Suppose you have a pressing emergency at home or work, or while you’re traveling, and you don’t have the right medical gear that you need. It’s been said many times that necessity is the mother of invention. So what medical supplies could you create around your house, office, or hotel room if push came to shove? Happily, there are plenty of DIY medical supplies that you can create from common materials on hand in the modern world. These are just a few options to consider if you find yourself in need.

Disinfectant: Keeping the bad bacteria under control is one of the most important pieces of the survival medicine puzzle. Stop infections before they start by applying hand sanitizer, hydrogen peroxide, or high-proof liquor to topical wounds. Yes, it’s going to sting like crazy; but it’s better to hurt now and heal than to let a wound become infected, which will cause a lot more hurting later.

Dressings: Keeping wounds covered is also an important part of infection prevention. Although they are not sterile, feminine hygiene pads can provide you with a decent wound dressing. Tampons are a bit more sterile, and they can be laid sideways on a wound. Strap down any of these dressings with clean cloth strips, tape, or any other binding you have at hand. Do not try to use napkins or toilet paper, as I have mistakenly done in the past. These materials fall apart and also stick to wounds quite badly.

Butterfly Strips: Small pieces of duct tape or long strips of Scotch tape can be used as butterfly sutures to keep lacerations closed. For duct tape, snip it with scissors to create the butterfly shape, which is ideal to hold cuts closed but not stick to the wound. Scotch tape won’t stick to your skin as well, so it will need to be wrapped all the way around the limb or trunk where it is being used so it can stick to itself. Whatever you create, make sure there is a no-stick section that will float over the laceration.

Dental Help: Tooth trouble is no joke. Place a wet tea bag against aching or abscessed teeth. The tannic acid helps to soothe the inflammation. Repeat as needed.

Sting Relief: Zapped by a bee or even a scorpion? Mom’s old remedy for stings can be found in most kitchens. Mix meat tenderizer and a drop or two of water into a paste and apply it directly to the sting or bite. Baking soda can also be used, but it’s not as effective. Neither one will help a snake bite; but hornet, wasp, scorpion, and ant stings can be helped with these mixes.

Tell us in the comments what you have done to improvise medical gear.