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Medical items in are used to treat wounds and ailments of the player character Naked Snake in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. These items can be used if Snake receives combat injuries, suffers natural obstacles like falling, or is poisoned. Most injuries will heal over time, but some will drain Snake's Life or Stamina gauge if left untreated, sometimes replacing part of his Life gauge with an unhealable red portion, reducing his maximum Life, and will increase the longer the injury goes untreated. Medical treatment is administered via the Cure menu in the Survival Viewer, both medicinal and surgical. Most injuries will require treatment with several different items.
|Antidote - If Snake eats a poisonous meal, he will contract food poisoning. In order to cure this ailment, Snake can take an antidote. He can find antidotes around civilized areas like the Graniny Gorki lab or in the wild by hunting the Baikal Scaly Tooth. Fly agaric and Ural Luminescent Mushrooms as well as poison dart frogs and bigeye trevallies are rumored to cause food poisoning, but they don't when eaten.
In real life, most toxins require a specific antidote to use as a cure - methanol poisoning can be cured by using ethanol, for example. However, in Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake carries an unrealistic generic all-purpose antidote which can cure any type of food poisoning he contracts.
|Cold Medicine - Cures colds. Also taken orally. (Although technically, in real life there is no definitive cure for the common cold). The plant Amur Kudzu can be gathered to obtain more Cold Medicine.|
|Digestive Medicine - Cures stomachaches from rotten food. Is taken orally.|
|Serum - Serum is used in to cure poison that inflicted on Snake by animals or weapons. Snake must only apply the Serum to cure himself of the poisoning - otherwise his health will slowly diminish until he dies.
Serum is useful for treating toxins from a variety of poisonous animals, such as the cobalt blue tarantula, emperor scorpion and various snakes In addition, The Fear's poisonous arrows, which are coated in the venom of the Brazilian Wandering Spider, cause venom poisoning.
|Survival Knife - Removes bullets, arrows, needles, transmitters and bees from the body.|
|Fork - Removes bullets and transmitters from the body. Works as a temporary substitute for the Survival Knife.|
|Cigar - Can be used to illuminate dark areas before acquiring the far more effective torch and night vision goggles. Para-Medic will lecture on the dangers of cigar smoke, but with good reason - using this item results in a slow and steady decrease of health. It will never kill Snake outright unlike poison, however. In Metal Gear Solid 3 the Cigar can actually be beneficial to Snake's health by removing leeches and warding off insects.|
|Bandage - Stops bleeding. Snake can use the Bandage to help heal open wounds such as cuts and bullet wounds. It works by covering up the location of the injury, preventing bacteria and foreign objects from entering the body, and helps injuries to heal faster. Cuts, bullet wounds, burns and broken bones all require bandages to cure.
Bandages (or dressing) have been around for hundreds of years, used by doctors and nurses to help stabilize a wounded area and allow it to heal faster. Modern adhesive bandages like the BAND-AID began production in the 1920s, but more traditional bandages that need to be wrapped over wounds are still in use today.
|Disinfectant - Snake can use the Disinfectant to clean his wounds. It is used on open wounds so that foreign objects or bacteria cannot infect it. Snake can use it in addition to the Styptic to keep open wounds like cuts or gunshot wounds from causing more damage to the affected area than necessary. The plant Slav Horehound can be gathered to obtain more Disinfectant.
The purpose of a disinfectant is to sterilize an area (in this case, an open wound) without affecting the surrounding tissue. Although some disinfectants aim to destroy all bacteria and germs within a given area (including beneficial germs and human cells) these disinfectants are generally cleaning products. Snake uses an effective disinfectant that sterilizes all microbes around the wound while destroying none of his cells or tissues.
|Styptic - A short stick of medication used to stop open wounds from bleeding. The active ingredient in the Styptic is a coagulant (commonly alum). This helps the blood to clot faster than it would naturally, preventing unnecessary blood loss. Both Styptic and Disinfectant is required to cure bullet wounds, arrow wounds, bullet bees and cuts. The plant Chinese Plantain can be gathered to obtain more Styptic.
In real life, styptic causes a mild sting of pain when used, and is normally used for minor cuts. It was once an essential part of shaving kits, used to heal cuts caused by improper shaving. The purpose of styptic is to prevent blood loss from open wounds - it cannot prevent infection.
|Ointment - Used to treat burns.|
|Splint - If Snake falls from great height or is hit with enough force, he may suffer a fracture to one of his bones. He can use a Splint to help broken bones to heal. Splints can be found in the wild by gathering the plant Ezo Comfrey, or in civilized areas that carry medical supplies. Snake can fully heal broken bones simply by using a splint and a bandage.
A Splint works by immobilizing the wound it is applied to. By not allowing the fractured bone to move as much, the fracture is prevented from spreading and damaging the bone further, and the body's natural healing occurs faster.
|Suture Kit - A Suture Kit contains sutures (obviously), which Snake can use to heal cuts. After applying styptic and disinfectant to a cut, sutures can be used to close the wound to aid the skin in grafting over the cut, and to prevent any foreign objects from entering the still-healing wound and possibly causing infection or entering the bloodstream.
Sutures are commonly used by surgeons to close up wounds after surgery. They work by physically "knitting" the two sides of the wound together, in essence closing the cut. It not only aids in healing the cut, but also can prevent the formation of scars. Two types of sutures exist - absorbent sutures, used internally, which are eventually dissolved by tissue; and nonabsorbent sutures, used externally, which are removed after the wound has finished healing. Snake carries nonabsorbent sutures.
Life Medicine can be used to directly replenish Snake's Life gauge, rather than treat specific ailments, and serves an identical function to the Ration in previous Metal Gear games. It is equipped and used via the Item Window, instead of the Cure menu.
In order to obtain the Markhor title after completing Metal Gear Solid 3, the player must obtain all 48 naturally-occurring food and cure items, including the medicinal plants Amur Kudzu, Slav Horehound, Ezo Comfrey, and Chinese Plantain, which provide Cold Medicine, Disinfectant, Splint, and Styptic, respectively. The four medicinal plants are easiest to find in pots in Graniny Gorki Lab 1F and in Groznyj Grad Weapons Lab: East Wing.