In the surgery:
Sold as an “under pad”, in a box of 18 pieces for the price of $6 at The Dollar General Store are under pads that are placed under a person suffering from slight bed wetting. They measure 23” by 18”. This is an incredible value when stocking away surgical or first aid supplies. They are an instant clean surface when there is no time to sterilize and they are also a good bandaging for large areas. They have no adhesive of their own but will stay put with a few tabs of adhesive tape.
|And here's another use for the table covers!|
Also for a quick clean surface, pick up a couple of those thin plastic party table covers from The Dollar Tree at $1 each. The color can be anything from surgical white to earth tones. They store easily and pack flat. I cannot recommend them as a rain cover due to their thinness but they also make a quick and cheap poncho or equipment cover in an emergency.
If you are stocking up on sterile supplies for the surgery or are working on the first aid portion of your preparations, don’t forget the alternate uses for ladies feminine napkins. They come in a light thin padding and a thicker padding. They come packaged in individual wrappers for normal storage in a handbag to keep them clean. This makes for a great inexpensive padding for a wound or to use as an absorbing cloth during the cleaning of wounds. You can get 12 for $1 at Dollar Tree and they come cheaper by the box at other stores like Dollar General and Family Dollar Store.
The ladies tampon in a light day’s thickness is very much the same as the padding used to pack a deep wound. Don’t freak when I state: I believe they are quite similar to the cotton padding placed inside the mouth after oral surgery. Yeppers! It is just sterile padding. Don’t freak. Each is individually wrapped, and come with a tube for sterile applications to keep your hand out of a deep puncture wound.
I found a set of sheets on sale that will do the job of all the jobs listed above and they came in the size of the beds I have. They are 100% cotton which can be boiled to sterilize for second uses. A set of sheets can drape a surgery table. The pillowcases that came with can drape a table or a baking pan to lay out instruments or suture kits. Sheets can drape a window to black out light or dust.
I still recommend stocking the regular sterile bandages and tapes and the band aids you think you are going to need. But I highly recommend stocking from the thinking out of the box box! The cost of everything is rising and finding things at a reasonable price that have more than one use is essential to stretch the budget.
Even with the budget stretchers, remember to multiply the amount you purchase by the number of ways you plan to use your items. If you purchase under pads to save the bedding from a leaky toddler and to use for training pads for the house dog and the occasional bandaging for a large rash or scratches, you must multiply the amount of under pads stored.
You cannot store a single set of bed sheets to replace the sheets you have now and count on them for curtains and shirting fabric and bandage rolls and table draping. You need more than one to have the fabric for many uses. Some say, “One is none and two are one”. Multiply needs by uses.