First Aid Kit

Plan for the Expedition here. Not an OAUSA sanctioned run.
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toms
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First Aid Kit

#1

Post by toms » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:39 pm

Equipment - First Aid
Much of the time, we will be on our own for immediate medical care, with definitive medical services 2 or more hours away. Provided, of course that we can even signal for help!

In preparation for the expedition, we need to make sure everyone has a first aid kit. If you don’t, build one now. If you have a first aid kits make sure it is in good order. This is a good time to look at the contents and replace expired drugs and damaged supplies.
If your first aid credentials have expired, see if you can squeeze in a class before the expedition.

Since we all have significant cargo capacity in vehicle dependent travel, I recommend each vehicle take a fully stocked first aid kit. I like the duplication and I like the idea that if you get separated (on purpose or otherwise), a first aid kit is at hand.

Multiple First aid Kits
In addition to your main first aid kit, you may want a smaller one for side trips without the vehicle. Plus you may want to make up a “boo boo” bag for Advil, IBU, Aleve (or your favorite NSAID), band aids, anti acid tablets, splinter kit, etc. for the headache, scrapes, and bruises that do not warrant breaking out the big box.

Update Expired Drugs
Heat is hard on drugs, band aids and other items in your first aid kit. So is riding around for a year or more in your off-road vehicle. Packets break and dry out; Bottles leak; drugs expire, etc. It would be a good idea to inventory your drugs and update ones that have expired or show signs of deterioration. Epinephrine should be clear. If not replace it. Replace all damaged supplies. Take the time to type up a list of drugs and
when they expire in each of your first aid kits. The list makes it so much easier to check for expired drugs in the future.
Make sure the batteries in your headland / flashlight and watch are fresh.
This is a good time to refresh yourself with what you actually have in the kit and where it is located.


First Aid Kit vs. Survival Kit
Many find the first aid kit a convenient and logical place to store small survival items – matches, whistle, signal mirror, knife, compass, etc. It may be ok to have survival items in the kit if you have room. If you decide to include survival items, make a hard separation of your survival items from your true first aid items so they do not get in the way.


Build Your Kit
I think the best kits are ones you build yourself with the tools, equipment, and supplies you know how to use.
You can start with a commercial kit, however, and supplement the contents. The Adventure Medical line of First Aid Kits is one I recommend. When I travel by plane and leave my other gear home, I carry the Sportsman model. They have several larger kits that I like for vehicle dependent travel.

You want the kit to be as waterproof as possible and you should try to segment the supplies into separate areas or small bags based on categories of need. In the attached list you can see a suggested set of categories. I am providing this list to get you started! Feel free to make modifications. One item that merits inclusion on top of every sub section or smaller bag is gloves for personal protection. They will be handy and a visible reminder to wear them no matter which area you go to first.

First Aid Kit – water proof case or bag

DOCUMENTATION
Field Guide of Wilderness & Rescue Medicine
SOAP Notes (Injury / illness documentation forms)
Note book & pencil
List of drugs in the kit & expiration date
Copy of doctor’s order for prescription drugs carried in the kit

PERSONAL PROTECTION
4 (at least) pair non latex Gloves (also put a set in each of the other sections)
Ear plugs
Purell hand sanitizer

TOOLS
Headlamp / Penlight
Watch
Scissors
Tweezers
60 cc syringe
Suction bulb
Oral / digital thermometer
Sterile scalpel blade
Fine hemostat x 2
Blood pressure cuff
Stethoscope
Sterile needles for splinters
Pocket rescue mask

WOUND CLEANING KIT
Tooth Brush - new
2 4x4 inch sterile gauze dressings
2 2x2 inch sterile gauze dressings
1 small bottle of tincture of benzoin

WOUND DRESSING KIT
2 4x4 inch sterile gauze dressings
2 2x2 inch sterile gauze dressings
First Aid Cream
Neosporin
1 2x2 mole skin for blisters
6 band-Aids
1 roll 1 inch flexible tape
1 roll “vet” wrap
1 small tube Providone iodine ointment
1 small bottle liquid soap
2 inch elastic bandage

ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK KIT
Epinephrine
1 cc syringe x3 or Epi pen
4 tablets Benedryl

LARGE WOUNDS / FRACTURES
Large Triangular Bandage
Xeroform gauze dressing
Sam Splint
4 Diaper pins
4” & 6” Ace bandage
Burn sheet (100% cotton t-Shirt fresh from dryer kept in plastic bag)
Large dressing (Sanitary Napkins / diapers work well)
Handful of big plastic cable ties
Duct Tape

In addition, make a mental note of all the other stuff you have in the vehicle to make a splint (tent poles, tarps, ropes, blankets) or to stabilize someone prior to transport.

MEDICATIONS – Nonprescription
Tylenol aka Acetaminophen (Pain, Fever)
Advil aka ibuprofen (Pain, Fever, Inflammation)
Aspirin (Pain, Fever, Inflammation)
Aleve aka naproxen (Pain, Fever, Inflammation)
Allegra-D
Imodium
Benadryl
Stool Softener (e.g. Colase)
Syrup of Ipecac
Liquid activated charcoal
Cake mate
Dramamine (motion sickness)
Cough & cold preparations
Sun block
Chap Stick

MEDICATIONS – Prescription
(Talk to your doctor)
Antibiotic tablets
Antibiotic eye ointment or drops
Epipen
Prednisone
Abuterol Inhaler
Medication for severe pain
Steroid cream
Diamox (if going to altitude)

If it has been a while, I recommended you take a First Aid Course. Wilderness Medical Associates http://www.wildmed.com offers course from 2, 4 or 8 days. These courses are geared for the kind of first aid we need when calling 911 is not an option.
See you on the Trail!
TomS
KI6FHA / WPZW486

Badlands Off-Road
tom@4x4training.com
http://www.4x4training.com

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DaveK
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Re: First Aid Kit

#2

Post by DaveK » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:51 pm

Thanks Tom for posting that.

In going through my first aid kit, I noticed that some of the things in my kit had a very short "kit life". As Tom mentioned, I checked all expiration dates and replaced anything that was close or expired. Pain medications, ointments, antibiotic creams, disinfectants and even common items like Tums, all have expiration dates. Now is the best time to make sure you are current.

Additionally, many meds are particularly sensitive to heat, which can accelerate an expiration date or make it ineffective. Often, the manufacturer of the item will specify a safe temperature range for their products. If your kit is kept in your vehicle and you have traveled in areas where summer temps are high, the interior of the vehicle can easily get hot enough to affect your kit contents. If you know that the kit has been exposed to prolonged heat, it is probably better to replace the items than take a chance.
DaveK
K6DTK


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Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

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Re: First Aid Kit

#3

Post by socal_rubi » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:04 pm

Hey Tom, which adventure medical kit do you recommend for carrying in a vehicle?

I was lookin at their website, there are so many to chose from.

I was thinking the professional expedition would be a good kit to start with.

It's available on amazon.com for $240.
2012 Jeep JKUR
Lifted, Locked, and Armored for Rocks
Wheelin Web Site http://www.IronCrossOffroad.com"

"Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?"

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toms
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Re: First Aid Kit

#4

Post by toms » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:37 pm

I looked it up and I agree it is a good kit. I would replace some of the indivual packets of 2 tablets with a plastic bottle of the same type.
See you on the Trail!
TomS
KI6FHA / WPZW486

Badlands Off-Road
tom@4x4training.com
http://www.4x4training.com

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Re: First Aid Kit

#5

Post by socal_rubi » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:52 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. I'm going to supliment it with a Tactical field/trauma kit, and an additional quick clot dressing. Ten 4 on replacing the little packs with bottles of stuff. I already had that in mind. What do you think about a suture kit or sterile one use skin stapler?
2012 Jeep JKUR
Lifted, Locked, and Armored for Rocks
Wheelin Web Site http://www.IronCrossOffroad.com"

"Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?"

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toms
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Re: First Aid Kit

#6

Post by toms » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:50 pm

Have you gone thru the Wilderness First Responder course? This class will give you the first 4 of the 8 days.
http://www.4x4training.com/TrainingClinics/WAFA.html
I don't feel we need the blood clot stuff. We need to use direct pressure. The power does not work on really deep wounds so you still need to get in there. We do not have the time crunch of the military. For most wounds you need to clean them very well and allow them to drain, So I doubt you really need sutures and could do more harm. Can't hurt to carry it if you have room. You can use them to sew up your tent :)
See you on the Trail!
TomS
KI6FHA / WPZW486

Badlands Off-Road
tom@4x4training.com
http://www.4x4training.com

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Re: First Aid Kit

#7

Post by ldsnet » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:20 pm

Well said Tom.
I had a much longer reply and you summed it up very well.

Can't stress quality training wins over a huge medical kit every time.

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Re: First Aid Kit

#8

Post by socal_rubi » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:58 pm

I used to do a lot of back packing and took a red cross course. Seemed like a good idea, when I'm going to be walking 10 miles into the high sierra. I have a first aid kit, but its old, outdated, and was designed for back packing. I'm not getting a suture kit, seems a bit extreme for a vehicle kit, and I'm not trained for that anyway. I can't make the next class, too close on the calendar.
2012 Jeep JKUR
Lifted, Locked, and Armored for Rocks
Wheelin Web Site http://www.IronCrossOffroad.com"

"Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?"

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