Tuesday, May 27, 2014

First Aid Kit Upgrades

I promised after the Boomershoot excitement that I was going to upgrade my first aid kit and share the upgrades with you.  Here, at last, are the additions:

1.  Something to write with, and something to write on.  Both permanent markers and ball point pens are useful here, as well as a small notepad.  The ball points are for the notepad and the sharpies are great for writing on your bandaging tape, noting useful information such as the time that a set of vital signs was taken as well as those vital signs themselves.  Stick to fine-point markers, as they're far easier to read.  Perforated or spiral-bound pads are great, as you can just remove the page and hand off any of your notes when professional help arrives, giving them a record and an advantage in their treatment.

2. A blood-pressure monitor.  I went a bit old school and just pulled out my stethoscope and cuff, but that's because I have them in the house, and because I have the training and experience to use them.  They're a bit big and bulky for my EDC kit that I carry in my backpack, but they're going in a larger kit, reminiscent of the "jump kit" I used to keep on hand when I had my EMT certification.  Depending on how and where you pack your kit, the same may apply to you.  The ability to give the responding medical crew a running blood pressure on our Boomershoot patient would have been very nice, and something I felt pretty clumsy lacking.  In addition, regular checks of your own blood pressure are never a bad thing, and the model I linked has the ability to track 30 readings, so you can see how you're trending.

3.  Specific Wilderness/Remote First Aid training.  I've already talked up the Red Cross for training before, and had the BSA wilderness first aid training that they base their curriculum on, but that was nearly 15 years ago so I'm far beyond due for a refresher, which I'll be taking this summer.  They also offer their pocket guide as a PDF at the site linked, for free.  Free is good, so get that guide.

Seeing as I come from a family of diabetics, a glucometer might not be amiss in my big kit, but that will take a fair bit of research and consultation before I can make any kind of recommendation.

I'm certain there will be another round of updates and evolutions, as any good kit should grow and change with circumstances and experience.  As it happens, I'll certainly share it here.


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