Sunday, July 27, 2008

Stop the Blood, Cover the Hole, Help the Pain

Being an adventurer means I end up with assorted cuts, broken bones, dislocations, burns, bites, infections, and the occasional poisoning. Luckily, I've been a First Responder at work for the last four years. The monthly first aid classes for this position have taught me a vital lesson:

I'm not a doctor.

Well, okay I am a doctor, but not the medical type.

I run with a lot of "Preparedness" types. Most of them have first aid kits that would cause envy in third-world hospitals (I've been to third-world hospitals, they are terrifying). These guys and gals have everything from airway tubes to suturing kits (I couldn't think of a medical item that began with "z", I figured "s" was far enough down the alphabet to get the point across, but I digress).

So, with my extensive experience and training what do I carry? Mostly gauze and bandages. I can stop the blood and cover the wound, which covers most of what I'm likely to encounter. I don't have the training to stick a pen in someone's throat (at least not to help the person, heh heh heh).

Here is the first aid kit I keep in my pack when hiking/canoeing/kayaking. In addition to this kit I also have a smaller one with bandaids, moleskin, and antiseptic wipes in my pocket at all times.

Sawyer Products hunting/fishing first aid kit in a waterproof bag.

Kit opened up. It has the original components plus some others. The bottle of nasal spray in the center left is actually for use as a wound flush. It is a sterile saline solution that costs pennies compared to regular saline flush solutions.

Left side of pouch:
Top row is several large plastic bags, eyeglass repair kit, 1st aid booklet, mechanical pencil, tweezers, 1.5oz bottle of nasal saline spray for flushing wounds.
Second row is maxipad and a 3"x3" sterile pad
Third row is a small plastic bag with medicines (aspirin, rehydration salt tablets, benadryl, burn cream, hydrocortisone cream, iodines wipes, and cold medicine), second plastic bag holds assorted bandaids, third plastic bag holds assorted larger adhesive bandages and a sterile eye pad.

Right side of pouch:
Ace bandage, Waterproof tape, rolled gauze, maxipads

Since taking these pictures I've added several rolls of Kerlix Bandages for improved blood-stopping/wound-covering ability.

In the case of broken bones or other things where immobilization of the patient is required I can jury-rig from the materials around me. Carrying Sam Splints seems to be definite overkill.

Hey, it was either this post or one about playing Candyland with Miniwether this afternoon (I won the first two times, then lost by just three squares the final game. I would have won that one too if I hadn't been caught in one of Lord Licorice's sticky traps!)

Uh, but I digress.

Peace be with you.


clarktx said...

You forgot to mention that the mechanical pencil is used to note what happened so that people will know what to put on your headstone when the find you.

Actually, most people don't know why you should carry a pencil in a first aid kit, and 90% of first aid kits I've seen don't have them.

Merriwether said...

Oh yeah, the pencil. That is for taking notes such as time of injury, pulse rate, description of pupils, description of snake, etc. Basically, the sort of stuff that will help a real doctor decide what treatment to do. It's a pencil so I don't have to worry about the ink drying up and it's mechanical so I don't have to worry about breaking the lead/having to sharpen it.

Windrider said...

Hey Blast,

Just to let you know, your site is loading at the pace of a snail. I have cable high speed and it is still taking forever.

Maybe it's the google ads that are doing it.

Merriwether said...

Weird, it's coming up fine for me at work. Is anyone else having this problem?


Wildcat said...

working fine for me.

Lone Star Chris said...

fine for me too.

Windrider said...


could be comcast.. Beause now it's fine. But for the last few times it's taken forever..

Raju said...

Very nice job. I like the job.