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Building up an FAK as a WFR

Discussion in 'First Aid Station' started by jegrundh, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. jegrundh

    jegrundh Loaded Pockets

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    Hey guys,
    This semester in college i have had the luck of enrolling in a Wilderness First Responder course at my college. The more in depth we get into this class, the more I feel naked without a more comprehensive FAK. Infact I was out both my FAK's because i had lent my sister my gear for hiking and wanted to make sure she had decent stuff (shes a novice). Anyways, just the lack of having gloves on my person (the most basic necessary need of BSI) was having me bugging, so i put together a decent FAK in a case that now is residing in my bag.

    Current Contents:
    5x9 trauma pad
    various gauze pads - 4x4, 3x4, 3x3, 2x2
    gauze rolls
    bandaids (not many, i consider them pretty useless)
    ace bandage
    2 traingular bandages
    various meds - antihistamine, tylenol, ibuprofen, 1-2 doses of cough/cold meds
    couple of cough drops
    small package of q-tips
    tweezers
    small scissors
    small SAK - never used
    med tape
    alchohol and antiseptic wipes
    butterfly bandages
    probably some more stuff snuggled in

    What i will probably add:
    small bic lighter
    another 5x9
    sharpie (R, Blk, Slv)
    chem stick
    sam splint
    small notebook


    right now its in a crappy first aid kit bag - however i got it for $6 and it was pretty decent for the price, although threw away most of the innards like the 8 million bandaids that i find i don't ever need or use, and plus cheap bandaids are crap.

    any suggestions though? 90% of the time I'm in an urban environment, and pretty close to a hospital. however with my new training, i can't help but want to have my gear with me so if a situation arises i can be ready. If i was going into the woods i would probably alter my gear a bit, and add in my heatsheet, etc. Also I am planning on putting together a much more trauma related kit for the winter time, because i end up on the highway a fair amount of the time, and im up north, so in the wintertime, there can literally be dozens of accidents, and i want to be ready to respond. So i guess thats part II, winter time emergency kit to help respond to traumas. and where do you guys get your FAK supples for cheap?

    Thanks, Stay Frosty,
    JohnG.
     
  2. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Loaded Pockets

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    Not sure your level of training, etc but i'd consider a CPR mask.

    Other item i always hem and haw over: chemical ice pack. Really bulky and waste of space but i find it's one of the most used/wanted items. Have a few stashed in my car b/c of it. (On the flip side, a chemical hand warmer is much smaller and can be helpful too)

    Edit: maybe a small bottle of eye flush, too
     
  3. jegrundh

    jegrundh Loaded Pockets

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    ahhh yes, forgot about that, getting a CPR mask from class, and need to pick up a 35cc syringe for power flushing wounds, however the latter is more for on the trail, however after seeing some longboarders bite it here.. maybe i'll throw it in along with a small bottle of flushing solution.
     
  4. Flight-ER-Doc

    Flight-ER-Doc Loaded Pockets

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    Lose the alcohol wipes, they're useless. Get some betadine wipes. Get a pair of EMT shears. Bandaids are the most commonly used items.

    Why do you think you need three sharpies?

    Chem lites are expensive, have a short shelf life, and otherwise are somewhat useless. How about a good headlamp?

    Chemical ice packs leak and are messy. Yes, they're commonly asked for, they're rarely needed.

    A large syringe is only good for flushing wounds if you put a 22 ga angiocath on it, otherwise it doesn't produce adequate pressure.

    You can make butterfly bandages from adhesive tape. I carry athletic trainers tape, it's cheaper and sticks better to wet skin.

    And if you're going to carry a lighter, carry a large paper clip as well. If someone gets a smashed finger you can use the two to melt a hole in the nail, letting the blood out and making the intense pain go away. Cover with a bandaid.

    A space blanket might be nice. So would Coban or Vetwrap, and perhaps a combat dressing.
     
  5. jegrundh

    jegrundh Loaded Pockets

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    EMT shears are on the next order, and ik bandaids are the most commonly used item, but they are also the most easily obtainable, can be fashioned with gauze and tape, and personally i don't feel like i need 52 thousand in my FAK, i usually just keep 2 of each specialized kind, and then 4-5 of the standard.

    3 sharpies to signify different things, but you're probs right, overkill
    i always have a petzl elight in my bag already, along with a fenix ld10 in my pocket. and a chem light to mark the patient in the dark if i have to leave to gather firewood, etc.

    and 22ga angiocath noted, thanks

    butterfly bandages also take up a tiny amount of room, but athletic tape also noted, and i have safety pins that could be used to melt the hole in the nail, but thanks for the trick.

    and combat dressing is going to be a possibility also

    Thanks,
    JG.
     
  6. cap6888
    • In Omnia Paratus

    cap6888 Loaded Pockets

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    Looks like you are set up pretty good. Personally I would only carry 4x4 gauze pads. If you need something smaller, cut one down with the scissors. As far as scissors go, +1 on the shears, but don't get those crappy bandage scissors. I made a good find at BJ's, they had a two pack of titanium scissors for $8. They are lightweight and really sharp. Work much better than those crappy bandage scissors. I get your take on bandaids, but really, carrying 20 good waterproof bandaids are inexpensive, cheap and easy. Much better to cutting a small piece of gauze then taping it down. As far as tape, I haven't used the trainers tape that ER-DOC mentioned, but he is the subject matter expert. I carry somem waterproof med tape, you can find it at CVS or any drug store. I believe it is 3M brand, and that I know wroks really well, and sticks well also. I was able to find some small "compact" ice packs at Walmart. I carry them in a ziploc bag just in case they do leak. If you are talking wilderness stuff, rolled ankles could definietly benefit from an ice pack. +1 on a combat dressing too. Also as far as the 5x9 pads, 4x4s and roller gauze, if you have a vacuum sealer, you can compress them down to take up MUCH less space. If you can find a medical supply store, look for prefilled saline syringes (often used to flush IV lines). These work great for flushing wounds or eyes, and they make for a nice neat little package. Lastly, I carry my Level 2 FAK in Stormtrackers Large UNIKIT. It works great and keeps everything organized real well.
     
  7. smellypaddler

    smellypaddler Loaded Pockets

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    Depending on trip length and availability of immediate medical care will make a big difference on what you carry. The following is a list from my Wilderness First Aid Kit. I use it when travelling and in remote areas (basecamp) where care/rescue could be anything up to 7-14 days away. Separate to this kit is a sterile kit that contains items that can be used in a 3rd world health care setting where you may have trained medical personnel but a lack of sterile equipment. The sterile kit contains various needles, syringes, suture packs, giving sets etc.

    Stethoscope
    Sphygmomanometer with adult and paediatric cuffs
    Pulse Oximeter
    Tympanic Digital Thermometer
    Triangular Bandage x2
    No15 Wound Dressing (A pad with bandage attached like a combat dressing) x2
    30ml Normal Saline Polyamps x5
    Cyalume 6" 12Hr lightsticks x4
    Streamlight Stylus Pro
    Sterile Metal Forceps x1
    Sterile Dressing Scissors x1
    10cm x 1.8m Elastic Gauze Bandage x6
    Micropore Tape x1
    Bandaids (various) x20
    Propax Dressing 20cm x9cm x3
    Cotton Ball 5 pack x3
    Gauze 7.5cm x 7.5cm 3 pack x3
    Melolin Dressing 5cm x 5cm x5
    Tegaderm Dressing 6cm x 7cm x5
    Cutiplast 7cm x 5cm x5
    3M Steristrip 3mm x 75mm 5 pack x2
    3M Steristrip 6mm x 75mm 3 pack x2
    Sterile Dressing Change Pack x3
    Gloves Nitrile x 10 pairs
    Write in the Rain notepad
    Disposable Splinter Probes x5
    CPR faceshield
    Leukoplast Elastic Tape
    Trauma Shears
    Safety Glasses
    Hand Sanitizer
    Blood Glucose Monitor Kit
    Eye Pads x2
    Tongue Depressors x10
    Clove Oil (1x small bottle)
    Eye bath x1
    Dental Cotton Balls x3
    Dental Mirror
    Orafil Temporary Filling Paste Single Packs x5
    Pen
    Pencil
    Permanent Marker
    Rehydration Powder Sachets x10
    Paracetamol
    Ibruprofen
    Coloxyl (Stool Softener)
    Loperamide Hydrochloride (Anti Diarrhoea)
    Glucose Tablets
    Water Purification Tablets
    Betadine Ointment
    Hydrocortisone Cream

    It looks like a lot but packs away into a bag that is able to be carried inside a normal rucksack. If I didn't have to carry it it would have some other stuff such as IV fluids, NG tubes, foley catheters etc
     
  8. Buckaroomedic

    Buckaroomedic Loaded Pockets

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    jegrundh,

    Good for you! That's a great first step in taking the WFR! I attended the NOLS/WMI Wilderness EMT course last year in Wyoming and loved it. Very informative and a lot of fun, and I've been a medic for way too long.

    I'd say your packing list is a good start. Get a bunch of band aids in different sizes. They actually do come in really handy. Note pad and Bic lighter are nice, but don't you already have these in your "10 essentials" kit? Don't duplicate the same item in different locations, starts to get heavy after awhile. Trust me on this one, learned it the hard way.

    SAM splints are nice, but do you really need them. Learn to improvise. I'm sure you're being shown different ways to splint in your class. The pack stays from internal frame back packs can be used to splint. Just don't forget to pad them first. Oh yeah, and use the patient's stuff before you use yours.

    There are a lot of pre-made wilderness first aid kits out there. You can make your own by visiting your local drug store, probably cheaper and more specific for what you need too.

    Have you, or are you being taught how to take vital signs? If yes, then maybe pack a decent stethoscope and BP cuff. If you can't do anything else; at least you can track VS and report them to whoever you hand the pt off to.

    The new, "industry standard" for Sharpies is blue. The blue is a good contrast with blood and shows up well with black-out lights or night vision. Just sayin'.

    Definitely get a good pair of US made trauma shears. They really are very handy to have.

    Remember to think; "multi-use". Do u really need two 5x9 trauma pads? They're really only good for one thing. How about a bunch of 4x4s and Kerlex/cling? If it really gets bad, you can use a clean t-shirt, bandana, etc. Cravats always come in handy and have many uses too.

    I have carried duct tape in my aid bag for years. Always comes in handy. You can find small rolls of the stuff in outdoor stores now.

    Pack everything into freezer zip-lock bags. If it can be damaged by water, it will be damaged by water right before you need it. Murphy was a medic. Next to an Otterbox, freezer zip-lock bags are the best way to waterproof your equipment. Cheap too.

    Lastly, here's a couple of pearls for you; don't go overboard on the kit. Think it through, ask your instructors what they carry. I've been a medic for over 20 years and am still adding and subtracting gear from my aid bag. Also, only carry what you've been trained for and can legally do/use. I've seen guys with just basic first-aid training with super awesome $300 aid bags and they couldn't even tell me what half the stuff in it was for, let alone "legally" use it on someone.

    Good luck and take care,
     
  9. Straya

    Straya Loaded Pockets

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    Could you please fill me in on why you've said this? I'm curious.
     
  10. Flight-ER-Doc

    Flight-ER-Doc Loaded Pockets

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    Because alcohol wipes are useless. Alcohol is a poor antiseptic in any case, causes cellular necrosis preventing healing, and hurts quite a bit. Betadine wipes are an effective skin disinfectant, don't hurt, and don't inhibit healing.
     
  11. 5534

    5534 Loaded Pockets

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    Depends on where you are and what level of trauma you want to cater for.
    Trauma shears are a great addition
    Pocket mask for CPR
    If blood loss is an issue then quick clot gauze
    Pressure bandage ( sometimes known as isreili dressing )
    CAT - combat application tourniquet , don't know if your taught these but you'll bleed out and die faster than you can read this thread, they were also designed to be put on single handedly
    Aschermans chest seal - for chest puncture wounds

    It all depends how much you want to carry and your level of training personally in a built up area I wouldn't bother with splints as there is no need to move the casualty. Also I personally wouldn't carry stethoscopes Ect because at this level there either breathing Ect of there not
     
  12. 5534

    5534 Loaded Pockets

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    Sorry I should have added if you want to travel light a he'll of lot can be improvised with a few dressings and a roll of duct tape
     
  13. Geargrrl

    Geargrrl Empty Pockets

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    Not exactly a fit in your FAK item, but having some sort of insulated pad with you can really make a difference if someone is on the ground. If I'm not carrying a sleeping mat of some kind, I bring along a piece of "Reflectix" insulation (basically bubblewrap type material with a reflective surface). Incredibly lightweight, reasonably cheap, and you can cut it up for splint padding if you need to. The stuff is actually great for a lot of camping applications, but is pretty indespensible in a winter day pack. As it gets colder, sitting or lying directly on the ground for any length of time can really ruin your day.
     
  14. Straya

    Straya Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks, good to know.
     
  15. smellypaddler

    smellypaddler Loaded Pockets

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    As 5534 said it does depend on how much trauma you are planning on dealing with. In my experience the initial trauma is only the first part. The hard work comes in when you have a seriously sick or injured person and you need to look after them for an extended period of time in the wilderness. Don't forget that appendicitis or kidney stones can be just as hard to deal with in the wilderness as a broken leg.
     
  16. davidt1

    davidt1 Loaded Pockets

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  17. DBR

    DBR Loaded Pockets

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    We agree on that point.

    Alcohol prep pads and alcohol hand sanitizer are OK for general cleaning and they double as a firestarting aid, so I wouldn't say "lose them," but would definitely agree that for cleansing wounds, Povidone-Iodine prep pads and the large swabs are must-have items.
     
  18. VinnyP
    • In Omnia Paratus

    VinnyP Loaded Pockets

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    cgcav23z likes this.