First-aid equipment is one of the most overlooked survival gear out there. While they are not as interesting to talk about as firearms, bug out bags and survival knives, first- aid kits are likely going to be one of the most essential items in your survival gear.
You will need to dedicate time in making sure that all your essential first-aid equipment is covered. If you are not sure regarding the items that you should be carrying in your medical equipment bag, this guide will offer some tips on the most necessary medical equipment to be truly prepared.
Proper First-Aid Preparedness
Being ready to offer first-aid in emergency situations can be a critical advantage to you as well as your family members since it can save lives. More often than not, the paramedics, firefighters and police officers, are not immediately available to deal with the situation. You will have to offer a helping hand to people in pain, unconscious, or bleeding. However, you will need to make some preparations before you can efficiently offer first-aid services.
Have a First-aid manual
With a basic first-aid manual, such as the American College of Emergency Physician’s First Aid Manual, you could know how to treat over 100 conditions and injuries. You can tell whether a patient is suffering from a heart attack and know how best to deal with such a situation. You will also learn how to treat minor injuries as well as major burns and cuts.
Know how to use every item in your first-aid kit
Some medical conditions will need you to take immediate action to resolve. For instance, if anyone in your group is bitten by a snake or experiences an asthma attack, you will need to know exactly which items to use. Make a point of knowing everything there is to know about these medical situations ahead of that time.
Snake bite kit: Learn how to use a snake bite kit, particularly if you are traveling to areas that are prevalent with poisonous snakes or live in an area that is home to poisonous snakes.
Bee sting kit: While bee stings may be painful to some of us, they are deadly for others. For people that are allergic to bee stings, they could experience a fatal reaction that requires immediate action.
Inhalers and EPI-pens: It is best to learn how to properly use an EPI-pen before you are required to use it. If someone in your family or group carries one, everyone else should learn how to use an epinephrine auto injector. This also applies to an inhaler if someone in the family suffers from asthma or has a chronic lung or respiratory condition.
Tourniquet: A tourniquet should only be used by people who understand exactly how it works. That’s essentially because if used wrong, it could result in the loss of limbs. Get to know how to use the item in the event that someone in your group or family is losing blood from a cut and then back up the info with training.
Burns: Burns are the second leading cause of death for children in the country. Whether or not you have children in your neighborhood, you should learn how to treat burns immediately. For instance, the best immediate treatment for burns is holding the burnt skin under cool water for 10-20 minutes.
Ammonia inhalant: Ammonia is essential in cases of fainting. While most preppers will not remember to carry and use this, you should.
What supplies should you have in your first-aid kit?
The right stockpile of emergency medical equipment can save you a huge amount of money by avoiding unnecessary trips to the doctor. The perfect first-aid kit is the one that takes care of all your unique medical needs. No one has a one-size-fits-all first-aid kit. Therefore, you will have to customize yours to deal with the most eminent medical emergencies for you.
You must, therefore, take an inventory of those in your household, the medical conditions that they are facing or could be prone to, and the items that you would need to help them survive. While every member of your household will have different items in their kits, there are some items that every first-aid kit should contain.
Below are some of the most essential medical equipment to have in your first-aid kit list. This medical equipment should form the foundation for your first-aid kit and will provide the necessary help for any of your loved ones to get going.
Equipment to stop bleeding and seal wounds
Any first-aid kit should contain medical equipment to stop bleeding, protect cuts, and prevent wounds from getting infected. Here are some of the items in your first-aid kit that would help to stop bleeding and dress open wounds:
• Butterfly sutures: A butterfly suture is a type of adhesive strip that help pull the edges of a cut together. Butterfly sutures work the same way as a doctor’s stitches and should only be used to close up small wounds.
• Duct Tape: While most people only use duct tape to hold pipes, electrical wires and other items sealed up, it can be a life saver in sealing up a wound or cut when medical help is too far away to get there in time. It can buy you or a loved one the time to get medical assistance by quickly and safely sealing an open wound and preventing blood loss.
There are people that spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on problems that should have been solved in less than ten minutes with less than $10 of emergency medical supplies. With the right medical equipment, you will also have more confidence solving medical problems when they pop up.
You will need to make sure that the wound is properly cleaned up of any debris or foreign material before using butterfly sutures or duct tape to close a cut or a wound. Clean the wound area with antiseptic and dry it off before applying duct tape or sutures. Make sure to pull the edges of the cut together as tightly as possible when applying the strip. To achieve this, start from the middle of the cut and work your way towards the edges, pulling both sides together gently and stitching them shut.
Equipment to prevent infection
Most people fail to take sanitation serious during survival situations. However, it is critical to take the right sanitation steps to prevent infections. A wound or cut can get infected pretty quickly and easily. Therefore, you will need to clean it up before you have a bigger problem in your hands. It is, therefore, essential to have the following items in your first-aid kit:
• Adhesive wound dressings
• Antibiotic creams and ointments
• Broad spectrum oral antibiotics: You will need a prescription to acquire these drugs and they might be more difficult to purchase. Some doctors may, however, be able to prescribe these drugs to people that are taking a trip into the wilderness for an extended time. Some of the most common broad spectrum antibiotics include Amoxicillin, Erythromycin, and Ciprofloxacin.
• Disinfectants and antibiotics: These are the substances used to clean out wounds and cuts to prevent infections. They include, Hydrogen Peroxide, PVP Iodine Ampules, Isopropyl Alcohol, and Antiseptic wipes. At least one of these items must be in a complete first-aid kit.
As is known by almost anyone, prevention is better than cure! Preventative medication prevents the onset of a more serious infection. We must, therefore, be prepared for situations that require preventative medication measures. The items listed above provide a wide range of choices to prevent a victim from infections depending on the situation at hand. While some patients will only require wound dressing, others will require all the items in the list to prevent infection.
Pain management medication
Pain can be devastating and deadly, especially in situations when the patient has experienced serious trauma. It is, therefore, necessary to always have a way to manage pain and reduce inflammation in your first-aid kit. Below are some of the items and medication you should always have in your first-aid kit to manage pain:
• Aspirin, Ibrufen, or Tylenol
• Codeine or another type of pain killer
• Chemical Ice Bags
It’s hard to deal with pain, and it is not easier to watch a loved one dealing with pain. You want to be prepared with pain medication in an accident or medical situation that causes a lot of pain to you or to a loved one.
Items to deal with allergies
There are a ton of different allergies that people suffer from. Some of your allergies may be triggered by air, food, or even humidity. Being aware of the allergies that everyone in your household suffers from, each of their first-aid kits should be stocked with medication to deal with their allergies.
For instance, some allergies cause people to whiz or sneeze and there are inhalers for people with this type of allergies. However, there are other allergies that cause diarrhea, and require different types of treatment. Your first-aid kit must be able to solve the problem as fast as possible and allow you to resume your daily life.
Allergies may be caused by medications, bacteria, viruses, parasites, or digestive disorders that need attention. Stock the proper medicines and prevent the adverse symptoms of your allergy, whether sneezing, diarrhea, or swelling. Towards preventing diarrhea, here are some of the items you should have in your pack:
• Anti- diarrhoeal such as Imodium
• Enzyme supplement for better digestive health
• Sports drinks for adults and electrolyte drinks for kids
• Tums or Prilosec for heartburn relief
Items for Respiratory infections
Respiratory infections are most common during fall and winter. The symptoms include a running nose, sore throats, and coughs. When it is more severe, a respiratory infection could cause lethargy and a range of breathing difficulties. Below are some of the items you should always have in your first-aid kit to solve respiratory problems as fast as possible:
• Halls cough drops to soothe your sore throat
• Hydrogen peroxide: It is effective as a debriding agent for your nasal cavity. It can aid in the removal of mucus, phlegm, or any other cell secretions that are responsible for your sore mouth or throat.
• Thieves oil
Flu protection items
We have witnessed the wide spread of colds, flu, and swine flu and preppers should stay stocked with items that protect them from epidemics. Below are some of the items you could stock up to be fully prepared to guard yourself from an outbreak:
Gloves: Any prepper will tell you that gloves are an essential part of your first-aid kit, and they are right. Gloves protect your hands from dirt or harmful elements. More importantly, they are invaluable when dressing cuts or wounds. You do not want to handle any open cuts with your bare hands as it could introduce germs and cause infections.
Protection kit: A protection kit will contain items such as disposable thermometers, eye protection, and more. It will keep you and your loved ones guarded from any infection in the case of an outbreak.
Blood Clotting agent
Deep cuts are not an uncommon scene, especially after accidents. Loss of blood can be fatal, and the patient might need immediate action to save him time to see a physician. Having a clotting agent in your first-aid kit is a very essential step towards being prepared for such a situation.
You could use either clotting pads or clotting powder in an emergency to save a life. It is also worth considering using super glue and duct tape in a survival situation. These items are literally life savers. Do not leave home without a blood clotting agent as it might come in handy in case of an accident.
The Israeli Bandage
An emergency involving a severe cut may be pretty hard to treat using a blood clotting agent or super glue. To stop the excessive loss of blood from the cut, you will need an Israeli bandage, popularly known as trauma dressing.
An Israeli Bandage is great for dressing even the most severe of wounds that may come with fractures. Being a standard military issue, it can be used on multiple parts of the body and is suitable for adults as well as children. It is needless to say how handy it would be during an emergency. You should get one and learn how to use it properly and you will be prepared to dress any severe injuries and prevent loss of blood.
Medications and items for personal emergencies
We cannot create an exhaustive prepper list for everyone. People have different medical conditions, and should be stocked with the medications or items to treat or repress symptoms at all times. Personal medical emergencies may include:
• Allergies: There are various types of allergies. Someone in your household may be allergic to pollen and may require an inhaler. They will, therefore, need to be stocked with inhalers in case one is empty or cannot be found. Depending on your allergy, you might also need an auto injector, which requires a prescription from an authorized doctor.
• Insulin medication: One of your family members, suffering from either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, may need insulin from time to time. Insulin requires refrigeration as well as glucose tablets. Some patients prefer insulin injections, and they must be stocked continually to keep you from rushing to hospital in an emergency.
• Eye care medication: If you have eye problems, it is best to always carry the prescribed medicine. However, if your condition is not that serious, make sure to carry several bottles of visine. Make sure that the bottles are disposed if their tips come into contact with other surfaces as they would be infected.
There is a wide variety of kits used for first-aid out there for preppers and they are applied in various locations around the globe. You may have a vehicle first-aid kit, a pandemic kit, a dental medic kit, an EMT first-aid kit, or even a pet first-aid kit. The choice of a first-aid kit depends on you and your family’s needs.
Preppers like to put their own-first-aid kits together. If you are, then it is essential that the items listed above be included in the list. There are plenty of kits available in the market that offer a good start at assembling your first-aid kit. It will all depend on your preferences and the needs of the people around you. It is essential to consider any special medical conditions among the people around you as the first thing when setting up your first-aid kit.