Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bug In Bag cont.

The next item to stick in your bug in bag is a small first aid kit. When I body guarded for the band "Warrant" back in the early nineties I used my belt first aid kit more than any other single piece of kit during that tour. You have no way to know how many times band members and road crew would cut, scrape and injure themselves while moving about the stage as it was being set up and torn down.

I've seen fancy versions of these things...typically close personal protection specialists will have ones including things like "Quick-Clot" and big wound dressings for gun shot and bomb injuries simply because that's the nature of their particular beast.

If you're not living in or near a war zone however you can pick up some great ones at your local camping goods store that include the basics. You can make your own as well by using a zip lock baggie and buying the contents individually at your local drug store.

You'll need some pain pills. I prefer Asprin or Aleve personally. Asprin can be used during the event of a heart attack and Aleve doesn't eat away at your stomach like some of its counterparts do. You'll also need a variety of band-aids. I buy them from the butterfly strips all the way up to some six by six inch ones. Next should be some antiseptic wipes and some "after bite" insect sting and itch relieving gel.

Next in my kit I include some gauze pads of various sizes both sterile and non-sterile along with first aid tape. You'll need some triple anti-biotic cream, an elasticized bandage and some clips to fasten it. Some other useful items include tweezers and a small pair of scissors. You should also have some safety pins of various sizes and at least one pair of latex gloves.

Finally I include some indigestion tablets such as Tums and some anti-diahoerea pills.

Again, just as it is with the Bug In Bag itself you should personalize that list of equipment to reflect both the area in which you live and your ability and depth of knowledge with regards to first aid. I have, over the years, both in the military and in my capacity as executive protection agent, met some truly impressive team medics who are worth their weight in gold. If you have never done a first aid course by they way now is the time to sign up for one.

If I've left anything out of the first aid kit list, again, just as I asked re the bandana, shoot me an email and I'll amend the list accordingly. I know of at least one switched on medic who reads the blog avidly and I'm sure he'll have some suggestions.


Marc said...

Alright, i have a couple suggestions. The first suggestion is to keep your blowout kit and your boo-boo kit in separate compartments. This eliminates having to dig through your tums and bandaids to get to a tourniquet or combat dressing when it's really needed.

The boo-boo kit is pretty well covered in the post, as for where to start with the blow out kit, let me fill you all in.

No, we don't live in a warzone, but the fact remains that trauma is the #1 preventable cause of death for the vast majority of age groups.

Cinch Tight makes a variety of products that can make up the core of such a kit. Their "catastrophic trauma kit 1" contains a compression dressing and 2 primed gauze rolls vacuum packed into a small container. They also make their TK-3 tourniquet, which is inexpensive, compact and effective. Both the compression bandage and tourniquet can be self-applied with one hand.

I recommend a CPR face shield in every kit.

All that stuff there is about $25 online.

As always, if you think you can effectively use this stuff without basic medical training, you're kidding yourself. It's easy and intuitive...to a point. With additional training, you can add airways, hemostatics and other more advanced tools to your repertoire.

wmioch said...

I know that when doing anything physical (Martial Arts, Hiking, Christmas Shopping) a small chemical ice pack is essential for sprains and strains. It's not often in standard first aid kits.

Colin Wee said...

Your kit seems well stocked for one that would suffice for a 24 hour urban trek. Here are my suggestions to complement your list:

1. Your personal information - ICE Contact (In Case of Emergency), Allergic Reactions, Doctor's name and contact, etc. Great for other's to be able to treat you.

2. Pen - one that allows you to separate the barrel by untwisting it. This allows you to perform a cricothyrotomy if you're faced with a casualty with injuries or allergic reactions that prevent breathing. You can dispense with the incision that Wikipedia suggests.

3. Antihistamine - to manage allergic reactions.

4. CPR face mask - as important as your gloves.

5. Sterile saline packs to irrigate wounds.

6. Just in case you forgot to pack the humble bandanna, you should get a triangle bandage. If I remember correctly my medical orderly pouch contained 3 triangles.

7. I would purchase larger gauze pads in order to control serious wounds. Smaller cuts can be ignored or gauze can be cut down to size if need be.

8. Scissors (and if you can afford and access - scalpel and clamps).

Really - if it's a bad situation, your main job is to stop the bleeding, run a fluid line in (cannula and IV solution), immobilize and evacuate. Since most people can't perform fluid infusion, the management plan is to stabilize and get the casualty to a doctor. Same if you are the casualty.

Hope that's the info you wanted!


Colin Wee said...

I forgot to mention, the Medical Orderly Pouch was packed in such a way that the medic can access everything in the dark and with one hand. When you do pack your first aid supplies, keep that in mind. I would suggest individual zip lock bags for each item. It's not good dumping everything in an opaque bag and having to squirrel for it when you're dealing with a casualty.