So many lists and recommendations. So many first aid boxes:
- First aid kits for vehicles
- Fist Aid Box for sports
- First Aid Boxes compliant with the Health and Safety Executive, and,
- Compliant with the BS8599
- Personal first aid boxes
- First aid kits for catering
- First Aid Boxes for travellers
- And First Aid Boxes made especially for the home
There are many first aid kits ready-made available online or you can make up a kit and select the items that you consider essential.
Whatever way you go they all serve the same purpose to render first aid to an injured person
And with that in mind doesn’t really matter where the patient is, we still need basic items in our first aid box
First aid box
Let’s start with the first aid box.
It can be a shoe box or a specially designed suitcase
For long term emergency use a durable moulded case with hinged lid is the way to go.
The international standard for first aid boxes is that they should be identified with the ISO symbol, a white cross on a green background
What to Include in a First Aid Box
Sterile dressings and plaster
Plasters: for small cuts and grazes
Sterile Pads: for covering wounds, holding the pad in place with adhesive tape
Sterile Wound dressings: A sterile pad attached to a bandage. Quick and easy to apply. Used on larger wounds
Roller Bandages: long thin cotton to support joint injuries and hold dressings in place
Triangular Bandages: Strong cotton triangular shaped can be folded to use as a bandage or a sling, or as a dressing for large wounds and burns
Disposable Gloves: Reduces the risk of infection. Always wear them whenever dressing wounds or dealing with bodily fluids
Cleansing Wipes: Alcohol-free to clean the skin around a wound
Gauze pads: Use as padding or as swaps to clean around a wound
Adhesive Tape: to hold dressings in place or secure loose ends of bandages
Pins and Clips: To fasten the ends of bandages
Tweezers: To extract splinters and foreign matter from wounds
Scissors, Shears: for cutting tapes, bandages and clothing if necessary
Emergency Foil Blanket: to keep the injured warm and protect from the weather
Torch: To help see in the dark and to attract attention
Whistle: to attract attention
Scissors for First Aid Boxes
Scissors need to be sturdy, stainless steel and long enough to provide enough force to cut through layers of bandages.
The blades of nurses dressing scissors have one blunt tip and one sharp tip.
But maybe include trauma shears instead of the nurse’s scissors
Also known as “Tuff Kuts” are strong scissors used by paramedics to quickly and safely cut clothing from injured people.
The blades are bent and the rugged construction can cut through seat belts, denim even leather
The wide blunt tip slides across the skin minimising the risk of cutting the patient as well as the clothing.
And if you’re buying a first aid kit, then please inspect the scissors that’s included because they will probably be too small, too weak and easily broken. Avoid the frustration, replace with a decent strong pair
Video from St John Ambulance
In an emergency situation you may need to act quickly so it’s important that you know your way around your first aid box
Here’s a short video from Saint John Ambulance showing how to use your first aid boxes
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First Aid Box Contents List
Before a trip and at regular intervals first aid box contents need to be checked, missing items and damaged items replaced.
The first aid box contents list needs to be very legible fit very easy to fit into the first aid box and maybe laminated to make it durable
So, Here is my suggested list of contents for emergency first aid boxes
The Quantities are typical for a family of four
|ALICE||All purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment||Or, in military jargon, Advanced Light Infantry Combat Equipment|
|ATL||Attempt To Locate||Or, Above The Law. Or, All Time Low|
|BIB||Bug In Bag|
|BOB||Bug Out Bag||A kit of essential equipment that needs to last atleast 72 hours|
|BOL||Bug Out Location|
|BOV||Bug Out Vehicle|
|CM||Compressed Meals||US alternative to MRE's ???|
|C-Ration||Combat Ration||US army field rations that were replaced by MREs|
|CYA||Cover Your Ass|
|DLP||Defence of Life and Property|
|EDC||Every Day Carry|
|FAK||First Aid Kit|
|FEP||Family Emergency Plan|
|FIFO||First In First Out||With respect to rotating food in storage|
|GHB||Get Home Bag||The contents of which will be different to that of your BOB...|
|GMO||Genetically Modified Organism||With respect to vegetables that have had there genes modified|
|HAM||Amateur Radio Operator||Why HAM, I just don't know|
|INCH||I'm Never Coming Home|
|JIC||Just In Case|
|MOLLE||Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment|
|MRE||Meal Ready to Eat||Latest type of rations in US military|
|NINJA||No Income No Job or Assets|
|Prepper||A survivalist actively preparing for emergencies, disruptions to social, civil, political order||Often acquiring emergency medical and self-defence training, stockpiles of food and water, preparing to become self-sufficient|
|SHTF||Shit Hits The Fan|
|SOTF||Survival Of The Fittest|
|TEOTWAWKI||The End Of The World As We Know It||Scary...|
|WSHTF||When Shit Hits The Fan|
|YoYo||You're On Your Own|
Including medication in your first aid boxes maybe a little controversial but as long as the first aid box is made secure and out of reach of small children, it will not hurt to include:
|Folding Pocket knife|
Used for all sorts of tasks, from opening the mail to self-defence.
|LED Flashlight Torch|
Not just for the night time but to light up any dark space during the day
Scissors, screwdriver, pliers and many other tools. But for sure only the light work. EDC multitools are not made for the heavy lifting
Even non smokers will need to carry some tool to light a fire. In emergency survival situations. Fire is needed for warmth, cooking and signalling
Be sure to replenish whatever you use and check the expiration dates.
First Aid Guidance Booklet
The first aid guidance booklet offers advice on basic first aid principles. It should not be considered comprehensive.
First aid training needs to be attended by at least one member of the party
The booklet needs to be up to date with the latest first aid procedures and include the use of the items in the first aid boxes. Including unconsciousness, bleeding, broken bones eye injuries and burns the most common injuries.
You can download a free first aid guide from Saint John Ambulance
The pocket-sized guide covers the following first aid techniques
- Severe bleeding
- What to do when someone is unresponsive
- The recovery position
- Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Heart attack
Saint John Ambulance also provide a free downloadable mobile app that provides easy to follow advice on first aid procedures including CPR, choking and allergic reactions. Very handy.