Back to Back Issues Page
Successful Homesteading, Issue # 45, How 32 Cents Can Save You Hundreds
October 14, 2013

Issue #045, October 14, 2013

How a 32-Cent Investment Can Save You Hundreds in Medical Bills


I was recently butchering an old turkey (we're talking tough and hard to work with) when my butcher knife slipped, and I got a deep cut on my index finger. The cut was bleeding profusely, and my first thought was, "Yikes, I'm going to have to get stitches." That's when I realized it was nearly eight at night, and that low-cost medical clinic we like to use was closed. The only thing open was the emergency room.

If you have insurance, a trip to the ER will cost you about $200, but if you're uninsured, the cost will be closer to $1,000. I was glumly contemplating all of this when I remembered how a friend described using a butterfly closure in place of stitches to close a deep cut. We tried it, and it worked a treat.

So what's a butterfly closure? It's a plastic strip with two half-inch wide and one-inch long pieces connected with a narrow strip in the middle. It looks a bit like a butterfly, hence the name, butterfly closure. You can see what it looks like here.

I'm giving you one caveat: If you have been shot or stabbed, or suffered some other serious trauma, then you need to go to the emergency room. But if it's a cut, even a deep one, this will do the trick in a kinder, gentler, and much less expensive way than stitches.

Here's how it works: Get the cut to stop bleeding first. After rinsing it well, I wrapped my finger in gauze, taped it, and then sat in a quiet corner holding my hand up over my head until the throbbing and the bleeding stopped.

After this, clean the wound by adding hydrogen peroxide to the cut to make sure the wound is clean. Then blot and dry the area with a clean cloth.

Now it's time to add the butterfly closure. Remove the tape from the closure and place one wing further away from the cut than you think it will fit. Stretch and seal the other wing on the other side of the wound. The goal, here, is to stretch the butterfly closure a bit, so it pulls the wound together and holds it tightly in place. Then add another butterfly closure the other way in a cross pattern. (You are making an "X" with the two closures.)

After that, dab calendula salve on the wound and cover the whole thing with a regular bandage. Change the regular bandage daily, being careful not to pull off the butterfly closures and add calendula salve daily as well. The wound will heal completely without a nasty scar or the pain of a costly medical bill.

At a cost of about thirty-two cents apiece, these closures are a valuable addition to your emergency supplies and can be found at most drug stores.

Homeopathic remedies, including arnica for shock and staphysagria for wounds, will help ease the trauma and pain and promote faster healing.

Find More Self-Reliant Healing Tips here. And as always, happy homesteading!

Have you heard about my new novel?

Get off the grid at a fraction of the cost. Here's how.

Like this issue of Successful Homesteading? Please forward it to a friend! And if a friend did forward this to you and you like what you read, please subscribe here.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think! And thanks!
Back to Back Issues Page