First Aid Kits and Emergencies

First Aid Kits and Emergencies

 

Any accident has the potential to escalate to an emergency situation.  If you are to be able to help anyone else in an emergency however, your first responsibility is to take care of yourself.  Just like when you’re told to put your oxygen mask on first in an airplane emergency, before you help your child. Only then will you be in a position to offer the most effective help to victims of accidental injury.   The other minimum necessity you will need is a first aid kit and emergency supplies to treat any injuries received leading up to the emergency situation.   A good first aid kit can help minimize a victim’s bleeding, risks of infection, inflammation and  swelling, bleeding, and tissue trauma that may result from an injury.

The next question is what belongs in a first aid kit?   You will need adhesive bandages and tape, sterile gauze pads, a CPR breathing shield, scissors, forceps or tweezers, antiseptics and antibiotics, and medical examination gloves at a minimum.  To make sure these items are always available, they should be kept together in a handy box or other container that can be mounted on a wall in an easily accessible area of your home, car or workplace.  You may also want to include emergency supplies nearby, such as bottled water, a flashlight, an emergency radio and prescription drugs.  A flashlight or other good light source can be of great benefit in examining a wound or other injury and deciding on the best course of first aid.

You can assemble your own first aid kit, or you can buy one from a medical supply store, a drug store or online.  You can spend anywhere from a few dollars to over one hundred dollars for a good kit, just make sure it at least meets the ANSI standards for workplace first aid kits.  Some emergency first aid kits only meet the minimum requirements, with lots of cheap bandages and not much else.  You would not be happy to open such a kit in an emergency and find out it won’t help treat injuries or prevent escalation to a life threatening situation.   By all means verify the content and quality of items in your first aid kit if possible.  Look for the items you will need in serious emergencies and don’t cut corners.

It’s also important to make sure your first aid kit has a first aid, CPR and AED guide in it.   Not knowing how to use the items in your kit could be as dangerous as not having a kit.  For a good overview of the importance of first aid kits and knowing when and how to use them we suggest checking out http://FirstAidKit.us.   Another good source of information for first aid, CPR and AED training is the American Red Cross.  Finally, please verify that your first aid kit is manufactured by a reputable company and that it’s designed for easy use in an emergency situation.  It’s also important to have your first aid kit, not just at home, but also when you travel and also at work.  If your company doesn’t provide one, then take care for your own safety and bring one from home.