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This blog has grown out of my weekly newspaper column. Enjoy.
A prudent person forsees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Proverbs 22:3 (NLT)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

18 Medical Kit


Getting Your Medical Kit Together

First aid kits are cool!  Like gadgets, I can’t pass up a good one.  Every time I see a display of first aid kits I have to stop and look them over.  I don’t always buy, mind you, but I do check out the contents to see if this one is any more comprehensive than the one I just looked at.  Fact is I have one in every vehicle I own, including a special “Outdoorsman kit” in the tool compartment of my ATV!  I once ran across a real sale at an Eddie Bauer store and bought a very nice travel kit that was marked 75% off!  The fact is most first aid kits all contain the same things.  A few Band-Aids, gauze bandages, some tape and maybe some pain killers or antacid tablets.
The problem I see is that if I happen upon an accident that truly requires some serious medical attention, a few Band-Aids and some little gauze patches aren’t going to do  a whole lot of good.  I don’t suggest you carry a full-blown trauma kit with you every where you go, but what I do suggest is that you at least take a good look at what you have in your trunk and possibly upgrade it a notch or two.  Bigger, better bandages, maybe a triangle bandage or something you can use to fashion a splint.  Better yet, get some training on how and when to use a splint or triangle bandage.  
A generation ago my wife and I went through E.M.T. training (at least that’s what they called it back then) and we volunteered on the local ambulance crew.  Some of what we learned back then is now out of date.  Is it five chest compressions and three mouth-to-mouth breaths or is it fifteen compressions and five breaths?  Fact is, neither are correct according to today’s paramedics.  The Red Cross website (www.redcross.org) now advocates a hands-only technique that does not use the mouth-to-mouth method at all.  (Whew what a relief, I’ve tried mouth-to-mouth and it is no fun!)  Go to a class and as you update your skills, you will update your confidence level as well.  I should add that full CPR training is available upon request, but learning the hands-only method can be done on-line by watching a video at the Red Cross website.
The kit you have in your car should look different from the kit you have at home.  Your  home kit should have more of a long-term feel to it.  Extra over-the-counter medications like antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, some alcohol (no, not that kind) and some diarrhea medication.  Once you get started it will grow and you’ll need to get a bigger box to hold it all.  (Experience talking here.)  As you already know, I am an advocate of building your own kits.  You’ll save money, plus you will have quality components and not a lot of stuff you’ll never use.  As always, your questions and comments are welcome at  disasterprep.dave@gmail.com

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