First Aid Kits are one of those preparedness items that people often neglect. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to get the same attention that things like survival knives, guns and bugout bags get. But when you think about it, a first aid kit is something that’s probably going to get more use than any other item in your survival stash.
A Way to Stop bleeding and Close wounds:
Every good medical kit should have items that can be used to help stop bleeding, close and protect cuts, and help prevent infection from setting in.
- Duct Tape – Yes, duct tape. It can be a life saver when dealing with a cut or wound where medical help may be too far off to quickly reach. Duct tape can quickly and safely pull together an open wound, and can buy you time until you can reach medical help.
- Butterfly Sutures – Another great way to close up small wounds is to use something know as a butterfly suture. These types of adhesive strips pull the edges of a small cut together in the same way as a doctor’s sutures.
When using duct tape or butterfly sutures to close a wound. Carefully clean the wound and wash out any foreign materials or debris. If you have some sort of antiseptic, apply it to the wound and dry the area. Start in the middle of the wound and apply strips to close the edges. Working your way towards the edges, gently bringing the two sides together and taping them shut.
Ways to Prevent Infection:
During a survival situation, where sanitation issues may become a problem, keeping your wounds clean and covered is extremely important. Infection can set in quickly, so you need to stay on top of any open wounds. That means it’s important to carry the following items:
- Adhesive wound dressings
- Antibiotic ointments and creams
- Broad spectrum oral Antibiotics – This may be difficult to come by since you need a prescription, but some doctors may be willing to prescribe them as a preventative measure if you’re going to be on an extended trip out in the wilderness. Erythromycin, Ciprofloxacin and Amoxicillin are all broad spectrum antibiotics.
- Antiseptics and Disinfectants – Peroxide, Isopropyl Alcohol, PVP Iodine Ampules and Antiseptic wipes are all things that need to be in your kit.
Pain Management Items
Depending on you condition, pain can be a debilitating and even deadly thing if it causes you to lose hope or give up. Having a way to treat and manage pain, as well as decrease inflammation, is an important part of every emergency medical kit.
- Aspirin, Tylenol or Ibuprofen
- Codeine or some type of pain killer
- Chemical Ice Bags
Dealing with Allergies
Even if you don’t think you have allergies, there are certain things that can still cause an allergic reaction. In some cases, especially in people who have food allergies, allergens can cause life threatening anaphylaxis reactions that need to be treated immediately.
- Antihistamine – Benadryl, otherwise known by its generic name Diphenhydramine HCl, is one of the best antihistamines on the market and is something that should be part of everyone’s kit.
- Antihistamine creams
- EpiPen or Epinephrine – For those with a life-threatening allergy, having an EpiPen with you at all times is essential. They can help stop an anaphylaxis reaction and buy you time until medical help arrives.
Items Specific to Your Unique Medical Needs
No one kit is right for every person. That’s why special attention needs to be put into developing a kit for yourself and your loved ones. I advise staying away from prepackaged kits, unless you’re using it as a foundation to build off of.
- Make sure your kit is stocked with extra prescription medications if you have a medical condition that requires you to take medication.
- OTC Meds – If you routinely take Over the Counter medications to treat conditions like arthritis, nausea, etc… make sure you have an ample supply in your kit.
Your Kit should also contain at least some of the following items:
- Emergency dental kit
- Sterile needles and surgical blades.
- Splints – SAM and air splints
- Quick Clot Gauze
- Grooming and cleaning tools – Finger nail clippers, soap, Antiseptic wipes.
- Disposable thermometers
- Disposable gloves
- Sterile eyewash & eye dressings
- Burn creams and dressings
- Medical manuals and basic first aid instructions.
What do you have in your medical kit?