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Author Topic: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade  (Read 11215 times)

Offline GearFreak

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2015, 11:55:30 am »
If you carry Telfa pads or shell dressings, the pouch is air proof (turn sterile side out) and is suitable for a chest seal, but again, you need to know how to bandage correctly for a sucking chest wound.

But that thing is huge when by compared to the rest of my kit! 


Wow!
Some great discussion points here guys - thanks!  I am getting some great ideas!  I echo the tape comment - when I went to use the tape in the kit it was useless - duct tape to the rescue!

I admit I am somewhat envious of the WFR course Hutchy! I keep looking at some offered and hope to take something better than the numerous first aid courses I have over the years but timing and location never seem to work out.  Some day hopefully.  I too have been known to ensure all T3 prescriptions get filled. I just have to remove the older meds from cabinet before my wife cleans the cabinet out. 

Common thread is of course don't use what you don't know how to.  On the other hand you may have an item in your kit and another on the trip may have the knowledge/skill to use it!  I have had Paramedics, nurses, Family and ER docs on my trips at various times not to mention numerous others who have more advanced knowledge than I.
     
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Dr. Seuss - "The Lorax"

Offline Moondog55

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2015, 04:03:53 pm »
First aid can become second aid
If so then there are a few things that can help you help  someone survive
An airway is always in my kit but you need some training in how to use them although they are simple devices to use.
Antibiotics and powerful analgesics are however medical and not first-aid so some  training is a must

Offline ravinerat

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2015, 06:53:18 pm »
Well I think I have used more first aid on myself than anyone else.
I catorgize my gear and kits are different for each type of trip.

So removal
Tweezers, magnifying glass, syringe for irrigation of eye, scissors, lancet or razor blade.

Bleeding both minor and major
4x4, kling, abdo pad, pressure dressing, vet wrap, triangular, tourniquet, steristrips, band aids, knuckle band aids, moleskin.

Securing
Tape- adhesive, IV tape. duct tape.

Medication
Advil, Tylenol, Benadryl, any specific melds required. Some anti diarrhea Medes depending on the trip
We are now giving both Tylenol and Advil for fractures in Ontario.

Splints
I improvise but the Sam Splints are compact and do a good .

Burns
Currently I don't carry any specific burn dressing but good cleaning and a dry dressing after to keep clean. Of course you want to cool the burn down first. There is an after product I think is called Burnazine but I have to look it up.

Probably forgetting a bunch of stuff. The quantity of each item depends on the trip.

RR
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Offline scoutergriz

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2015, 12:20:34 am »
Ravinerat; I use either cool-gel for minor burns, or watergel moist bandages for larger or more serious ones. Both are designed specifically for burns and contain no oils which can seal in the heat. They are water and alcohol based which provides an antiseptic and cooling effect, but unlike various crèmes they will not contaminate broken skin which means less pain or risk of infection, and no scrubbing to remove  any residue.
A little pricey, but well worth it

Offline h_t

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2015, 02:33:04 pm »
urine works for burns :) if you have nothing else.
I had serious chemical burns (through the skin) and I was treated  with
silver sulfadiazine

Offline Trev

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2015, 06:36:28 pm »
One thing I started taking in my first aid kit is a small bag of cayenne pepper. It's pretty effective for stopping bleeding and it doesn't take up much room or weight much. It really works.

Offline Renegade

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2016, 08:17:57 pm »
Hey, I know this thread has been inactive, but I just wanted to add to the tourniquet discussion.

I just took (again) the WFA class this past weekend here in New Jersey.

The instructors explained that medically, so much has been learned in field treatment in Iraq, Afganistan, etc., that they've found the tourniquet use to be a real life saver. They indicated it should stay once put on. The Mobile ICU tech (who was also taking the class), said that NJ has just approved their use and they are now stocked on their rigs.

Conversely, a friend who is an OR tech, says they never leave one on for more than an hour before releasing it a bit to get blood flow back to the limb. But of course, a hospital has the ability to replenish the blood loss- we wouldn't have that option in the field. Leaving it on for multiple hour almost assures a future amputation, but MAY keep the patient alive.

Obviously different criteria for how it's used in the field vs a hospital setting. But if it was me, I'd try to release it a bit, every hour or so. But each time you do, that's more blood loss that can't be replaced in the field.

Decisions, decisions- but being a little more informed helps.

I'm not offering medical advise, just sharing what I've learned.

Bottom line- be careful out there!

R

Offline GearFreak

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2016, 10:56:37 pm »
Hey Renegade,
Welcome to the forums!

I personally would love to take a WFA or WFR course but vacation days are a premium and its not my main field of employ. 

I have been super lucky to have had med personnel along on a number of outings and while the docs are great fun around the fire (great stories) - give me nurses and Paramedics any day!  Just kidding - but I do find that the nurses seem to be quicker to respond.  ;D  ;D   Happy to have three MDs & a nurse on my hike this summer! 

I found this past summer feeling rather inadequate when a nurse put an axe into her foot.  As a novice I was rather reluctant to bandage in-case i did not "perform".  Silly I know - and was all good as I snapped out of it pretty quick.  My take a-way was get as much training and keep it as current as possible as that is what you fall back on when the adrenaline hits.

funny you mention SE Asia as the best First Aid course so far I had was in BMQ!  Those workplace refreshers are for the birds.  Cash grabs is all they are!  Just tick the box and your good for 2 years.

Only prob with the military ones -not much use for sucking chest wounds in the workplace!  But maybe that's a good thing!   ;D ;D

Digging up old threads is a newbies right!  enjoy lots of great info here!





"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Dr. Seuss - "The Lorax"

Offline scoutergriz

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2016, 11:37:15 pm »
gear freak; sucking chest wounds are more common than you think! I've treated two- one was from a piece of trim flying out of a table saw, it went between the ribs and through the guy's chest wall. Before anyone knew what happened he pulled the piece out. A "flap" bandage probably saved his butt.
The second was a forklift flip over- shattered ribs cut through the chest wall. not much could be done other than pressure until the fire dept. got there and lifted the machine with bags and the fireman-paramedics took over

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2016, 10:31:13 am »

I personally would love to take a WFA or WFR course but vacation days are a premium and its not my main field of employ. 


The WFA is a two day course so you can take it in a weekend. If you want the WAFA it is five day but I think some folk will run it over a series of consecutive weekends, not as good and still not cheap but sometimes that is the only way to do it. Neil McDonald teaches many of the courses in Winnipeg. He is ex military and a big winter camper and paddler so you have plenty to chat about.
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Offline tear_knee

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2016, 02:12:55 am »
My first aid kit is an oversized Adventure Medical kit which I have augmented with important items like Aspirin, Benadryl, several forms of anti-itch sprays, gels, and creams (only because I am a mosquito magnet in the summer), vet wrap (keeping band aids on, as a tensor, to keep moleskin stuck on, to keep tension on a gaping wound.. this stuff is awesome), extra band aids, and Polysporin. Polysporin stops a tiny cut from turning into flesh-eating disease, or at least it has for me. I also bring oral antibiotics, an athsma inhaler, emergency blankets, saline solution (stuff in eyes, cleaning cuts) and coconut oil (suntanning, sunburning, dry flaky lizard skin, minor irritations). I keep it all in a tough, bright yellow dry bag which floats. I bring the same kit, summer and winter, minus bug spray.

Polysporin and vet wrap are the best ways to augment any kit!

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2016, 12:06:39 pm »
Re: Tourniquets.

After reading these posts I did some research and there is certainly plenty of evidence to show that for big bleeds they are a real lifesaver. I have downloaded a couple of papers and saved them on my public Dropbox folder if anyone would like to access them (you don't need to have dropbox to see them)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/69346206/Bleeding-WEMJ.pdf

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/69346206/TraumaHemostasisEvidenceReport.pdf


I have often thought that trying to perform CPR on a patient rapidly losing blood was a waste of time and the research confirms this. Stop the bleed and then perform CPR. It is unlikely that direct pressure will do this in time to let you get on with the CPR, so a tourniquet is the solution.

The advice also says to not loosen, all it does is re-start bleeding.

I can see a couple of scenarios where having one on hand would be a real benefit- axe or knife injuries, particularly solo and, in summer, a bear attack, as often injuries occur to limbs as the victim fends off a bear. If you succeeding in chasing off the bear, say with pepper spray, you would want to get the hell out of there, not be messing around with direct pressure, a tourniquet would at least enable the victim to be put into a canoe etc and moved to a safe location.

I am thinking of buying a couple of these http://www.swattourniquet.com/ rather than a windlass type. I know they can be improvised but, particularly solo, I would want to be wasting time finding all the bits and pieces whilst pumping blood from a wound.

Other kit contents-

Do you worry about stuff freezing? My water bottle in my top bag will freeze so liquids and stuff in tubes may do the same. I'm not sure it is worth carrying saline. You are unlikely to have enough to do a proper job anyway so better to take some concentrated disinfectant to add to water for wound cleaning. I have a small screw top vial (phial?) of iodine for this, Hydrogen peroxide would also work but does breakdown over time. If cleaning stuff out of eyes just use lots of water. I have a syringe in my kit so I can do a proper job of irrigating. Better to do a proper job.

has anyone mentioned Tegaderm dressings? Expensive but really good.
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Offline Renegade

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2016, 09:51:28 am »
There's some really good info in this thread.

I thought it might be of interest to readers here that, while snooping around for info on putting together a good backcountry first-aid kit, I stumbled upon this forum:

http://www.m4carbine.net/forumdisplay.php?101-Emergency-First-Aid

Lots of great info there too. Many of those writing are EMTs, law enforcement or military. Some good experiences shared by guys that see this stuff every day.

Be safe!

R

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2016, 09:56:27 pm »
There is some useful information on those EMT forums although I have found they tend to focus on the spectacular serious injuries rather than the more mundane stuff that tends to be what we mostly deal with on trips so the gear they carry is often very over the top for recreational use.
I also found when researching tourniquets that military and police guys had a very strong training bias in their response. They had trained/used one piece of equipment so this was the best despite research that identified a number of problems. For example in the case of tourniquets  not fully shutting off the blood flow or breaking when tightened. You will often hear the same thing from paddlers. Despite never having paddled canoe Y it can't be as good as canoe X that they are familiar with.

This Wilderness Medical Society website http://wms.org/ has some good stuff though much of it is completely over my head. They have recorded lectures and even a pod cast based on the WEMS journal.
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Offline Stormy Kromer

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Re: first aid kit upgrade/downgrade
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2016, 05:09:07 pm »
Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to say how much I enjoy the forums in here.  Any other site containing a  thread with different opinions would have deteriorated into personal attacks and general mayhem.  In Wintertrekking I can read opposite or different opinions, thoughtful exchanges of ideas and respect for our fellow writers.  Such a refreshing change!  Well done to you all.  Have a great day!!