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Sunday, April 26, 2009

First Aid Supplies - Just Like Food Preps

For when times get tough, we are all preparing by laying in a supply of food, water, some tools and hopefully some printed information for reference. First Aid supplies are often not given a high enough priority in our planning.

I approach First Aid supplies in much the same way as I do with food storage purchases. Each time I go grocery shopping, I take a tour down bathroom aisle and pick up one or two First Aid items. Just like buying a couple of extra cans of food on each trip, your First Aid supplies will quickly multiply to a respectable level.

Preassembled First Kits sold in hardware stores or Pharmacies are wholly inadequate for any extended emergency and doubly so for any serious injury where the ambulance can't or wont be coming anytime soon. Thankfully most of us rarely need a well rounded set of First Aid supplies but let me tell you, that if you slip with that chainsaw or your sharp knife the one or two rolls of gauze in your prepackaged kit will not be adequate to stop the bleeding and there wont be enough to keep the wound clean and dressed.

Discount supplies can be found at pharmacies, grocery stores, Walmart as well as other discount stores. Always check the packaging to ensure the product (if applicable) is labelled as being sterilized. Some "band-aid" type adhesive bandages are not sterile, the same for some gauze pads and rolls. In your assembled "mega-kit" you should have everything you need to treat most medical situations short of invasive surgery.

You can not have too many band aids, gauze pads & rolls, triangular bandages, antiseptic wipes, alcohol, iodine, hydrogen-peroxide, polysporin, antacid tablets, over the counter pain mediation, antihistamines, Imodium tablets, antibiotics (ask your doctor), epi-pen, safety pins, scalpels, syringes, good scissors, tape, sutures, petroleum jelly, blistex, throat lozenges, thermometer, face shields, gloves, space blankets and the list goes on and on.

You should have a small First Aid kit in your get home bag or pack, a larger kit in your car, and a "monster kit" at home. Treating any serious injury in the field while waiting for help to arrive will use more of your supplies than you probably realize. I have been in a situation where I used several field dressings, more than 10 rolls of gauze bandages/sponges, three triangular bandages, several splints and an entire bottle of peroxide just cleaning and dressing the wounds of one person. In an extended emergency, you may need to go back to your first aid kit many times before the opportunity to restock used items presents itself.

I highly recommend that every member of your family take a CPR/A.R. course as well as an advanced First Aid course offered by the Red Cross or St. John's Ambulance people. Surrounding yourself with trained people might very well save your life if they have the knowledge and supplies to act when the situation requires it.

A good medical practices/treatment book belongs on the shelf of any home library.

[What have you done today to prepare?]


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