1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

In your own opinion what are some items every First Aid Kit should have?

Discussion in 'First Aid Station' started by dudepal1510, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. LivingUpNorth

    LivingUpNorth Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    924
    Likes Received:
    950
    I can't entirely agree with that. For minor (and I do mean minor) cuts and abrasions, I have had far more success using the ointment than not. Especially in an area that constantly bends and flexes (like a knuckle), having a cut breaking open and exposing the wound over and over again, is not only irritating, it prolongs the healing period. I will always carry the ointment in my kit. However, as far as large wounds go, I agree with you.
     
  2. Signmaker

    Signmaker Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    58
    On antibiotic ointment, I've never heard of problems as long as the wound is regularly cleaned along with change of dressing and ointment. Just smearing more goo on it and slapping fresh gauze on, I could see how there could be risk in a few situations.

    Curious on all the mouth shield recommendations, since rescue breaths have been phased out of CPR, and I cant think of any secondary uses.

    Thinking about it, the one item every trauma kit should have is good gloves. The ones shipped in most pre-built kits I've seen are complete junk, and always too small. Good, properly sized nitriles are cheap when bought as a whole box, have plenty of non-medical uses, and are an automatic prerequisite for me touching anything medical that might involve fluids.
     
  3. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    29,783
    Likes Received:
    107,173
     
  4. VinnyP
    • In Omnia Paratus

    VinnyP Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    112
    "Rescue breaths" for adults (if you mean 5 quick breaths etc). have gone some time ago and compressions only is an (inferior) option for people who won't/can't do it but ventilations or the normal use of the term rescue breaths are still part of CPR, even for BLS.
     
  5. Ludwell01

    Ludwell01 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    469
    If you know what you're up to then breaths as well as compression is the way to go. The good thing about mouth to mouth being taken out of the basic version of CPR is more people are going to get involved and offer some assistance until professional help arrives (rather than just stand back and saying "oh look he's probably got a horrible contagious condition so I'm going to stand back and do nothing").

    it's a bit like getting your 5 a day... there is no scientific evidence that 5 portions of fruit and veg is what we need. But it is a number most people can aspire to achieve without being put off by the number being impossible or setting the bar low at say 3 portions which will mean people will think 1or 2 is pretty good.

    something is better than nothing!
     
  6. WildEMT

    WildEMT Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    10
    Figure I should give a little more reasoning on my appeal to ditch the topical antibiotics (bacitracin and the likes):

    First, I will give LivingUpNorth that there is a limited application window for these kind of topical ointments. However, if your primary concern is keeping an abrasion flexible, petroleum jelly is just as effective and doesn't introduce additional chemicals into the body's natural healing process. Give it a go sometime with those kind of wounds.

    Second, you have to consider the range and length-of-use for your FAK. MOST FAK's are short-term and limited-use kits. You are looking AT BEST at one to two day care with your most complete FAK's that you may carry. Most carry FAK's with only immediate use intended. In this limited frame, a topical antiobiotic has no use. In the field, side of the road, woods, wherever, your primary concern is going to be getting that wound back to a primary care environment or, at the very least, to a clean sink where you can completely and thoroughly wash the wound. I would much rather carry wound-cleaning items. But, generally, I only carry wound containment and management items.

    If you are creating a FAK for the end-of-the-world, you will need to consider oral antibiotics more than topical.

    The public perception that antibiotic topical ointments are a silver bullet is dangerous. You will see wounds that are effectively "plugged" by the stuff and create an environment very susceptible to infection. There is NOTHING better than a clean wound. Learn how (and when) to clean in the field and manage and you will be able to perform better first aid than if you are trying just to prevent infection.

    Caveat: My experience and training is in wilderness medicine. But, if you are using a FAK in-town, you are that much closer to primary care... so go there! :D
     
  7. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    29,783
    Likes Received:
    107,173
    Speaking of using petrolium jelly...That reminded me. My grandma used to edc a little squeeze bottle of kerosene for minor cuts. it'll heal 'em up quick. I was surprised. 'Course I was, like, ten.
     
  8. MedicX

    MedicX Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    31
    I actually went through and read every comment (almost in full :D ). I do agree with Flight-Er-Doc when he mentioned the need for calmness and proper training/skill (obviously not a quote :D ). But for those that want to/need to carry a FAK, then much of what was mentioned is awesome...

    Mainly, a pair or gloves or proper protection. I think it is crazy important to have things like the anti-diarrhea, anti-histamine, ibuprofen, acetominophen, INSECT BITE AND STING TREATMENT, tweezers, scissors, band-aids, gauze, possibly a Sam Splint (love these)... It all depends on how much you want to carry and your needs, or that of your family. I know that my contents have come in handy a multitude of times.

    Where you need to be careful is giving meds like Aspirin and so forth. In many parts of the US, it is even out of an EMT's scope of practice to give meds. At most, they are able to "assist" a patient taking them.

    Another thing, is people in this thread talking about what doses to give of meds. If you are properly trained, then you should be familiar with your local protocols. If not a healthcare professional, then following the standards set by organizations such as the AHA can guide you, but again this takes proper training.

    To those giving out information on CPR such as Vinny (sorry to single you out), you should be careful mentioning things like 5 quick breaths, or giving 1 325mg tab of ASA. This could be confusing to those that are not trained, as your standards and procedures may vary across the pond. Here in the US it IS: CAB (compression's, airway, breathing). 30 compression's to 2 breaths. However, if there is no proper training in CPR, then compressions have been decided to be the most vital aspect of care in cardiopulmonary arrest.

    To tell someone to give breaths as "something is better than nothing", could be the wrong thing to tell someone. There is a reason that there are face shields and bag-valve-masks, etc. This protects the rescuer against the possibility of contamination from whatever it may be. In healthcare, the first automatic fail is for not taking the proper BSI (body substance isolation). Another thing that is potentially hazardous with giving breaths to someone that is unconscious, is the possibility of a cervical injury. No immobilization, improper immobilization, improper airway positioning, improperly delivering breaths, could all result in a worse outcome.

    Knowledge is power. Do no harm. Do know harm.
     
  9. MedicX

    MedicX Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    31
    My opinion on the anti-biotic ointment... Common sense tells you to clean the wound. Good. If you don't have common sense, clean it anyways :D When I use it, I usually lime to clean my scrape, cut, etc at night and leave the bandage off at night anyways. But as mentioned before, it does work for those places that hate to heal, like a knuckle...

    I don't always put it on as I don't feel it is always necessary. But, I will say this, that it makes people "feel better". Part of my job as a paramedic is to comfort people. If properly taken care of properly, some light ointment doesn't hurt (opinion). It isn't supposed to be slathered on either. Not every cut lac needs a stitch, but I've seen one put in to comfort the patient or parent of the patient.
     
  10. Dapple

    Dapple Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    147
    After developing an issue with petroleum products I've switched over to using honey in lieu of antibiotic ointment and find it works swell. Most of the time I don't bother unless I'm trying to keep the wound from drying out or if I start to feel some mischief brewing. You can buy special Manuka honey packaged specifically for the purpose but regular honey seems fine too.

    To answer the thread question, I'm going to go light: I think every FAK that could conceivably end up providing a band-aid for a kid have some colorful, fun band-aids. I've seen a kid cheer up quickly at the prospect of picking out something interesting to stick on their arm rather than the boring old pretending-to-be-flesh-colored band-aids, and as an added bonus they'll think you're the coolest person ever. It isn't an absolute need, just something that I think ought to be included to make a negative experience a bit more positive.
     
    Anthologics and wildborego like this.
  11. Idaho Gunslinger

    Idaho Gunslinger Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    1,861
    I am not an expert at FAK's, but I would say that some kind of tough tape should be in a kit. Duct tape or gorilla, both to help hold bandages in place and to (hopefully never) hold a splint in place.
     
    Anthologics likes this.
  12. KG2V

    KG2V Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    74
    I have a lot of 'stuff' in my FAK that really isn't First Aid - for instance, You'll find silversorb gel and Santyl Ointment, and an excess of 4x4s and tape. I have leg ulcers, and while I try and change my dressings at home, sometimes it has to be done 'in the field' (I try not to let my legs limit me). In my case, that Silversorb takes the place of antibiotic ointment (which I have a small amount of anyway). So, not really "First Aid" but "Medical Kit"
     
  13. Dok J

    Dok J Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    1,347
    Useful for everything:
    1. Get training. Red cross and AHA make very nice First responder and CPR courses... And recycle properly every time you feel you need it. Every 3 to 5 years will be fine.
    Google the European Resucitation Council (ERC), they have their latest recomendations online. THIS DOESN'T ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR TRAINING.
    Sorry if I'm not that useful, but there's a sea between us... :lol:
    2. PROTECT yourself first (CPR mask, nitrile gloves).

    Useful for boo boo kits: tons of bandaids of every size and shape, iodine swabs or another compact disinfectant.

    Before we get serious, sorry, dissclaimer: I don't recomend giving ANY medication to ANYBODY.
    To keep going with the aspirin example: I can diagnose cardiac arrest or myocardial damage, I know the protocol dosification in my country is Aspirin 300mg, I give it with a sip of water from my bottle (I'm that kind). My patient is alergic to Aspirin (fact is a lot of people is). My patient dies. I get sued, jailed, inhabilitated for the exercise of my profession for life. Won't even go into how would that affect my personal ethics, conscience and remorse...
    Only doctors can make prescriptions, and that's for something.
    Only medication I can recomend is using an Epi-Pen, on known alergies, that you are (guess what) trained to diagnose and treat.

    Useful for FAKs and trauma bags: I like to use the first assessment we use on the streets.
    A - Airway opening. Guedel tubes work fine for portable FAKs. If you're not trained you can't use them.
    B - Breathing. You're your own resucitation bag. If you're not trained you won't know how to do it.
    C - Circulation/Cardiac. Big bleeding wounds are here. So bleeding control materials go here: Several sizes sterile gauze packets, several size bandages, triangular bandages (multipurpose, love them). Training will help you know how to use it.
    Burns control go here too. Burns let big liquid loss, that gets drained from your circulatory volume. So several impregnated gauzes and the bandages you've got before would do the trick...
    D - Disability. Pain dissables. Neurogen shock exists. You can do nothing if shock comes, but painkillers will help you. Only you and under very strict parameters.

    Biggest problem with FAKs is overload, so build it and lighten it through time ;)

    Really sorry for such a long answer, but I wanted to give you a "why" not just a list.
    Edit: and sorry for the training broken record :oops:
     
  14. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    29,783
    Likes Received:
    107,173
    Doc, thats the kind of advice some of us need.
    Common sense tells me I can't do much. #1: I'm not trained #2 If it doesn't involve stopping bleeding, I'm at a loss for what to do.
     
  15. Dok J

    Dok J Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    1,347
    There's always something to do besides actual first aid.

    First call for help.
    Protect yourself, the first responders and the victim.
    Then first aid...
    But yeah, get trained! :p
     
  16. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    29,783
    Likes Received:
    107,173
    Got a QuickClot trauma kit tday. Very suprised that they give step by step instuctions for relieving air build up around the lungs. (I forgot what its called) Locate the 3rd rib, in line with the nipple, half way between it and the top of the shoulder, insert tube(no bigger than a pencil)...if you hit a rib, go over it rather than under t keep from hittin blood vessels that run under each rib, blah, blah, blah...something like that. All of this information followed by " do this as a last resort, if the victim appears to be dying, but ONLY IF YOU"RE A TRAINED PROFFESIONAL.

    What? Excuse me? A trained professional should already know this.
     
    Dok J likes this.
  17. Dok J

    Dok J Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    1,347
    :eek:

    Do they say when should it be used?
    Do they tell how to diagnose a pneumothorax?
    How to tell the difference between one you should puncture from one you shouldn't?
    'Cmon... I've lost thirteen years of professional career when I could just stick catheters inside people just reading the instruction sheet...
     
    Fukurai likes this.
  18. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    29,783
    Likes Received:
    107,173
    I know, right? Why didn't they just include a little "Honorary EMT" card?

    It does have some "propper" instructions. I have to go eat now, but I'll try to get a pic later.
     
  19. Dok J

    Dok J Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    1,347
    That'll be nice, but maybe we should migrate to another post...

    Sorry for the post hijack:oops:
     
  20. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    29,783
    Likes Received:
    107,173
    ^ what he said! I'll work on it, Doc. I don't have wifi here. I'll letcha know when and WHERE I get 'em up.
     
    Dok J likes this.