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whats in a good first aid kit?

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posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 01:55 PM
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Tips & Tricks .......

To remember things, think in terms of mnenomics - medical mnenomics. There is a website called medical mnenomics. It lists acronyms of things related to medicine and nursing and little rymes etc etc. They really do help you remember important things.

www.medicalmnemonics.com...

The only other tip and trick is really to grow another pair of hands. Even in the relative luxury of performing medical/nursing procedures in a hospital you always find that you need more hands - So i would teach up a 'buddy' to help you as well. The amount of times that i have needed someone else to help hold things or pass things runs into the 1000's.

PS: First-Aid books are only so good up to a point. Then after that, you will start to need medical and nursing books and beleive me there are 1000's of them ........ i know, i have most of them


[edit on 1/7/08 by Wotan]




posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 02:26 PM
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reply to post by DaleGribble
 


DaleGribble I sent you a u2u with a website link where you can purchase some tea tree oil.

After seeing what all you guys have in your lists and pictures, wow I need to get on the ball. hehe All I have is a tiny pack of bandaids, a stretchy wrap, tea tree oil bottle, peroxide and rubbing alcohol.

I wonder if it would be a good idea to have some bigger needles if hospitals aren't available and say, someone's lung collapsed. A good sized needle would help out there.

Also something to open the trachea to help someone breathe. Then again I read stories where one guy used a ball point pen to do that. Not the most sanitary I guess but it got the person breathing again. A good sharp knife and a strong tummy are needed for that.

I would add a pack of safety pins and maybe a plain flat bed sheet, with some scissors. One bed sheet can go a long way to make bandages.

A box of matches also in case no one has any booze or rubbing alcohol to sterilize stuff.



posted on Jul, 5 2008 @ 09:43 PM
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As a backup for a water bottle or maybe just as an additional way to carry water you could add a condom or two, a large condom can hold up to 1L (2 pints) of water. Ofc it's only a short term solution as it may develop leaks quickly, put a sock on it for extra protection. Oh and make sure it's not lubricated or has spermicides, the water would end up tasting pretty badly.
It's also good for keeping other items dry.
Kinda late here and I might be wrong, but I can't seem to remember if you had a compass in your kits, maybe that goes without saying. :p



posted on Jul, 5 2008 @ 09:47 PM
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reply to post by LittleThumb
 


well i keep my compas with my ready bag. that i store ammo socks extra shoes and a few other things.

bed sheets could have many praticle uses. i think ill have to add that. it can also be used to make a strecher...



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 05:33 AM
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I work 2-tier - Life threatening and basic

Life threatening - Think CABC

C - Catestrophic haemorrhage, i.e. a big life threatening bleed. This will kill you quicker than anything and is far more common that an airway blockage. This is countered using an tourniquet. I recomment the Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT). This is on issue to the US and British Armed Forces. It is lightweight and takes up little space.

Airway - Small upper airway adjuncts can be used in order to keep the upper airway open. These include oral- and naso-pharangeal airways (carry at least one of 3 different sizes). These should be used in conjunction with basic airway opening techniques such as the chin tilt/jaw thrust/recovery position.

Breathing - Lung power is going to be the only real method of breathing for a casualty, so a face shield should be the most basic level of personal protection while performing EAR. A pocket mask is better. Bag valve masks are too big for a first aid kit.

Circulation - This covers chest compressions and basic haemorrhage. Short of carrying an AED in your kit there is little kit available to aid in the case of the heart stopping. Chest compressions are the real life sustainer. Gauze pads and elasticated bandages are the requirement for basic blood loss. Other options may include haemcon bandages or quick clot type substances. However they are expensive and have other risks associated with their use, but the choice is yours.

So for emergencies I carry

CAT
Pocket mask
4x large gauze pads
4x Elasticated bandages
3xOPA
3xNPA

That's the emergency stuff covered. Now for the basics.

Pocket first-aid manual - reference
Head torch & spare batteries - for night casualties
Small strobe light - visibility & signaling for rescue
Compass - for navigation
High vis waistcoat - for rescue
Triangular bandages - slings/bandaging/securing splints
Condoms - waterproffing/carrying water/in case I get lucky
Plasters (band aids) - covering small wounds
Tweezers - removal of small imbedded objects
Scissors - cutting clothing/dressings etc
Thermometer - checking for hypothermia/infection/sunstroke
Space blanket - hypothermia
Sun block - self explanitory
Gas lighter - lighting fires for hypothermia
Sewing needle & thread - stitching wounds
Steri-strips - small wound closure
Safety pins - securing bandages/improvised slings etc
Adhesive tape - dressing application
Latex gloves - infection control. Can be used to carry water
Various syringes - irrigation and airway suction
Saline sachets - irrigation/wound cleansing

Drugs - bear in mind that the administration of drugs should only be performed by trained personnel or in emergency situations. A full history of the individual involved should be taken and any alergies ascertained prior to administration. Know your drugs, know your casualty.

They should cover the following

Basic pain relief - paracetamol (grossely underestimated and very useful) ibuprofen (for long term muscle pain), asprin (remember that this may increase bleeding, so may not be useful in trauma).

Allergic reactions - antihistamine (piriton etc) and hydrocortisone cream for localised reactions and stings.

Antibiotics - Penicillin is a decent all-round antibiotic, but there are many available for specific infections.

Respiritory problems - phenylephrine nasla drops/spray is useful for sinusitis /congestion. Salbutamol inhaler is handy for asthmatics and can also help for anaphalaxys (use a spacer for unconscious casualties)

Antiemetics (anti-vomiting) - buccal or stemitil. Buccal is good as you don't have to swallow it as it is used sub-lingualy

Constipation - any over the counter laxative will do (As will drinking more water and increased mobility in 90% of cases).

Diarrhoea - Immodium will slow the diarrhoea, but there are few drugs that will actually stop it. Remember, this is one of the bodies primary methods of removing enteric (gut) infections, so unless water is scarce, don't attack it too aggressively.

Antiseptics - dettol is good for general antiseptic wound cleaning (external). Iodine can be used to dry out and steralise wounds (burns etc), but needs to be changed often as it dries out in about 7 hrs. It can also be used to steralise water (4 drops in a litre of water), but not for periods exceeding 3 months.

Eye drops - chloramphenicol is a good all-rounder for eye infections

This all fits into a the lid of my rucksack. Pack small but wisely. Remember you may have to move fast and far with it.

These are just some suggestions. It's completely up to you as to the exact stuff you pack, but remember to train in anything you use, particularly the drugs. I worked as a nurse many moons ago so I'm happy enough with the drugs, however you may not be.

[edit on 6-7-2008 by PaddyInf]

[edit on 6-7-2008 by PaddyInf]



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 06:36 AM
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finally after +15 posts , the 'mild sedative' was mentioned..

what about ether or something like chloroform(sp?)
the St Bernards carry that XXX 100proof libation for those lost & trapped in the snow... it both warms the victim and probably makes one drowsy to boot.


If i were hurt with a gunshot, a shattered bone with skin penetration or any similar trauma, kindly knock me out before the amateur surgery!



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 07:14 AM
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With sedatives, you are starting to get onto 'dodgy ground'. These would need to be administered by a medical/nursing/paramedic trained professional.

There are so many complications that can/could occur from sedating a person. You could end up making a bad situation into a life-threatening one and that is just in a hospital where you have the expertise, knowledge and equipment to deal with such a situation, let alone miles out into the sticks somewhere.

Guidal airways and nasopharangeal airways are a whole different ballgame and not for First-aiders to attempt.

As in all medical/health situations always get professional help asap.

As PaddyInf has said, something like an Ambibag is not suitable for carrying around in the wilds with, but its a good addition for 'home/base' use. Believe me, after a few rounds of 30:2 compressions/breaths, you tire very quickly. If you can afford an AED, then get one, again its not something you can lug around.



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 09:17 AM
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Originally posted by Wotan
With sedatives, you are starting to get onto 'dodgy ground'. These would need to be administered by a medical/nursing/paramedic trained professional.


The only sedatives discussed were mild over-the-counter analgesics such as paracetamol, brufen or asprin. Nothing fancy. As I said, only use what you are trained for and understand.


Guidal airways and nasopharangeal airways are a whole different ballgame and not for First-aiders to attempt.


OPA/NPA are very easy to teach and use, that is why I cited them. They are taught on many advanced first-aid courses and have few complications. If I wanted to go further I could have advocated larangeal mask airways, ET tubes or surgical airways, but I didn't. Basic airway adjuncts are much simpler to use than trying to treat other injuries while holding a chin lift/jaw thrust/recovery position. Again if you don't know how to use it, either learn or don't use it.


As in all medical/health situations always get professional help asap.


Couldn't agree more.



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 09:32 AM
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Originally posted by St Udio
If i were hurt with a gunshot, a shattered bone with skin penetration or any similar trauma, kindly knock me out before the amateur surgery!


Would packing a few small cylinders along with dispenser from a 'cream whipping' kit be of any use for this as they use Nitrous Oxide which was used as an early surgical aneasthetic?

Before I get flamed for suggesting untrained use, if as in the scenario St Udio describes above, it could make the difference between your casualty going into massive trauma-shock from a necessary field-amputation without sedation to them having a better chance with



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 09:57 AM
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I'm more of a stay in place person than grab and go. With this in mind, I have medical supplies in large tubs. Actually, I have items within smaller clear containers within the large tubs. Basically 6 containers within 1 tub. Probably 20 to 40 items per container depending on what it is. It takes 3 tubs just the mediac supplies. I don't keep a supply of antibiotics as the self life is limited on them. I buy large bottles of stuff like Tylenol and other over the counter items. I have 4 kids and extended families to pawn stuff coming up within the next year on expire dates.

We keep everything inventoried on a spread sheet and look at rotating expendables on a routine basis.

Don't ask me how much money I've got tied up in this, but I figure it will be worth more than gold if it is truly ever needed.

For a starter list, I looked at the old civil defense medical kits for shelters and then expanded from there. I used the community kit as a the base line.



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 10:20 AM
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My apologies PaddyInf, when St Udio mentioned 'sedatives' I was thinking he meant more along the 'opioids' line of drugs and not the basic analgesics, which incidently I mentioned back on page one.

I apologise if I sound wary and cautionary about some equipment, drugs and methods being proposedly used but I suppose its because I am a Nurse and I am trained to do a lot of these things and I know what its taken to learn and practice these things and also the legal implications of such (NMC 2004).

This is not a flame against untrained or trained persons wanting or giving advice, just a friendly caution, thats all.


[edit on 6/7/08 by Wotan]



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 12:52 PM
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I don't know if anyone already mentioned this, but why not upgrade to a BVM (bag valve mask)? A BVM isn't heavy, it only takes up a little more space in your kit, it delivers a hell of a lot more oxygen than a pocket mask, and best of all, it isn't half as exhausting.

Oh, and a good BVM only costs around $20.



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 01:18 PM
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Originally posted by DaleGribble
i personally think i might be over doing it. i keep a military surplus surgical kit and manual. a supply of medicines that range from over the counter cold meds to prescription pain meds antibiotics, lidocain and the means to apply. braces for every joint on the body sutures. tons of gauze tape and several raps. chem lights, knives and sharpeners and a few quarts of water. The list of what I don’t have is probably shorter. its basically a hospital in a bag. it is about 30lbs of gear.


I was wondering if anyone had ideas on what i might could cut back on?

i really dont want to lose any of it. but with that much med supplies if i was going solo it greatly cuts back on other gear i would be able to carry. although i have many weapons if i needed i could cut back to just my rifle and pistol.

any help would be great.....


Sorry for the double post, but I can think of two things you can cut back on (if you're interested).

First, water. You said you had a couple quarts of water, and that's probably the heaviest thing in your kit. I just can't see any situation where you would need that much water; personally, I would just keep a bottle (or two).

Second, medicine. All you really need are a) antibiotics, b) painkillers, c) antihistamines or epinephrine if you have awful allergies, and d) any other medications which are essential to your day to day survival (for example, if you have a heart condition, make sure you have nitroglycerin or whatever).

Anyways, it sounds like you have a really well-thought out kit.
I'm just curious - did you build it from scratch, or did you buy it prepackaged?


[edit on 6-7-2008 by Kontagion]



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by Kontagion
I don't know if anyone already mentioned this, but why not upgrade to a BVM (bag valve mask)? A BVM isn't heavy, it only takes up a little more space in your kit, it delivers a hell of a lot more oxygen than a pocket mask, and best of all, it isn't half as exhausting.

Oh, and a good BVM only costs around $20.


A BVM takes up quite a bit of space actually when compared to the rest of my kit. If it gets to the stage that I'm too exhausted to carry on with the EAR then a BVM isn't going to be much more use. The person will be in cardiac arrest within a couple of minutes anyway, which then requires at least 2 people with a BVM, or else the transition between compressions and breaths takes too long.

It really takes 2 people to use a BVM properly (one to hold the mask in place and squeeze the bag, and one to maintain an appropriate chin tilt/jaw thrust). I know that we've all seen the one handed attempts, but they really are bad practice and not very effective.

Current BLS guidelines advocate more time on the chest than giving external ventilations anyway, so the extra space in a FAK really isn't justified in my opinion.

You may feel differently about the subject, but in the opinion of a lowly ex-A&E nurse, a BVM is great in A&E but a bit much for a basic kit.

Each to their own though


Originally posted by Citizen Smith

Would packing a few small cylinders along with dispenser from a 'cream whipping' kit be of any use for this as they use Nitrous Oxide which was used as an early surgical aneasthetic?


Even small cylinders of Nitrous Oxide ar quite large, cumbersome and surprisingly heavy. A small cylinder will weigh as much as at least half your survival bag again. This will have a major effect on your mobility (take it from someone who had to cart a small O2 cylinder in a med bergen on his team medic course). They are made of thick, heavy steel as they contain compressed gas. Considering the extremely limited uses of such a gas and the unlikely event that it may ever get used, I couldn't see it being justified really.

[edit on 6-7-2008 by PaddyInf]



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by PaddyInf
 


I agree with you there PaddyInf, that any form of artificial breathing apparatus is too much kit to carry around. It would be okay though as part of a home/base kit. Stick to the pocket mask in the field.

The only people that i have seen do the Ambibag one handed sucessfully are Anaesthatists.



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by PaddyInf

A BVM takes up quite a bit of space actually when compared to the rest of my kit. If it gets to the stage that I'm too exhausted to carry on with the EAR then a BVM isn't going to be much more use. The person will be in cardiac arrest within a couple of minutes anyway, which then requires at least 2 people with a BVM, or else the transition between compressions and breaths takes too long.

It really takes 2 people to use a BVM properly (one to hold the mask in place and squeeze the bag, and one to maintain an appropriate chin tilt/jaw thrust). I know that we've all seen the one handed attempts, but they really are bad practice and not very effective.

Current BLS guidelines advocate more time on the chest than giving external ventilations anyway, so the extra space in a FAK really isn't justified in my opinion.

You may feel differently about the subject, but in the opinion of a lowly ex-A&E nurse, a BVM is great in A&E but a bit much for a basic kit.

Each to their own though


I don't know - the BVM we used on the ambulance was pretty small, and easily fit in our BLS kit. And I can't say as I ever had much trouble maintaining a tight, appropriate seal with one hand, nor did I find it difficult to transition between respirations and compressions.


Heh, it might be one of those "You either love it or hate it" things.



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by Kontagion

I don't know - the BVM we used on the ambulance was pretty small, and easily fit in our BLS kit. And I can't say as I ever had much trouble maintaining a tight, appropriate seal with one hand, nor did I find it difficult to transition between respirations and compressions.


I think the main difference here is the situations we're talking about. I'm on about a basic kit that will go into the pouch on a rucksack here. You're talking about a full bag of medical equipment. This is a survival forum. The first aid kit will be a small part of a much larger amount of kit that is to be carried.



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 02:15 PM
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reply to post by Kontagion
 


some of the stuff i have was pre-packeged. most of it i put together over time. alot of what i have has a pretty long shelf life. ive spent a lot of time in hospitals. on the reciving end not the giving and i learn best form observation. i read alot and have taken several medical cources, just so i have some "knowledge" of what im doing and why.



posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 02:44 PM
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Originally posted by PaddyInf

I think the main difference here is the situations we're talking about. I'm on about a basic kit that will go into the pouch on a rucksack here. You're talking about a full bag of medical equipment. This is a survival forum. The first aid kit will be a small part of a much larger amount of kit that is to be carried.


Hey Paddy,

Yeah, I had the OP's situation in mind when I wrote that. He already has a large kit, so I figured he might as well go all the way with a BVM.


Originally posted by DaleGribble

some of the stuff i have was pre-packeged. most of it i put together over time. alot of what i have has a pretty long shelf life. ive spent a lot of time in hospitals. on the reciving end not the giving and i learn best form observation. i read alot and have taken several medical cources, just so i have some "knowledge" of what im doing and why.


That's cool - and it sounds like you're totally prepared for whatever comes your way.



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