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Friday, January 15, 2010

First Aid Sign/Label

TRAUMA vs. FIRST AID

Keep in mind I differentiate “trauma” vs. “first aid” as being a trauma kit is for saving lives and a FAK is for dealing with annoyances, boo-boos, irritations.

Before I itemize my kits, keep in mind I know what I'm doing and have the professional associations in place to operate at my skill level in a legal and proper manner. I can't recommend strongly enough that you stay within your scope of practice, and/or get more training. SHTF is one thing, operating at a higher skill level before the SHTF will land you in prison or just very broke.

The FAK can be part of your trauma kit or separate. I separate the two. In the event I need an antidiahreal, I'm not having to sort through trauma dressings. Likewise If I have an ABC emergency, I don't have packets of aspirin falling out of the pouch and getting lost/wasted. They are separate because of the two very different purposes of each.

The idea behind a “blowout kit” or “gunshot kit” is great. I really don't think I'll ever have to deal with that, because I will try my damnedest to avoid contact with whom ever I might get into a shootout with, YMMV. If I do need such items, they are well addressed in my trauma kit.

FAK:

gloves

sunblock

bug repellent

Gold Bond body powder, can be used on feet or body. Gold Bond-live it, learn it, love it.

blister kit, second skin or the like. 2 inch wide curasilk tape or moleskin is good for hot spots,.

meds- You can be taken out of action or just plain miserable in the field. A few meds in a well thought out FAK will save the day. I prefer the smallest unit doses, like 2 pills to a foil pack instead of a small bottle. The bottles, even with cotton in them allow the pills to bounce around and turn onto powder. Keep to small quantities and resupply after use.

aspirin, tylenol, ibuprofen, aleve, anti diarrheal, anti emetic (kaopectate, pepto-bismol) antifungal spray, anti itch stick, anti itch topical cream like cortisone, bug bite stick, these are the “comfort items” if you will, that will allow you to stay operational in the field. I've seen grown men, (myself included) reduced to tears from monkeybutt, sunburn, headache, etc.

wound care- cleaning a boo-boo can make a huge difference between a scrape and a septic wound that will hospitalize you. I cant stress hygiene enough. Wars have been won or lost because of battlefield hygiene producing diseases that decimate the troops. Disintery, typhoid, cholera, etc. handwashing, basic wound care, is key to stopping these diseases from taking hold.

Handiwipes
hand cleanser spray or gel
neosporin
8 ounce normal saline irrigation, good for wounds, eye wash, etc.
tape for butterflys and superglue
asst'd bandaids
4x4s
scissors
splinter kit
eyeglass repair kit
toothpicks (comfort item)
dental kit (walgreens, great for lost fillings, broken teeth, etc.)
anaphylaxis kit (see below)

SHTF trauma kit. This fits into my alice pack and is carried wherever. I use a roll-out, trifold “unit one” medic bag from a surplus store. About 8x10x10 inches.

Bandages- St 4x4s, st 5x9s, MTDs or multiTraumaDressings (diaper sized, 9x16 and really thick), these can be cut down if smaller dressings are needed and the FAK is unavailable. You don't need eye patches, 3x3s, 2x2s, abd pads, non stick, etc, in a trauma kit.

paramedic scissors. I shudder when I hear the term “paramedic” “tactical” or “survival” as a prefix to any equipment I need. It just adds to the cost. The “cuts a penny” scissors are great, get several sets for all your kits, buy em on ebay for .50 cents each by the gross.

Chest seals like the asherman, or be ready to improvise. For the money, i'll improvise. Vaseline gauze is cheap and good to have.

An assortment of Oral airways. NOT EVERY size, every other one, no more than 4. A few Nasal airways if you feel the need. Pocket Mask that can be used w/ a BVM. Turkey Baster as a suction device.

Flashlight, a good one, like a pelican 4 aa cell or minimag. Cheap ones tend to disintegrate in the bag. Samll LED headlamps are great too.

Cravats or triangle bandages, several,

roller gauze. Basically enough to splint a leg to a spine board, plus enough to splint someone in c-spine to a spine board. Roller gauze is multi purpose, straps are not.

2 inch wide curasilk tape
Gloves.
Stethoscope
Maybe IV fluids if it's hot. BTW, you can drink LR, but not NS.

What is NOT in my SHTF trauma bag.

BP cuff. Too heavy/bulky, its a one job tool. Don't need it. The info obtained would be academic. I can judge a patients status with other things besides a BP cuff. (PULSE, RESPS, SKINS, loc, ETC)

anything carried in my FAK. See the rest of the list for what is excluded from my SHTF trauma kit vs. my POV trauma kit.

My other trauma bag: This is one that is in my POV.
Gloves, BP cuff, stethoscope
O2 d-tank, mask, nasal cannula
BVM
OPA's, NPA's,ETT's,Cric kit,thoracotomy kit
IV fluids (NS and LR), tubing, catheters, etc.
assorted dressings as mentioned above
Adjustable c-collar.
Handiwipes and alcohol gel, in a ziploc bag
highway blanket
M-118 smoke grenade
Skyblazer xlt popflare
pelican light
traffic vest
GPS
signal mirror/compass
4 pair scissors (i tend to lose them)
small aluminum clipboard w/ forms, pens, pupil light, ems guidebook
anaphylaxis kit in pelican box (for me, bees) epi- 1:1,000, benedryl chewables or injection, tagamet
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