Must – Haves For Your First -Aid Kit:
Chances are you have a small first aid kit around somewhere. Perhaps you picked it up when you were in the pharmacy, thinking it would be handy to have around. If you looked inside, it really isn’t going to be much help for anything more serious than a scrape.
A good first-aid kit is a critical piece of equipment to have around for emergency situations. Emergency medical services could already be overwhelmed. Chances are you may have to wait a long time to get the help you need.
Having a well-stocked first-aid kit can literally mean the difference between life and death, especially in a crisis situation. The ability to take care of minor injuries in your own home is something every family needs to know.
Items Specific to Your Unique Medical Needs:
No one kit is right for every person. That’s why special attention needs to be put into developing a kit for yourself and your loved ones. I advise staying away from prepackaged kits unless you’re using it as a foundation to build your kit.
Make sure your kit is stocked with extra prescription medications if you have a medical condition that requires you to take medication.
OTC Meds – If you routinely take Over the Counter medications to treat conditions like arthritis, nausea, etc., make sure you have an ample supply of them in your bag.
Dealing with Allergies:
Even if you don’t think you have allergies, certain things can still cause an allergic reaction. In some cases, especially in people who have food allergies, allergens can cause life-threatening anaphylaxis reactions that need to be treated immediately.
Antihistamine – Benadryl, otherwise known by its generic name Diphenhydramine HCl, is one of the best antihistamines on the market and is something that should be part of everyone’s kit.
EpiPen or Epinephrine: – For those with a life-threatening allergy, having an EpiPen with you at all times is essential. They can help stop an anaphylaxis reaction and buy you time until medical help arrives.
Have a Way to Stop bleeding and Close Wounds:
Every good medical kit should have items that can be used to help stop bleeding, close and protect cuts, and help prevent infection from setting in.
Duct Tape: Yes, duct tape. It can be a lifesaver when trying to treat a cut or wound when medical help may be too far away to reach quickly. Duct tape can quickly and safely pull together an open wound, and can buy you the time you need to reach medical help.
Butterfly Sutures: Another great way to close up small wounds is to use something known as a butterfly suture. These types of adhesive strips pull the edges of a small cut together in the same way as a doctor’s stitches.
When using duct tape or butterfly sutures to close a wound, make sure you carefully clean the wound and wash out any foreign materials or debris. If you have any kind of antiseptic, apply it to the wound and dry the area. Start in the middle of the wound and apply the strips, pulling the cut together as tightly as possible. Work your way toward the edges, gently bringing the two sides together and taping them shut.
Don’t Forget to Include Ways to Prevent Infection:
During a survival situation, where sanitation issues may become a problem, keeping your wounds clean and covered is critical to preventing problems. Infection can set in quickly, so you need to stay on top of any open cuts. That means it’s important to carry the following items:
Adhesive wound dressings.
Antibiotic ointments and creams
Broad spectrum oral Antibiotics – This may be difficult to come by since you need a prescription, but some doctors may be willing to prescribe them as a preventive measure if you’re going to be on an extended trip out in the wilderness. Erythromycin, Ciprofloxacin, and Amoxicillin are all broad spectrum antibiotics.
Antiseptics and Disinfectants: Peroxide, Isopropyl Alcohol, PVP Iodine Ampules and Antiseptic wipes are all things that need to be in your kit.
Pain Management Items:
Depending on your condition, pain can be a debilitating and even deadly thing if it causes you to lose hope or give up. Having a way to treat and manage pain, as well as decrease inflammation, is an important part of every emergency first aid kit.
What do you have in your medical kit?
These are just some of the items to have:
- Aspirin, Tylenol or Ibuprofen
- Codeine or some type of painkiller
- Chemical Ice Bags
- Emergency dental kit
- Sterile needles and surgical blades.
- Splints – SAM and air splints
- Quikclot Gauze
- Grooming and cleaning tools – Fingernail clippers, soap, Antiseptic wipes.
- Disposable thermometers
- Disposable gloves
- Sterile eyewash & eye dressings
- Burn creams and dressings
- Medical manuals and basic first aid instructions.
- Assorted Adhesive Bandages.
- Large Bandages.
- Blood Clotting Agent.
- Medical Tape.
- Magnifying Glass.
- Rubber Gloves.
- Pain Reliever.
- You will need to limit your items of course. Having all that stuff in your first-aid kit doesn’t do you much good if you don’t know how to use it. While pretty much everyone knows how to apply an adhesive bandage, most people don’t really know how to do much more than that when treating injuries. Take the time to learn.
There are lots of excellent videos online about basic first-aid care. Take the time to view instructional videos and even to practice using the things in your kit. While not always so, there are times when mere seconds count. Knowing how to use what you have could make all the difference in the world for someone close to you.
Be safe, take care CJ.