Part 4 of our series on medical emergencies and treatment equipment is on FIRST AID KITS.
As discussed in previous articles medical issues can be broken down into four categories. Those categories are:
⁃ Trauma (airway and blood loss)
⁃ Serious (broken bones, burns and lacerations)
⁃ Routine (cuts, bites, bruises)
⁃ Institutional/Chronic (surgery/cancer)
A FIRST AID KIT is designed to address ROUTINE medical issues. Think of your first aid kit as your EDC medicine cabinet. First Aid Kits are designed to treat routine things routinely, which means that you will want to have a variety of items in it and you must keep it stocked, since many items such as band aids and aspirin will be used routinely (catching on to the theme yet?).
First-aid kits should be present wherever you might need them. That likely includes having a kit in your car, home, work, and with your outdoor equipment. In short, it should be EDC (Every Day Carry). You may add items as your expertise or circumstances dictate, but be careful not to overload it to the point that it is so bulky or cumbersome that you do not have it with you ALWAYS.
Not sure about what to buy and where to get it? A number of professionally prepared first-aid kits are available online, from major outdoor retailers, and the American Red Cross. Specifications are often provided as to locations where the kit might be appropriate and other considerations.
You may want to add items based on known or anticipated needs. You may want to assemble your own kit; you can use the list below to identify contents that are recommended. Typical First Aid Kits include:
Antibiotic ointment packs
Antiseptic cleansing wipes
Hydrocortisone cream packs
Hand sanitizer packs
Gauze Dressing Pads
Roll gauze bandage
First Aid Tape Roll
Instant cold compress
CPR one-way valve face shield, latex-free
Adhesive plastic bandages
Latex-free exam-quality vinyl gloves
A First Aid Kit is the easiest, most cost effective and THE FIRST PRIORITY you should have when assessing your medical equipment and treatment requirements. Shop around, but don’t overthink it. The most important thing is to get one and keep it handy wherever you are, then ensure you restock it as you use the items in it.