DIY Surgery

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DIY Surgery

File this one under DIY medical care.

Whether you lack medical insurance, spend time out doors far from medical care, or don’t want to fork over cash for minor medical procedures, it makes sense to learn how to care for yourself and save a trip to the doctor. Over on the Resilient Communities website, a reader submitted a video of his DIY medical tip: using Super Glue to close a minor head wound instead of going to the ER for stitches.
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Warning: The video is a bit gory and MAKE doesn’t endorse such a procedure. But it does raise some interesting questions. Here’s what the contributor to Resilient Communities wrote with his video submission:  

The video is meant to be funny too, but I think it also illustrates one area where most people are completely dependent on the system-health care.  Most people like me grew up with health insurance from their parents that covered the whole family for pretty much anything. Cold? Go to the doctor. Hurt playing sports? Go to the doctor. Need stitches? Definitely go to the doctor.

The past few years of living un-insured or marginally insured has taught me just how much we can manage on our own when we don’t have much other choice.

Showing the video to friends and family has gotten extreme and mixed reactions. Dad (who grew up really rural) thought it was great, resourceful; others thought it was crazy to do anything but spend the $1000+. Strikes me that it might be a bit taboo (for some people) to even suggest they take any aspect of their medical care into their own hands.

 I don’t know about you, but I’m going to start carrying Super Glue on my backcountry trips. What do you think?  

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Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.

View more articles by Stett Holbrook