bag, and in your car emergency kit. Even if you have never had training in suture kit techniques, with the proper equipment and some basic knowledge you can still do the necessary suturing in an emergency. The kit shown in the picture is the Emergency Surgical & Suture Kit available through Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center for $48.99.

A person who can mend a seam has the rudimentary skills to suture a wound. Learning how to suture cuts is not as difficult as people think. The most difficult part of learning to suture is determining which stitch to use where and what size needle and thread.

When a person gets injured with a deep cut or gash they have 12 hours to get the wound sutured. After 12 hours additional steps must be taken to avoid infection and to ensure a properly closed wound. Cleaning the wound prior to closing is a must. All debris must be removed and the wound soaked or washed with an antiseptic antibacterial solution.

If the wound has nice straight edges it can be sutured right away. If the edges of the wound are jagged you will have to carefully cut the skin so that each side of the wound is straight. Jagged edges do not heal well and leave thick scar tissue.

Surgical scissors are part of most surgical kits. They are used to clean up the edges of jagged wounds as well as to cut the suture thread.
Once the wound is prepared it is ready to be closed. Surgical needles are very sharp and can puncture your fingers. Using hemostats to hold and pull the needle through the skin is advised. A good suture kit will contain each of these items.

The depth and length of the wound must be considered when figuring out how many sutures a wound might need. Wounds around joints will require longer, stronger and more sutures than cut on non-moving areas.

Keep a chart of the various types of knots in your suture kit. Qualified medical personnel will not need the chart but should you find yourself in an emergency situation where you are someone’s only option you may need that information.

The video shows the NAR Laceration Repair Kit available through North American Rescue. The sterile, single-use NAR Laceration Repair Kit from North American Rescue is big on delivery and small in size, perfect for tactical healthcare professionals required to perform critical services on the battlefield. Their suture kit contains everything (except the sutures) required to perform on-the-spot minor surgery. Instruments are made from surgical-quality stainless steel to give medical sutures on the field the same equipment benefits as surgical sutures in a clinic. It is available for just $17.25.

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