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First Aid Kits

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:11 pm
by Rik
Out of interest What do people carry in their first aid kits?

I have a reasonably comprehensive kit but have seen others with very little in theirs.

It is often claimed that you can double up on items e.g. using electrical tape rather than triangular bandages, but what reassurance does this give a victim of an accident. If you would use this with your mates, would you use it with a group of clients if you are a coach?

To paraphrase Mr R. "Discuss."

Rik

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:29 pm
by RobMoffatt
I think the most important thing to consider when filling your first aid kit is, your first aid skill level. There is no point having dressings/treatments if you don't know how to use them properly and safely. They would just get in the way. Only carry what you feel comfortable using to treat someone, and items which are suitable for the situations you will find yourself in!

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:21 pm
by James Hartley
RobMoffatt wrote:I think the most important thing to consider when filling your first aid kit is, your first aid skill level. There is no point having dressings/treatments if you don't know how to use them properly and safely. They would just get in the way. Only carry what you feel comfortable using to treat someone, and items which are suitable for the situations you will find yourself in!
Eloqently put and spot one. With the ease of buying anything off the internet, the only limiting aspect of what you could poetentially carry is space and cost, but it all becomes pointless if you can't use any of it.
As to what I carry, I use a staged approach (think triage). My first line of defense is electrical tape carried in the front of my BA, used for all minor wounds (blisters etc). Next stage is from my boat, and this conatains dressings, bandages, tri-angular bandages, super glue, wipes, and the other usual type of stuff. The third and final stuff is the serious stage and is kept in a seperate bag, and that is an airway management kit, aspirator, airways, laedal pocket face mask.
I do not carry anything I am not happy to use or that I have not been trained to use.

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:53 pm
by JimmyP
What would you use super glue for? Cuts?

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:00 pm
by AliceB
This has always been a contentious subject....

In my mind there are several different answers and there has already been some good advice,
There is no point having dressings/treatments if you don't know how to use them properly and safely
If you're out boating with a group of mates I don't see that there's anything wrong with having just a role of duct/electrical tape and absorbant dressings (on several occasions I've been on trips where an bleeding injury has been patched up with a sanitary towel and duct tape - leading to many hilarious photo opportunities before carting them off to A&E). After all, if it does the job...

If you're a coach then there is the question of looking professional and while the above is practical a more comprehensive first aid kit might be an idea.....there's no need to go wild, after all it is call "first aid" for a reason. Personally I carry plasters, plenty of absorbant (non stick) dressings and tape, triangular bandages, a support bandage of sorts, plenty of plasters, latex gloves (you never know what nasties some people have) , a vent aid and a thermal blanket...it all fits in to one small kit and has awlays served the purpose more than adequately.

Some people I know also like to carry an "ouch pouch" in their BA which is quite handy if you coach kids.

Hope this helps :p

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:21 pm
by Chris C
well electrical tape is the only thing that will stick to cuts in wet conditions, one guy used to carry a roll or two of electrical tape and some panty liners. anything more he said he was over his head and with those he could patch up most things like cuts grazes etc

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:45 pm
by DaveCC
James Hartley wrote:
RobMoffatt wrote:I think the most important thing to consider when filling your first aid kit is, your first aid skill level. There is no point having dressings/treatments if you don't know how to use them properly and safely. They would just get in the way. Only carry what you feel comfortable using to treat someone, and items which are suitable for the situations you will find yourself in!
Eloqently put and spot one. With the ease of buying anything off the internet, the only limiting aspect of what you could poetentially carry is space and cost, but it all becomes pointless if you can't use any of it.
As to what I carry, I use a staged approach (think triage). My first line of defense is electrical tape carried in the front of my BA, used for all minor wounds (blisters etc). Next stage is from my boat, and this conatains dressings, bandages, tri-angular bandages, super glue, wipes, and the other usual type of stuff. The third and final stuff is the serious stage and is kept in a seperate bag, and that is an airway management kit, aspirator, airways, laedal pocket face mask.
I do not carry anything I am not happy to use or that I have not been trained to use.

Absolutely agree with this - in theory, I could/should carry a huge amount of kit, but if anything I now carry less as I feel that I know what I can get away with improvising......Also Alice has a good point - anything absorbant works, climbers use to use sanitary towels to mop up water on climbs!!

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:18 am
by James Hartley
JimmyP wrote:What would you use super glue for? Cuts?
Indeed. To glue wounds shut as its waterproof, and sticks anything to almost anything

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:07 am
by RichA
I've got one of these, plus a few extra items. I'm happy to use everything in it if I had to, which as already mentioned a few times is pretty important.

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 12:50 pm
by James Hartley
Forgot to mention paramedic tough cut shears, they will cut through any item if clothing, essential if you ever have the misfortune of having to preform CPR, as you will need to cut the BA off and cag.
You can get them here

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 3:04 pm
by JimmyP
Is super glue safe to use? I cut my eye on the river Conwy the other week and we were looking round shops in Betws y Coed for steri strips and couldn't find any. Should i have just used super glue?

Superglue

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 3:14 pm
by Gwynfor
Superglue is a great first aid idea, although I would pause using it so near to eyes. It is especially useful for keeping split knuckles closed (works on multiday trips). I was shown this trick byone of our best know paddling doctors.

I had a look at the lifesystems kits (link from RichA's post above). Looks good, but some people (inc. me) are allergic to the Zinc Oxide tape, and having only one triangular bandage is sometimes not enough (eg, immobilising a shoulder dislocation).

Gwyn

Re: Superglue

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 3:21 pm
by Steve B
Gwynfor wrote:Superglue ... I was shown this trick by one of our best know paddling doctors.
If our best known paddling doctor happens to be reading - Chris, would you be able to give us a quick precis of how to use this stuff? Like how much to use, that sort of thing? Also, when dealing with bleeding in the field, it's normally considered best to apply pressure and leave the dressing undisturbed. But presumably you have to stop the bleeding first, then remove the dressing to use superglue?

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:34 pm
by *Guy*
I carry super glue too, mainly to use on myself or for others to use if they want (I'd hesitate about sticking someone else together but if a mate want some...)
Like Gwyn says its great for knuckles and also fingetips, where no dressing will stay at the best of times, with the bonus of no loss of dexterity.

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:57 pm
by Pete the kayaker
Gwyn said
I had a look at the lifesystems kits (link from RichA's post above). Looks good, but some people (inc. me) are allergic to the Zinc Oxide tape, and having only one triangular bandage is sometimes not enough (eg, immobilising a shoulder dislocation).
I am (partly) responsible for what goes into Lifesystems first aid kits. I can assure you that all the first aid kits have micropore tape (sometimes in addition to zinc oxide tape). Your point about triangular bandages is entirely valid, but you could chose the Mountain Leader kit which does come with two. Unfortunately it is uneconomic to make first-aid kits tailored to every individuals requirements, therefore we make what we hope is a good range of basic kits - it's then up to you to adapt it to your individual needs.

Anyway, to see more, visit http://www.lifesystems.co.uk/

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 6:13 pm
by DaveCC
The offical line as I recall is that superglue should not be used beneath the eyebrow or above the cheek bone - i.e. well away from the eye... You don't want superglue in your eye or sealing it....

Using it - the wounds need to be clean + dry...then the wound edges need to be opposed with no tension and then put the glue along the edges - some people use blobs others use a strip.....You don't put glue into the wound!

Any corrections Chris?

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 7:51 pm
by ChrisBainbridge
Superglue does need to be used on dry surfaces so important to spend some time on this. local pressure around a wound will usually reduce bleeding, or for a limb simple elevation is best. For a hand put the hand as high above the head as possible. For a leg place the person on their back on the ground and lift leg up in the air.

Dont worry about getting it in the wound. The amounts you will use will make no difference at all, I should know having stuck all manner of body parts together with it.

If you are controlling bleeding with a pressure dressing then I would suggest leaving it in place. In the UK if the bleeding is so bad that you need a full pressure dressing then you are probably talking a walk out rather than paddle.

Personally I would not use a triangular bandage for anything other than wrapping my sandwiches in. Duct tape is what you want. A pad under the shoulder to hold it in a comfortable position and then duct tape the upper arm to the body will immobilise it far better than triangular bandage.

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:19 pm
by James F
I went to Boots and bought a first aid kit that looked like it would be the right size for putting in my drybag. Job done.

Re: Superglue

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:30 pm
by Steve B
I wrote: If our best known paddling doctor happens to be reading
Mmmm. Just thought I'd better say - no offence intended to the various doctors who contribute to the forum! It's just that one of you is more high profile!

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 3:39 pm
by planet
I got one of them spangly lifesystems 'mountain' first aid kits - to which I have added

Super glue
Pain killers (usually used for hangovers!)
Indigestion tablets
Immodium (I can't spell diarrea!)
Heaps of extra anticeptic wipes

and I carry a roll of 'harry maskers' for all sorts of useful (and fun!) applications.

I heard that superglue was invented for combat medics and first used in Vietnam.

Re: Superglue

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:25 pm
by DaveCC
Steve B wrote:
I wrote: If our best known paddling doctor happens to be reading
Mmmm. Just thought I'd better say - no offence intended to the various doctors who contribute to the forum! It's just that one of you is more high profile!
No offence taken!!!

He's been here longer than me!

Anyway - back to the patients (Yes, this is work avoidance)

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:04 pm
by Adrian Cooper
A word of warning about superglue. Someone once tried to shut a car boot lid on my head (no names). That smarted! So of to A&E where they applied some form of glue. the nurse said this would sting a bit and I can confirm that it certainly did. It was much worse than the initial injury but the pain went away quite quickly and it did the job.

So if you are applying it to someone else, just make sure you warn them.

As an aside, I seem to recall that superglue is some form of cyanide derivative, presumably there is no issue with this?

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:27 pm
by Pete the kayaker
'Superglue' is mostly Methoxy-Ethyl Cyanoacrylate - From what I've read this isn't highly toxic - it's not to be confused with Cyanide which in high doses can be.


I think that the invention of superglue as a remedy for wounds in Vietnam is a bit of a myth as it was invented to replace spider silk in WWII bomber sights (for which it was crap - it stuck to everything!). However, they did develop surgical uses for it in Vietnam.

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:30 pm
by Grumpy Fisherman
planet wrote:Immodium (I can't spell diarrea!)
Diarrhoea.

I have also heard it suggested that tampons are good to carry:
  • Good for nosebleeds
    Three or four can be used instead of a roll of sterile bandage for injuries to the palm of the hand
    And for a trip leader's bag, also good for the obvious
Which all seems very sensible to me. Will also get myself some superglue now, if that's the word from the resident doc's!

Owen

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:38 pm
by James Hartley
Pete the kayaker wrote:'Superglue' is mostly Methoxy-Ethyl Cyanoacrylate - From what I've read this isn't highly toxic - it's not to be confused with Cyanide which in high doses can be.


I think that the invention of superglue as a remedy for wounds in Vietnam is a bit of a myth as it was invented to replace spider silk in WWII bomber sights (for which it was crap - it stuck to everything!). However, they did develop surgical uses for it in Vietnam.
All fairly true. Yes superglue depending on brand can be midly toxic, but not really an issue in the levels which you would use it. It was also inveted for gun sights, but because of how sticky it was, it was shelved for several years before it somebody thought of a practical use. It was also used by US troops in vietnam with a high sucess rate, but at the time of issue to the troops, it hadn't been approved by the medical association

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:52 pm
by planet
Tampons are also useful for:

bullet wounds

luring birds of prey - if pulled along the ground with fishing line

spare thermal clothing - but you need loads!


Any other suggestions?

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:14 pm
by jen2706
Using for bullet wounds comes with the proviso that it's only on holes in limbs. The story goes that a police officer cornered a man with a gun, and had to shoot him to disarm him. One of the bullets went in just below his collar bone, so the PC pulled out a tampon, and put it in the hole. The pain made the guy take a sharp breath in, and it disappeared. It took a fair amount of surgery to remove it from his lung.....