First aid kit

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JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
11,820
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Stourton,UK
devalbushcrafter.webeden.co.uk
I know I am replying to a old post here, but I am a one of several designated first aiders at work and I always have a feminine pad, tampon etc in my first aid kit as they are designed specifically to contain large amounts of blood and ideal for emergency situations.
I was always told that there is nothing worse than using tampons as wound dressings as they are designed to wick and draw blood rather than aiding in stopping the bleeding. Which organisation recommend using them to you? They are also designed to expand too and are not sterile, which is certainly not good.
 
Jun 10, 2014
21
0
United Kingdom
I was always told that there is nothing worse than using tampons as wound dressings as they are designed to wick and draw blood rather than aiding in stopping the bleeding. Which organisation recommend using them to you? They are also designed to expand too and are not sterile, which is certainly not good.
When you need to plug a bullet hole and it's all you have, it make the difference between life and death.
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
11,820
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Stourton,UK
devalbushcrafter.webeden.co.uk
When you need to plug a bullet hole and it's all you have, it make the difference between life and death.
That's why you prepare a better FAK in advance so it isn't all you have. For military use they are impregnated by other chemicals that aren't in the feminine sanitary product and are also sterile, which commercially available sanitary pads and plugs aren't. They are also designed to soak up fluid that is very different in viscosity to blood.

There are much better products designed for the specific use of first aid. Feminine hygiene products aren't.
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
11,820
33
49
Stourton,UK
devalbushcrafter.webeden.co.uk
This is an extract from a trauma medic's statement on the subject.

I have seen a growing and common misconception showing that it is perfectly fine to put a tampon in a bullet/knife wound to stop the bleeding. As a matter of fact I see posts not only spreading this myth but promoting it by showing tampons designed for bullet and knife wounds.

First of all, any EMT/Paramedic will tell you never to do this, period. The mechanics of a bullet wound are far more complex that what you see on television. There is an entrance site and sometimes an exit site and there could be very a long travel distance between the two that may be an irregular path caused by obstructions, muscle mass or projectile tumbling.

The entrance wound is usually small and round. The exit wound (if there is one) is literally a blow out. Huge and asymmetrical!

The bullet can travel in the body. Bounce of bones, shatter bones, do all sorts of damage. Simply shoving a tampon in the wound may not even touch the majority of the internal bleeding and wouldn't even touch an exit wound.

Palpating the bullet when there is no exit wound is very difficult. Providing you can find the bullet.

The issue with putting a tampon in any puncture wound either knife or bullet, is once you manipulate the wound you cause more damage and more bleeding. Tampons soak up a lot of blood, they are also made of cotton which sticks to material and tissue. The tampon would expand in size, thus expanding the size of the wound. Tissue and blood would dry and stick to it and when that tampon is removed the tissue will bleed even more. It would be like ripping a larger wound into a original one.

There are procedures to follow for such wounds. Simply sticking something in a hole will not help control the bleeding for the bleeding is INTERNAL.
 
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Gimli

Member
Jun 2, 2014
29
3
United Kingdom
When you need to plug a bullet hole and it's all you have, it make the difference between life and death.
Why the hell would that be all you had? Why would any guy go out and only have some ladies sanitary device on them? Get a proper FAK and sort yourself out for Gods sake!!! AND when does anyone on this forum need to plug a bullet hole? AND when were you taught to "plug" a hole? I thought one of the points of bushcraft was to escape the humanity machine and find some quiet corner where you could tune in to nature, not so you could go and lead a section attack on the local gun club.
 
Jan 2, 2011
4
0
Scotland
Really interesting read in this part of the forum. I work in the event event medical sector, so its interested to see the different stances people take with their kits etc.
 
Thanks for this info goodjob
I would add Anbesol oil or liquid, it's a very small bottle and contains lidocaine for any toothache/gum problems. Nothing worse than a sleepless night with toothache and the ibuprofen doesn't cut it, this should at least see you through until you can get to a dentist.
 

tedw

Settler
Sep 3, 2003
513
2
63
Cambridgeshire, UK
Further question on the Friar's Balsam, pls. I tried carrying some for the reasons you state, but the plastic eye-dropper bottle I had was carp and split, leaking the stuff all over, plus the stickiness of the FB seemed to goo up the dropper. How have you got round that?
 

McGruff

Member
A (lighter) alternative to tincture of iodine solution: dry potassium permanganate crystals. Mix with water to make an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal solution (a very effective treatment for athlete's foot).

You can also mix it with sugar and use it as a firelighter. Stike with hammer or etc to ignite.
 

Tonyuk

Settler
Nov 30, 2011
882
50
Scotland
Further question on the Friar's Balsam, pls. I tried carrying some for the reasons you state, but the plastic eye-dropper bottle I had was carp and split, leaking the stuff all over, plus the stickiness of the FB seemed to goo up the dropper. How have you got round that?
It'll dry and go sticky in anything unfortunately, i use disposable syringes, and change the needles often. You can soak the needles in hot water to clean them too.

For burns i carry gel dressings (10 x 10 & 20 x 20). Good luck to you if you need to shove a tampon into any kind of wound.... Certainly don't carry them believing that they replace proper dressings and chest seals. Remember to account for the exit as well as the entry wound.

Tonyuk
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
A (lighter) alternative to tincture of iodine solution: dry potassium permanganate crystals. Mix with water to make an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal solution (a very effective treatment for athlete's foot).

You can also mix it with sugar and use it as a firelighter. Stike with hammer or etc to ignite.
And the solution is good if you need to clean your hands properly afger a toilet visit while in the forest.

I would like to see anybody pushing a tampon in a wound. For a start they have a dry surface. Secondly they expand when liquid soaks in, which would be mightily uncomfortsble and painful....
 

Ascobis

Forager
Nov 3, 2017
127
66
Wisconsin, USA
Sanitary napkins and tampons don't leave bits of cotton behind. Both products are sterile. Both products are designed to absorb blood. Both products have the same medical characteristics as surgical sponges and compresses. What your lady friends know as a tampon was invented to ... wait for it ... stabilize battlefield bullet wounds. Today we have the Celox applicator to apply a clotting agent directly ... wait for it ... into the wound.

Ferpitysake, chill. Yes, bullets do awful things to a body. Yes, the wound channel is unpredictable and messy. Start where you stand. Stop the bleeding. Maybe you can't stop it all. Less bleeding is better than more bleeding. Keep the patient alive long enough for the ER to deal with the internal situation. Blue bold underlined text doesn't make the content congruent with reality. Jonathan D's source is deadly wrong in all respects.

Here's a crazy idea: Wot eff my FAK has ... wait for it ... different sizes of gauze? What a concept! No, I don't go into the woods with only a Kotex. I do go into the woods with itty-bitty Band-Aids ("plasters", yes?), my most-used 3/4" cloth Band-Aids, knuckles, fingertips, 2" gauze (used one last weekend when a wood chip split my thumb knuckle and it bled like a pig.), 4" gauze, 4" sponges, and yes, yes, my misogynist friends, a Kotex. I think there might be an ABD pad in there somewhere, but I'm not opening up all the zip-locs for voyeurs. That's just the backpack kit [compress section]. I have a trauma bag in the back seat. What? Yes, crikey, I have the training.

Besides, some day you'll make a companion hiker very grateful when you say, "Yes, I do have a spare pad. You're welcome." Bonus points if you're a guy.

Axes make nasty wounds, too, and do so more frequently to perusers of this site than do bullets. All of the above applies.

Future readers of this sticky thread: Get trained. Then read some useful books. The training is constrained by lawyers and the medical industry. Nevertheless, get trained. There's a lot of "do no harm" daylight between training courses and what you can do for yourself or your fellow hiker in extremis.
 

Wayne

BCUK Welfare Officer
Mod
Dec 7, 2003
3,456
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West Sussex
www.forestknights.co.uk
The majority of folk have inadequate training for dealing with real life emergencies. Serious accidents do happen and people need to be prepared for them. Then they need to practice and practice and maybe practice some more. Volunteer with one or more of the rescue services like Mountain rescue provide event cover to get plenty to experience doing hands on first aid.

I volunteer all the time to provide first aid cover to get more experience dealing with trauma and medical emergencies.

Packing a severe wound is going to hurt a lot. How are you going to manage it long term? What’s the EVAC plan?

Too many people have a blinkered view that it will be alright until it’s not. Hours spent reading reviews on knife makers and how to save 50p modifying this or that but don’t educate themselves on what’s actually important.

Learn the skills, understand intimately what’s in your first aid kit. Can you manage a casualty for several hours in the cold and wet?

If you don’t know you use kit why carry it?
 

Brynglas

Full Member
The majority of folk have inadequate training for dealing with real life emergencies. Serious accidents do happen and people need to be prepared for them. Then they need to practice and practice and maybe practice some more. Volunteer with one or more of the rescue services like Mountain rescue provide event cover to get plenty to experience doing hands on first aid.

I volunteer all the time to provide first aid cover to get more experience dealing with trauma and medical emergencies.

Packing a severe wound is going to hurt a lot. How are you going to manage it long term? What’s the EVAC plan?

Too many people have a blinkered view that it will be alright until it’s not. Hours spent reading reviews on knife makers and how to save 50p modifying this or that but don’t educate themselves on what’s actually important.

Learn the skills, understand intimately what’s in your first aid kit. Can you manage a casualty for several hours in the cold and wet?

If you don’t know you use kit why carry it?
I completely agree. I have always been an advocate of people investing in and prioritising First Aid and Navigation training over and above what we would consider 'bushcraft' pursuits. Certainly a knowledge of fundamental navigation and first aid with an ability to treat sprains, cuts and wounds should be a significant element of one's toolkit if they're venturing outdoors.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

Ascobis

Forager
Nov 3, 2017
127
66
Wisconsin, USA
An instructor at a course for community emergency responders said that most people do nothing in an emergency and a goal of the course was to enable some people to act when necessary.

One of the many useful topics of that course was how to mobilize bystanders to do what you tell them to do. "If you are able to move, come to the sound of my voice." "You. Call 911 (999?)." "You. Go with her and come tell me when she's gotten through to them." "You. Push hard right here." "You. Take over when he gets too tired to push hard."

I watched a utube about making a lighter pack. The 'tuber dismissed full FAKs. Last weekend I needed a 2" gauze, and had one. ...Trying to think of a catchy phrase...oh, here's a 'new' idea: "Be Prepared."

Train like you're camping and camp like you trained. (Oh, that isn't new either? ;))
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
In mid December last year I was the first (?) medical person to a quite nasty motorcycle accident here. I arrived about 3 minutes after it happened. I know the time because the guy on the bike overtook me and almost hit my car.
It happened outside a very busy bar. The guy on the road, bleeding from all visible orifices and a penetrative open skull wound, was surrounded by a throng of people taking bloody pictures and filming with their phones.
Incredible.
An ER dr friend showed up about 5 mins later and we helped the guy until the ambulance came.

I was shocked by the behaviour of the bystanders.

First aid kit? We had none. The only thing I needed when I was alone was a knife, as I needed to cut of his helmet strap ( he was choking by it).
I have an extended First Aid kit in the car, but forgot to bring it.
The knife, highly illegal size, I got from a bystander.
 
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Ascobis

Forager
Nov 3, 2017
127
66
Wisconsin, USA
Some years ago a driver had the good sense to flip her minivan in the neighborhood where the firefighters and cops live. Firefighters broke out the windshield, got out most of the passengers easily. The car seat with the infant was stuck and no one had a knife. Kid was ok, happy ending.

I understand that sharp objects are an issue in the UK. I am amazed that people (who know how to use them) don't carry tools in locales where such are not illegal.

<edited, obscenity filter didn't like FireFighter abbreviated as foxtrot foxtrot.>
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
The knife was one of those mini japanese swords thingies, with an angled sharp piece angling away from the main cutting edge.

As the strap was deeply embedded in his neck, I had a problem cutting it without finishing the guy permanenly, but the skarp tip did it.

It would have been very difficult with a smaller, legal knife I think, as I had to ‘lever’ the spine of the blade against his head. Very thin, black shiny hard strap.
Could not see it, his dreadlocks were all blood soaked and all over the place. Plus night.
POS ‘cool’ chromed plastic helmed shaped like a Ww2 german helmet, with decals and all.

The guy obviously was no star on the 20th century History as his ancestry was mainly from Africa.

Unfortunately I feel the ban will be deepened, just read what is happening in London since early this tear.

Edit: knife style is named Tanto.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,275
553
Lancashire
How many on here had occasion to carry out first aid on someone with a bullet wound or knife wound outside of a professional role such as paramedic or police officer?

I've been reading up on another post where a guy got injured during carving and there was the issue of not knowing where his FAKs were due to the situation. There was a discussion about FAKs and knowledge. It got me thinking about our FAKs and their suitability.

The OP had a good kit they carried around plus a supplemental kit. In my case I had a similar kit for when hiking but found out it was useless when I really needed something. It had no really big dressing for a heavily bleeding wound. In my case I needed 3 large ambulance dressings and they still needed replacing before I could get to a&e?

My view is that home FAK should be different from car FAK and outdoors FAK. Does anyone make up different kits for different situations or locations? Is there a base level for FAK you'd recommend and what would you then add for home, travelling and for any outdoor activities? I'm asking because I'm thinking of updating our kits.

Current kits include lifesystems hiking kit, Aldi car FAK and a Boots family FAK. The first is a compact kit, the second is a big plastic box and the third a similar size fabric case. They're nothing special but rarely get used. We keep plasters elsewhere because they get used a lot, the FAKs rarely if ever. I just don't think you can rely on that continuing so I'm planning on removing out of date items and replacing with better options. Need advice and suggestions (UK based so hopefully there's this UK sources of items). I am using this old thread for efficiency, I hope that's ok.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,275
553
Lancashire
Just looked online and saw this. Sold was suitable for hiking but from experience there's not enough large dressings. What do you think??

Outdoors FAK from medisave.

I think you're better off making your own kit up than buying this.