You are here: Home > Complete Preparedness Library > First Aid And Medical Basics > When Injuries Are More Serious

When Injuries Are More Serious

when injuries are more serious

A bug-out bag that contains a first aid kit is a great way to provide you with the basic necessities you will require during an emergency or on a wilderness trip.  The first aid kit will be able to handle the ordinary cuts, scrapes, and bruises that can occur, but more serious injuries are also possible, and by adding a few essential items to your bug-out bag, you will be able to more easily deal with traumatic injuries.

Sprains And Strains

Although spraining and straining are often confused, there is a difference.  Sprains are injuries to the joint, often the ankle and usually involve damage to the ligaments.  Strains are damage to the muscle.  When a sprain occurs, not only is it best to keep all weight off the affected joint, but also to wrap it in order to help stabilize the injury.  Have a roll of elastic bandage, such as an Ace Bandage, in your bug-out bag can help you to begin treatment of a sprain right away.  An Ace Bandage can also be used for treating a strain, just be sure not to wrap the bandage too tightly.

Fractures

Broken fingers, arms, or legs can occur during times of emergency or disaster, and being able to treat them when the usual medical services may not be immediately available can help to stabilize the injury and ease the pain.  Splints can be made from strips of wood, cardboard, or even magazines – anything that can provide support and stability.  Use cloth strips or even an Ace Bandage to hold the splints in place.

An alternative to the above splints would be products such as SAM Splints or Universal Aluminum Splints.  These are flexible strips or rolls that have an aluminum core surrounded by foam.  Wrapped around a fractured limb, they will hold the break in place until professional help is present.  There are smaller aluminum splints that can be slipped over a broken finger.

Never attempt to ‘set’ the fracture yourself, the person will need the care of a doctor.  If the bone has broken through the skin, do not push it back in – this will increase the chance of infection.  Cover the broken end with a gauze pad, apply tape to hold the gauze in place, and splint as for any other fracture.

Bleeding

Cuts and other injuries can cause bleeding that can sometimes be serious or life-threatening.  A cut or gash that is exhibiting a steady flow of blood is probably just involving the veins, and is unlikely to pose any immediate threat to life.  However, a wound that has a pulsing blood flow means that an artery has been ruptured, and this is one that can cause death by blood loss.  It is important to stop this last type of bleeding immediately.

Some of the best products you can have in your bug-out bag would be those that are capable of dealing with arterial bleeding.  Having Celox granules or gauze strips in your kit can help you to stanch this type of serious bleeding.  This product will help form a clot, and combined with a few minutes of pressure and bandaging, can preserve the life of the victim until they get to a hospital.  Quick clot can also be used, but the heat that is generated can cause 25 person first aid kitdamage to the nerves.  Regardless of which product you use, be sure to tell medical personnel that these have been applied when the emergency room is reached. 

In the event that neither of the above products is available, apply pressure to the injury and elevate it above the level of the heart.  As a last resort, to save the person’s life, use a tourniquet between the wound and the heart.

In short, just always have a first aid kit ready. You never know what will happen. Prepare today for tomorrow.