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Building a Complete First Aid Kit

A Complete First Aid Kit

You will not necessarily be able to depend upon your regular medical services during a major emergency or disaster. It is essential that you have sufficient first aid supplies in the home to help deal with nearly any injury or illness that may arise during this time. Most of the injuries will be of a minor nature, such as small cuts or scratches or burns – but these small injuries can turn into big problems if they get infected. Having the ability and equipment on hand to take care of these small wounds can save a lot of trouble later on. Besides having a good supply of first aid supplies in your kit, make sure that you also have a first aid book. Many kits come with a small manual, but you should augment this with something that gives more detailed information.

What You Will Need In Your Kit – The Basics

There are a number of very basic first aid supplies that should be available to you in your kit. These will help you to deal with most medical problems that arise during an emergency.

  • Adhesive bandages
  • Gauze bandage pads
  • Adhesive tape, preferably hypoallergenic paper tape
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Pain Relievers
  • Cotton swabs
  • Thermometer
  • Container of Sterile Water
  • Pre-moistened Hand Wipes
  • Latex Gloves
  • Cold and Hot Instant Packs
  • Face Mask
  • Antihistamine
  • Cortisone cream
  • Antidiarrheal
  • Elastic Bandage such as Ace Bandage

The above items will see you through nearly any minor medical problems that could arise when medical help is not available. Be sure to read through your first aid manual or book before you actually need to use it.

For Handling Traumatic Injuries

More serious injuries will not be able to be patched up by the items found in your basic first aid kit, and you might want to add some products that will help you deal with traumatic wounds and injuries.

A deep cut can bleed ferociously, and if one of the arteries has been opened, this should be considered a life-threatening injury that must be taken care of immediately. You can tell the difference between arterial bleeding and heavy venous bleeding because arterial bleeding will gush in response to the heart beat. A deep, serious, venous cut will have a steady stream of blood. To help stop arterial or venous bleeding, it would be best to use Celox. This is available either as a granular product or as a gauze roll. I have seen films showing how the gauze will stop arterial bleeding from a bullet wound to the leg. Celoxcan either be poured on or stuffed in, covered with a gauze pad – then pressure must be applied for about five minutes. Quikclot will also help with serious bleeding, but it has been known to cause nerve damage from the heat it produces while working.

Broken limbs, toes, or fingers are possible during an emergency and you should know how to splint these. You can also use SAM splints or Universal Aluminum Splint, which are basically splints on a roll. The SAM splint can be positioned alongside the broken limb and then secured in place with cloth or a roll of gauze. The Universal Splint can be wrapped around the limb to keep it steady. At no time should you attempt to set the limb yourself, and if the bone has broken through the skin, do not try to push it back in – it should be covered with a sterile gauze pad and this should be secured with tape. This open break can then be splinted.