Medical First Aid Kit: Build a DIY Emergency First Aid, Surgical and Medical Kit
Planning a full medical first aid kit ahead of time will help you and your group in an apocalyptic scenario. You cannot be sure that professional care will still be available and you may suffer an accident when you are away from your base camp. It is when you are on the move that you will need a fully stocked first aid kit that does not weigh you down, so you will need to make some decisions about what to keep in your daypack and what to leave at base.
When you think of first aid, you think about treating minor injuries such as cuts, swellings and sprains. The basic medical first aid kit should allow you to treat these injuries easily and quickly. However, beyond the bandages, antiseptic wipes and burn cream that you will find in most drugstore first aid kits, you should look for kits that include:
- Blister packs – You may find that you need to move base camp every night for the first few weeks in a survival situation as you move towards safety. This means that you will cover many miles each day and people in your party will develop blisters even in the most comfortable shoes. If you have a larger budget, look for a medical first aid kit that carries moleskin, as it is the best possible material for curing and preventing blisters.
- Knuckle bandages – Grazes and cuts on the knuckles and elbows are the hardest of any sort of injury to heal due to the flexible nature of the joints. They are rarely still enough to allow the proper clotting process, which is why you will still need specific knuckle bandages. They wrap around the palm of the hand to keep the wound closed and sterile.
- Finger splints – In a survival scenario, finger injuries are more than just mild irritants. Breaking or severely bruising a finger can mean a lack of productivity and even the loss of function in that hand for a few days. Finger splints are a quick way to fix a break and allow the body’s natural healing process to start faster.
First Aid Only has put together an excellent basic first aid kit that covers the basics along with these additions. It comes in a well-organized soft case and costs about $15. At eight inches in height and less than a pound in weight, it is worth investing in one pack for each of your members.
Multi-person Medical First Aid Kit
The basic packages rely on only the need to provide first aid to yourself or one other person. If you know that you will be regularly traveling with at least four or more people, you will need a medical first aid kit that contains the following:
- Eye pads – Eye injuries have the potential to cause permanent damage if untreated. Eye pads help to protect scratched eyes from further injury and can help to sterilize the eyeball in the case of infection.
- Emergency blankets – Hypothermia can kill inside half an hour, which is why your bigger kit needs emergency blankets. The most common type is a space blanket, made from silver foil, which helps to retain body heat.
- Trauma pads – Trauma pads are like regular gauze pads but are much bigger and much more absorbent. They are primarily used for big wounds with massive blood loss as a way of stopping the bleeding and promoting clotting.
The basic first responder kit of First Aid Only will meet these needs, though it does lack a lot of the basic kit of bandages, wipes and creams. It is also a bit more bulky at 14 inches by 12 inches so you would only need to take one for your whole party. The specialist equipment costs a little more, with the pack costing just under $100.
Quick medical treatment for minor injuries prevents those injuries from becoming a major health problem. A good medical first aid kit will take care of those lesser injuries and be worth every penny spent on it.
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