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
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.
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.
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
damage 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.