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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Effective First Aid Supplies

We've all seen the grab-and-go style first aid kits that are sold in many retail stores, which can come in handy in a wide variety of simple situations. This is especially true for having them stored in locations with limited space such as a car, hiking bag, or even a boat. Many find the need to supplement these kits or tweak the contents to match the potential use of them or to cater to individual health requirements, such as diabetes or hemophilia.

The run of the mill kits are good at treating small injuries like cuts, scrapes, small burns, slivers and bug bites, however their use is limited on more severe injuries. Because of this many people choose to assemble their own kit, tailored to their needs.

Before we get into theories on application and use further, let's take a look at the contents of this kit which was built from the ground up:

Inexpensive duffle bag, with the following contents:
Ankle support brace, towel, flashlight, hydrogen peroxide, 91% isopropyl alcohol, rolled gauze, 2x blood stopper pressure wraps, 4x medical tape rolls, 2" gauze pads, 4" gauze pads, 2x glowsticks, 5x9" site pads, vinyl gloves, cpr mask, 2x saline eye wash, 2x burn spray, anti-bacterial spray, 'wound care' pouch, 'medicines' pouch, 'tools' pouch.

The 'Tools' pouch, which includes:
Vaccutainer needle, filling syringes, 3x cotton-tipped applicators, scalpel, flexi-track anchoring strip, 2x needles, 2x syringes, medical shears, fine point scissors, nail clippers, large tweezers, instant cold compress, splinter lancets, super glue, 3x tourniquets, vinyl gloves, digital thermometer with instructions, 2x finger splints.

The 'Wound Care' pouch, which includes:
XL pad bandages, large and medium fabric bandages, small butterfly bandages, 3x burn dressings, waterproof bandages, knuckle & fingertip fabbric bandages, super glue, antiseptic wipes, anti-bacterial ointment, non-scented bar soap.

The 'Medicines' pouch, which includes:
Nausea tablets, astringent solution, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, benadryl, tussin, nasal decongestant spray, 2x hydro-cortizone cream, multi-symptom daytime cold tablets, multi-symptom nighttime cold tablets, nasal decongestant tablets.


As you can see, this kit contains a bit more than the average store-bought first aid kit. Piece building this kit has also proved to be very cost effective. This kit is ever-growing, as there are many more items that I am looking to add into it including suture supplies and surgical implements. Adaptability is a key feature of any piece of gear, allowing the user to be flexible enough to respond to different situations efficiently.

Being as this is a kit built for emergency purposes in a situation where it may not be possible to get an injured person to a med center or hospital, it needs to cover a wide range of ailments and wounds. This also holds true in the event of a natural disaster, societal collapse or any other event which would prevent access to proper medical treatment.

Here's an example of a recent injury in the KCT group:

This injury ended up being a simple flesh wound caused by a broken glass. To stabilize the wound for transport to the hospital,  it had a site pad placed on it and wrapped with rolled gauze from this med kit.  Luckily there was no tendon damage, and it was patched up with 8 stitches.
Granted, that's a pretty gruesome injury, but how would one treat such a wound if there was no option to take a quick drive to the med center or hospital? That is where an extensive first aid kit comes into use. The obvious rules for treating any surface wound are to keep it clean, and change the dressing until the body catches up with the process.

Another benefit which may arise from having an extensive first aid on hand is one that may not be so obvious. In some event of societal collapse, people may find themselves engaging in the age-old act of bartering. Having extra of these supplies in a large kit would provide some extra currency in a sense if this situation might arise. Keep in mind, this is not meant to be a fear-mongering way of scaring people into hording anything, just a theory with some amount of plausibility.  Resources are rarely as valuable as medical supplies when they are needed.

In conclusion, the hope is not to deter people from purchasing these pre-made first aid kits, as there are many instances in which they can prevent a small injury from turning into something worse down the road because of infection or exposure. Rather, the goal is to use these kits as a starting point to make an adaptable kit that can take care of you and yours in any situation, even if it is not possible to get professional medical attention. It may also prove useful to have several kits in several locations, to maximize the odds of success in any non-emergency or survival situation.

As a bonus, here's a stack of four identical portable kits that have been made. These red pouches were offered by a local retailer, where if you buy three of their branded first aid supplies, the pouch came free:

2x XL fabric bandages, 2 pair vinyl gloves, medical tape, anti-bacterial ointment,  fabric bandages, alcohol wipes, knuckle & fingertip fabric bandages, splinter lancets, 3x 2"x2" gauze pads, rolled gauze, 3x 4"x4" gauze pads, 5"x9" site pad.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone must be aware of the necessity of a first aid kit in their home and car. Businesses corporations must have necessary first aid supplies, located somewhere in their facility. If the building is large, they should have separate kits in each section.

    First Aid Kits