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WHY extensive first aid kits


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#1 CanuckTrucker

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 10:26 PM

I chatted with a friend of mine tonight about my first aid kit. She is a paramedic. I sent her pictures of what's currently on the truck, and asked for recommendations to either upgrade or replace. She really didn't suggest much for adding or upgrading. Essentially her reply was "how often are you going to be out of cell service that a 911 responder can't get there quickly?"

 

So why do some of you pack such extensive first aid kits? I kind of get the "be prepared for anything" but her opinion was kind of the opposite. I could see having a more extensive one if you spend a lot of time in back country or remote areas. 



#2 pira114

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 05:01 AM

Well, first, I do spend a lot of time out of cell range and far from help. Because I live in that type of area.

But I also commute through large cities where 911 access is constant and EMS is close. But consider response times and how long it takes to bleed out. An amputated arm or leg in an accident can bleed you out faster than a medic can arrive. Especially if traffic is heavy and now blocked by the accident. Consider how long it takes for someone to call, how long it takes to dispatch, then how long to arrive. You're easily in the realm of death with a full arterial bleed.

Then consider a mass casualty event. Multiple victims. How many medics is enough vs how many initially show up?

Just my justification
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#3 sliestfish

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 12:44 PM

I second @Pira114. If you look at the last couple mass casualty events here in the states it took a while for medics to reach those effected.

 

That is part of why concepts such as TCCC resonate. You could also end up in a scenario where it may not be safe enough for a medic to reach where you are for a significant amount of time and if that happens what do you do. 

 

Its my understanding that concepts like TCCC were and are are slow to be accepted by the EMT and Paramedic community because it is a combat oriented concept that has merit in non-combative scenarios. Just today I saw a video distributed by North American Rescue of a guy swinging a chainsaw right into his leg and a TQ likely saved his life.

 

https://www.instagra...hamericanrescue

 

If the individual in the video received no intervention he might be dead or in even worse shape from blood loss in the time it took to get him in the right hands. I think that is where the TCCC concept translates well to everyday life, it isn't necessarily just for emergency medical types but rather a concept to apply when providing intervention between when trauma occurs and when professionals arrive. 

 

Having a kit isn't necessarily about trying to mimic the care that an EMT or Paramedic can provide but rather about providing a level of intervention to stave off death in the time it takes to get a casualty into the hands of a professional. 


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#4 CanuckTrucker

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:56 PM

Interesting. So it's not only for self-preservation, but perhaps stepping into the role of first responder, or supplementing first responders. When I asked my friend about tourniquets and quikclot she said "anything can be a tourniquet" and "if you have an arterial bleed you may not even have the focus to get to the truck to find the quikclot". I'm not putting her down, it's interesting to see the two different views. I spent the last two days bumbling around Iowa and Wisconsin where cell service is sketchy at best and non-existent in places for a lot of miles. 

 

I know next to nothing about sat phones. Is that perhaps a piece of gear to look at?

 

My first aid kit was screwed to a wall under my bunk, behind a door. I have never looked at it until this past week, it's now in the cab with me. So at least I'm a little more with it and trying to move forward. Would you guys supplement that kit with more gear, or just start from scratch? It's the usual off the shelf kit with bandaids, tape and larger gauze pads, etc.

 

I will look for at the very least an outdoors first aid course or a TECC one.



#5 ducttapedave

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 01:05 AM

Liscensed paramedic here. I keep what I consider prudent.
It’s about analysis of your risk and response. When I’m in the a public venue I tend to map out where AEDs are. I don’t carry one, but I want to know where they are. But I carry supplies everywhere I reasonably can. At a minimum, that’s generally gloves, barrier device, some minor booboo stuff and a TQ. For the above reasons. I’ve often been a regular guy who finds himself in a shitty situation. Even being able to apply some b.s. basic care to comfort can help with shock.
I can deal pretty well with serious things quickly. ABCS. I can work and support an airway with a barrier device and manipulation. It’s better with a device but I can manage. I can manage circulation physically until an AED or a truck arrives. I can handle serious and deadly bleeds as well. This is all in a tiny kit. Watch for a review of the load out.

Now I can supplement that based on activities and locations. My small grab kit, has what I need for a full assessment and more things to help stabilize and comfort.

From there I can add on more as the situation warrants. If I was covering medical for a group of guys at the range, or for swift water response again I can change things up.

I find there’s a big push for call 911 and wait lately. Which frightens me. Quick quality interventions makes things easier down the line. What happens when 911 gets busy? Or as noted, there’s traffic. Or you are on a highway between cities. In my neck of the woods I regularly drove highways where I may only see a vehicle every 30-45 minutes.

You don’t need a full trauma center on your person. And what you have you should know how to work. Train with it. Your friend raises a great point of freezing up. All the kit in the world is useless in the package. If you don’t act, there’s no point. Get trained. Practice. Seconds count. Shock sets in.

I’ve brought an old quote up in a lot of training lately. Paraphrased, “ You never rise to the occasion, but fall to the level of your training.”
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#6 ducttapedave

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 01:06 AM

Tl;dr

If you aren’t ready to be good guy Greg and help, don’t stock up.
If you are be prepared. The first step in that is training.

#7 Koopa

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 07:49 PM

^ what these guys said. As an EMT I can vouch.

It's all about time. Are you minutes, hours, or days away from a trauma center?

If you spend most of your time in remote areas, clearly it is prudent to have a complete cache handy. Even a paper cut can get infected and cause major problems if not treated properly.

But even if you are urban, it may be wise to have some supplies. In the event of a "hostile threat event" almost all ambulance agencies will stage and wait for police to clear the threat before they even get close. This alone can easily take 30 minutes or so depending on the complexity of the incident, the number of officers available, and other variables. Then the EMS team comes in, and begins the process of triage. Which can take a while in itself. It may be a few hours from the time you're injured till you find yourself in the OR.

All that to say, carry what you need to keep yourself alive long enough to make it to a hospital.

I live and work in a very urban area. So I don't sweat the paper cuts. I can get home and wash my papercuts with soap and water in 15 minutes. But I do carry things like a tourniquet and Israeli. That's what counts while you're waiting for the medics to stage.
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#8 ducttapedave

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:05 AM

Also this

https://www.facebook...69340679784667/

Taking the description that North American Rescue had in short :
Video is shot by a bystander. After a storm someone is helping clear a road by using a chainsaw to buck down a tree that had fallen on some power lines. He makes some bad choices. Has an accident. It's reported he cuts his lower leg off. Good Guy Greg watching leaps into action and grabs his kit. Applies a CAT TQ and likely saves his life.

#9 ducttapedave

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:05 AM

Things can go sideways fast. I don't like to remove tools from the tool box.

#10 ArkansasFan

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 05:24 PM

I live in an urban environment, have been a paramedic and police officer (so I've seen a good crisis or two), and in time left that world, received more education and training, and work solo in
a clinic prescribing psychotropics although I can make an educated guess for 80% of what you'd go to your PCP for (although I'd only treat this stuff in a real SHTF sort of situation). Due to my life experiences, training, and personal learning, I carry very little of what you'd find in a standard off the shelf FAK. I really have no interest in various creams, ointments, wraps, myriad BandAids, etc. It's unrealistic to move about with cervical collars, diagnostic tools, suture kits, and other such things.

Since there's little I can do to protect my own airway or keep my heart beating, I carry the following in my EDC bag:

SOF-T-W tourniquet because of the flat fold technique. In theory, I like the CAT better.

Israeli Bandage

QuikClot Z-fold dressing although Celox seems to be the new "in."

Israeli bandage.

Hyfin Compact chest seal because it's compact. Others are HUGE.

Compressed Z-fold gauze.

These can aide in an emergency I have some ability to treat.

I also have an Altoids tin with the following to make myself more comfortable:

lisinopril 10mg, varying quantity because I take it
ondansetron ODT 8mg, 2 tabs - my wife always seems to be nauseated
cetirizine 10mg, 5 tabs - I'm allergic to nature
loperamide 2mg, 5 tabs...who wants liquid ****s
diphenhydramine 25mg 4 tabs...sleep, allergies
ranitidine 75mg 4 tabs...for acid reflux in others
ibuprofen 200mg 16 tablets(need to get myself more 800mg)
Dermabond
2x2 in. gauze
BandAids
SteriStrips

I keep a white handkerchief in my back left pocket.

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#11 Koopa

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 07:24 PM

Another thing I'd reccommend carrying (not on your person, but in your kit/car) is aspirin. I've had a handful of heart attack patients survive, I believe due in part to aspirin.

#12 ducttapedave

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 12:58 PM

That is correct. A.S.A. can really help survivability, and generally the stomach issues it can cause are easier to manage than, you know, death.

 

A key point though is the A.S.A. needs to be chewed, not swallowed. If it is swallowed it won't do you a lick of good. Chewing will get it into the blood faster (likely because there will be some sublingual transfer and it won't need to break down in the stomach).


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#13 pira114

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:23 AM

 
A key point though is the A.S.A. needs to be chewed, not swallowed. If it is swallowed it won't do you a lick of good. Chewing will get it into the blood faster (likely because there will be some sublingual transfer and it won't need to break down in the stomach).


I assume this is for emergencies only? Swallowing whole is ok for those on a regular regime correct?

#14 ducttapedave

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 10:24 AM

Bang on. As part of a preventative plan you don't need to have the meds onboard in minutes. Then it's just a swallow and go about your business.




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