Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Aid Preps - the basics

When things get bad you don't want to find out that you're out of antiseptic or band-aids. You should actually expect to suffer MORE injuries during a crisis than you would in your everyday life. Consider this - cleaning up after a storm or fire has wreaked havoc on your property puts you at a much higher risk of coming into contact with sharp metal, broken glass, splinters, etc. A grid crash will have you doing things like chopping wood, starting fires, etc. Access to medical services may be difficult at best, not existent at worst. Be prepared to take care of your own injuries as much as possible.

Here is a short list of items you should have on you at all times - These can be kept in your car, purse, wallet, desk, etc. Redundancy is a good thing when it comes to being prepared.
  • Band-Aids - keep a good variety of sizes and don't skimp and buy the plastic ones, you'll end up changing them more often because they don't stay on well. I keep everything from 'dots' to 4x4 'knee pad' size. I also keep a couple butterfly closures with my bandaids
  • Liquid bandage - works well for most small injuries, fairly cheap at only $1 or 2 for a couple tubes about the size of a superglue bottle. Eliminates the need for most smaller band aids.
  • Individual packets of triple anti-biotic, sting relief, and cortizone cream. I found a great website for these - Their prices are great, products are effective and service is quick.
  • A pair of nail clippers with a small file
  • Mini bottle of hand sanitizer
It's possible to wrap these items in a face mask and keep them with (or near) you at all times. To keep them sanitary you can use a mint tin, travel soap box, or zipper bag. I would also keep a couple individual doses of Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, etc. (also available from firstaidmontster)

This is a comprehensive list of first aid supplies to keep on hand. I've decided to post Medicines separately though some things like triple antibiotic may be included in both areas. Also - I've decided not to delve into natural/herbal/homeopathics in this post. Hopefully I can cover those at another time.

  • Instant ice packs
  • Peroxide
  • Alcohol
  • Saline
  • Aloe
  • Burn Cream
  • Triple anti-biotic/neosporin
  • Solarcaine spray
  • Medical Scissors
  • hemostats(?) - clamps
  • Tweezers
  • Nail Clippers
  • Elastic
  • Ace Bandages, sm
  • Ace Bandages, lg
  • Safety pins
  • Straight pins
  • Anbesol (can be used as a mild local anesthetic for splinter removal)
  • Thermometer
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • CPR Mask
  • Face Masks
  • Band-Aids, basic
  • Band-Aids, knuckle & tip
  • Band-Aids, small & dots
  • Band-Aids, large
  • Band-Aids, xl
  • Eyedropper
  • Moleskin
  • Medical Tape, narrow
  • Medical Tape, wide
  • liquid bandage
  • Gauze pads 2x2
  • Gauze pads 3x3
  • Gauze pads 4x4
  • Gauze rolls small
  • Gauze rolls large
  • Leukostrips/Butterfly bandages
  • Epsom Salts
Recommended skills -
Red Cross certification in CPR & First Aid
EMT training if feasible

Recommended resources -
PDR: Physicians Desk Reference
The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy by Mark H Beers
US Army Special Forces Medical Handbook - Department of the Army

Recommended reading -
Survivalist Medicine Chest or Do it yourself Medicine by Ragnar Benson
Wilderness Medicine, Beyond First Aid by William Forgey
Where There is No Doctor by David Werner
Where There is No Dentist
by Murray Dickson

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