Tuesday, April 22, 2014

First Aid Kits: Odds and Ends

To wrap up our first aid kits, lets look at some odds and ends to customize and personalize your loadout.  These are things that not everyone will need, so pick and choose the things that are appropriate to your lifestyle, environment, and activities.

New Skin: Similar to superglue, New Skin can serve as a temporary alternative to sutures, and gives more sensitivity and utility in digits than a traditional bandage.

CAT Tourniquet: A tourniquet that can be applied one-handed, even on yourself.  Handy if you spend a fair bit of time alone, or participate in hobbies with the potential for falls or other traumatic injuries.

Steri-Strips: An old standby from my grandmother (a 50 year nurse).  Similar in practice to a butterfly closure, but they're tougher and more durable, as well as being nearly invisible.  Light and compact, they're great to have around.

QuickClot:  A chemical clotting agent.  I prefer the kinds that are either impregnated gauze or a sponge, as they're easier to control and use than the loose powder.  They're great for stopping serious bleeding, especially in areas that are difficult to tourniquet.

"Israeli Dressing":  A jack-of-all-trades compression dressing.  Israeli dressings can be used to provide direct pressure, secure other dressings (such as the aforementioned QuickClot sponge), or serve as a primary dressing themselves.  They're designed for easy application, such that an injured person can apply one to themself if necessary.

Instant Cold Packs:  Useful for easing pain, as well as controlling swelling.  Instant cold packs require no outside cold to be effective, instead using a chemical reaction.  As anyone who's injured joints can tell you, immediate application of cold to ease swelling helps recovery, and can allow you to be immediately active if needed, at least to some level.

So, what customizing gear does everybody else have in their first aid kits?  What gear haven't I mentioned in all this that deserves a nod?  Let us know in the comments!


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