Critique my first aid kits

Anti-histamines for sure. A stethoscope and BP cuff might not be very useful to you if you're not carrying anything to combat low/high BP. Bring tylenol/advil as well.

Having read the Outward Bound guide, which highly emphasizes monitoring vital signs to guide evacuation decisions, I can see the value but for my purposes, I'd probably rely on my fingers. Perhaps if I had more training I'd be able to take advantage of those tools.

I ditched the peroxide and am relying on betadine, alcohol swabs and disinfectant wipes.

I have antihistamines, tylenol and ibuprofen.

I'd like to find and carry an epi-pen, less for myself (no known allergies) but more for other people. I'm amazed by how folks are generally unprepared to take care of themselves.

There are only three times I've used my kit on this trip.
1) to treat my own blisters (hah, I knew all that moleskin would come in handy)
2) to treat an indigenous kid with a burn. scalding water from a pot on the stove gave him three large burns on the thigh. the family wasn't doing anything to treat it, other than rest, as nobody goes to a doctor around here. the blisters were large (the size of a large bar of soap). we decided to lance them as the family wasn't sure they could keep them intact. I cleaned the area with betadine, lanced the blisters with a disposable scalpal, and removed as much of the clear fluid as I could with gentle pressure. I then covered the blisters with burn cream and a blue burn pad and lightly wrapped his thigh with vet wrap to hold the bandages in place. I'm told he recovered and is doing fine, so at least I didn't do any harm.
3) to treat a woman who went barefoot in a disco during a "foam party" and cut her feet up on the bits of broken beer bottles and other detritus. irrigated with water, removed bits with tweezers, cleaned with betadine and antiseptic wipes, covered open wounds with triple antibiotic. this along with daily hot salt water soaks seems to have done the trick.

Any opinions on my techniques? I haven't had any training at all since I was a scout, many years ago, plus the reading I do to stay somewhat current.
 
I have a CPR mask but that's it. As far as airway management, I've always been taught (or at least all I remember is) to maintain spinal alignment and perhaps rotate the victim to their side to let gravity help.
 

Holger

Observer
Airway management overrules everything else, no ifs and buts, so it is rolling the person into the recovery position while trying to keep the head in line with the body/ spine (unconscious victim that is).
Doesn't help to preserve the spinal injury while the victim suffocates to death...
 

k9lestat

Expedition Leader
what about a couple bottle of saline? i know they make it in a pressurized spray/squirt can. for flushing eyes and cleaning wounds.
 

cdthiker

Meandering Idaho
I think that this is a great topic. With that being said I think that it is an even better Segway for what we should be really talking about, and that is training. How many of us go off into the middle of now where relying on our rigs to do all of the work for us when the poop hits the whirly thing?
A little context, I have been an EMT for six years, and have extensive Patient contact experience, I teach Wilderness medice courses and work as an outdoor educator.
Wilderness medicine broken down is a really fancy way of saying that you need to learn to improvise, and you need to learn how to do long term management of the sick and injured.
Your first aid kit is worthless if you do not know how to properly use all of the things that are in it.
for example, no one in their right mind would be doing stitches in the backcountry, there is excessive amounts of evidence that says wounds over 1 half inch wide are not going to heal well long term in the back country.
My point being, you dont need to know how to fix a problem like a gaping laceration, or a sucking chest wound.
You need to know how to manage life threats and threats to limbs, and when to pull the plug and call for an evac
I highly suggest taking a Wilderness medicine course
you can get a lot of great info even at the entry level the WFA, the wilderness first air course two days
also check out
the WAFA wilderness advance first aid five days
WFR wilderness first responder 10 days
WEMT wilderenss EMT 30 days

Check out these schools for resources
WMI of NOLS
SOLO
WMA

or perhaps

Desert Mountain Medicine
ARRIE

tools are worthless with out training
good luck and stay safe
 

DesertJK

Adventurer
I think that this is a great topic. With that being said I think that it is an even better Segway for what we should be really talking about, and that is training. How many of us go off into the middle of now where relying on our rigs to do all of the work for us when the poop hits the whirly thing?
A little context, I have been an EMT for six years, and have extensive Patient contact experience, I teach Wilderness medice courses and work as an outdoor educator.
Wilderness medicine broken down is a really fancy way of saying that you need to learn to improvise, and you need to learn how to do long term management of the sick and injured.
Your first aid kit is worthless if you do not know how to properly use all of the things that are in it.
for example, no one in their right mind would be doing stitches in the backcountry, there is excessive amounts of evidence that says wounds over 1 half inch wide are not going to heal well long term in the back country.
My point being, you dont need to know how to fix a problem like a gaping laceration, or a sucking chest wound.
You need to know how to manage life threats and threats to limbs, and when to pull the plug and call for an evac
I highly suggest taking a Wilderness medicine course
you can get a lot of great info even at the entry level the WFA, the wilderness first air course two days
also check out
the WAFA wilderness advance first aid five days
WFR wilderness first responder 10 days
WEMT wilderenss EMT 30 days

Check out these schools for resources
WMI of NOLS
SOLO
WMA

or perhaps

Desert Mountain Medicine
ARRIE

tools are worthless with out training
good luck and stay safe

I totally agree. The class I am just finishing has been 600 hours. Not for everyone. I will have 20 patient contacts when done, and several ER shifts. I want to take wildness medicine, but have been offered a job in my current profession (aircraft fixing guy) and if I take it, will have to move to an area I would rather not volunteer in, even if I had the time with the new job.

David
 

SOFME

Observer
Holgar you are outright wrong. Who the ******* cares if you have an advanced airway, but no blood to move co out and o2 in. People bleed to death in two minutes from a severed femoral but it takes about 7 to 10 minutes for irreversible brain damage/death from lack of o2 to set in. Its the practice of medice. Do the right thing at the right time. Its not a cookie cuter anymore. Furthermore the more red stuff pours out the less the patient is able to maintain body heat.
A tourniquet or two is the best friend you can have. And can be reversed to a pressure bandage if needed.

Who cares about all the Gucci gear in your aid bag if you don't have proper training. KISS. Especially in auster environments.
 

SOFME

Observer
Fixed

.

portable / hiking kit
  • insert 2x2's
  • moleskin
  • tape (3 inch silk)
  • antihistamine
  • ibuprofen
  • triple-antibiotic
  • alcohol wipes

common items kit for the vehicle
  • Quick Clot packets ( get rid of this unless you know exactly how to use it... You don't just pour it in a gushing bleeder)
  • disinfectant wipes
  • 2x2 and 4x4 & moleskin
  • tape 3 inch silk
  • ace bandage
  • common OTC meds elaborate
  • triple antibiotic
  • antifungal ointment
  • disposable gloves

the unexpected trauma kit that I hope I never have to open
  • If its trauma in the field then it's dirty already.
  • Toolkit with pliers, wire snips, fancy nail cutter, flashlight, shears
  • laceration kit with a large quick clot sponge, kirlex rolls, 3 inch silk tape and
  • burn kit with, burn cream, burn pad
  • splint kit with SAM splint, balsa wood splits wrapped in 100 mph tape. tape, triangle bandages, ace wrap
  • steri strips, tape
  • hemostat, tweezers
  • CPR barrier & gloves
  • mylar blanket
  • poison ivy / skin ointment
  • extra moleskin

This is drop-dead time for anything I want to order and keep in the kit. Any thoughts?

My recommendation and please don't take offense. Get proper training. In my line of work I've seen guys with limited training do more harm than good. Best intentions sure. But they know enough to be dangerous. To me you say in one breath your knowledge/training is limited to scouting first aid but you want to carry suture supplies. No. Just no. Get trained, practice within you scope. Above all band aids never save lives. Simplicity under stress is best. And don't have one-trick ponies in your aid bag.
 

Holger

Observer
SOFME,

Regarding training, I agree it's very important, take note...
To current standards that is, not 30 year old books...

How come that most ambulances around the world don't even carry tornequetes?
Because of pressure bandage and pressure points...
(Army / combat is the exception )

And telling me airway management is not top priority...

Brain damage starts after 4 minutes.
 

SOFME

Observer
SOFME,

Regarding training, I agree it's very important, take note...
To current standards that is, not 30 year old books...

How come that most ambulances around the world don't even carry tornequetes?
Because of pressure bandage and pressure points...
(Army / combat is the exception )

And telling me airway management is not top priority...

Brain damage starts after 4 minutes.

Civilian ems is slowly catching up with training like PHTLS, ATLS, TEMSetc... Tq's are becoming more and more widely used as well. I've worked civilian ems in Baltimore and Whichita. Both carried Tq's in the rigs.
 

k9lestat

Expedition Leader
[FONT=Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif]no tornequetes,,,,?[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif]well i disagree, in a situation like being in the middle of no where it could become necessary due to the number of people there. better have it not need it than need it and not have. i understand direct pressure can stop and slow bleeding, how ever sometimes people cant hold the pressure themselves while someone else has to try and proper treatment en route. main artery bleeds are bad enough for trained and experienced people much less trained and inexperienced ones.

and i am in no means attempting to bash or insult anyone just saying what i felt.
[/FONT]
 

Holger

Observer
I am well aware of the studies.
Worked as paramedic for 13 years and 6 years air ambulances.
I am also aware that in Europe may ambulances do not have tq's and that in Austrailia they get get them back on board as last resort.
The reason they get restocked is the studies after the gulf war which proofed the feared nerve damage was less likely and less severe as previously thought.

I don't question their usefulness.

I just wonder because we speak about someone who is not trained, far away from help, and the likely scenario. Now maybe a car accident? I wonder how likely it is that someone can actually rescue and evacuate a unconscious trauma victim with a amputated limb?
I think even with a lot of training but without all the daily pro tools it will be very,very difficult.
Without airway management it is simply mot going to happen.
And that is my point I made earlier. Most seem to pack a super extensive trauma kit, but neglect airway management.
 

SOFME

Observer
I am well aware of the studies.
Worked as paramedic for 13 years and 6 years air ambulances.
I am also aware that in Europe may ambulances do not have tq's and that in Austrailia they get get them back on board as last resort.
The reason they get restocked is the studies after the gulf war which proofed the feared nerve damage was less likely and less severe as previously thought.

I don't question their usefulness.

I just wonder because we speak about someone who is not trained, far away from help, and the likely scenario. Now maybe a car accident? I wonder how likely it is that someone can actually rescue and evacuate a unconscious trauma victim with a amputated limb?
I think even with a lot of training but without all the daily pro tools it will be very,very difficult.
Without airway management it is simply mot going to happen.
And that is my point I made earlier. Most seem to pack a super extensive trauma kit, but neglect airway management.

/edit: I also meant to address the tactical reasons why civilians tend to not carry Tq's. usualy have 2 people at least, per rig, giving the ability to multi-task, one guy gets airway, other guy gets everything else. However when your alone and have 10 guys counting on you. You get what you carry in, and you better be able to manage all 10 guys by yourself while still putting preventative medicine down range.
I think the solo guy working in the middle of BFE with an aid bag in the back of his 80 series has more in common with a battlefield medic than a civilian paramedic.
edit\

you're defiantly not going to be able to evac an unconscious patient with an amputated limb and patent airway if they bleed to death first. however i venture to say we are on the same track regarding patient care and we are what-if'ing in our heads to justify our thought process. I say that because I am a staunch believer in airway management, I just put it second after catastrophic hemorrhage. But a lot of that is based on experience/training.

Training is paramount no matter what interventions you're performing. We are definitely on the same page in that regaurd... give a guy a nasal trumpet with a facial fracture and it very well could be game over. That being said a guy having Tq's or ETT's in their kit worries me less than the guy who has quik-clot, and there are several guys I've seem who claim they carry it here on this board.

I'm about to post up a few threads on patient care the dirt med way. I encourage you to review them; it seems we can maturely play devil's advocate for each other to better the knowledge base here.
 
Last edited:

Holger

Observer
I actually do agree with you that catastrophic bleeding has to be treated immediately. No question.
I know I wrote 'no ifs and but', and you got me on the only exception to the rule.

Otherwise airway management is top priorety.
 

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