Author Topic: help needed to organize First Aid Bag  (Read 1251 times)

Offline GreekMan

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help needed to organize First Aid Bag
« on: December 27, 2012, 03:30:04 AM »
hi all!

I need you help to re-organize my large first aid bags

The Goal is
Actually it is not first aid only but I want to have a sustainment materials twist in it like extra bandaging materials and extra meds etc.
Sort of a BugOut medical bag.

Current Setup
I am using a medium sized travel bag as a shell. All materials are in several pouches and boxes (all ex-prepackaged FAK containers) inside the bag. Like
- Basic first aid items
- Medications case including liquids (pills, peroxide, betadine, alcohol, skin creams/ointments etc)
- Bandage refill pouch
- Trauma Kit
- Medical tools pouch (syringes, airways, scalpel blades, sutures. The thinks are meant for someone else capable of using them)

But this modules system I do not like cos it is requires opening at least 2 pouches at the time.
I am partial to the all items easily accessible and sorted in view like you see on some EMS bags.

Options I am considering are:

1. Get an EMS bag.

My reservations are that I have to have it in my hands (thus travel) cos buying this thing online can be misleading.
Also the ones that are compartmentalized with soft padding and loops usually are done on a set of specific items an EMT uses. My range will be much bigger.
And still at least 2 pouches must be maintained, the trauma one particularly since I take it with me in the shooting range, so the idea will be half negated.
Closer to what I wish are these but still some customizing will have to happen.
http://www.prioritycareems.com/medical-kit/medical-equipment-kit/
http://www.prioritycareems.com/medical-kit/prk-kit/
http://www.prioritycareems.com/personal-paramedic-kits/personal-paramedic-backpack/

2. Maintain the modules/pouches idea and make an HUGE Basic first aid items pouch that will hold all first aid materials, plus meds, plus refill etc.

Sort of double this (this is my car kit and I have gone to pastes (Betadien) and Gels (alcohol) to avoid liquids spillage)
In fact I am considering buying two more and sawing them together)\.
But this does not solve the problem of the liquids been kept right side up. Else I either have to keep liquids separate, or make the custom pouch extraordinarily deep, almost an EMT bag by itself.
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Offline endurance

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Re: help needed to organize First Aid Bag
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 10:34:49 AM »
I just started with a volunteer fire department over the summer.  Every Tuesday we go through 1-2 of our apparatus (ambulance, fire truck, water tender, or brush truck) and inventory everything.  A few weeks ago we were doing medical scenarios in training and started an IV on the patient.  We were using the kit from our primary ambulance.  When the EMT pulled the IV out she couldn't get the bleeding contained with just the 2x2" gauze she had and frantically the other two first responders went through every pouch on the bag trying to find some 4x4" pads.  They finally found one after about two minutes (which felt like five minutes with someone bleeding in front of you onto the firehouse carpet).

There were two morals to this story to me.  The first is that whoever did the last inventory was in such a routine of checking expiration dates in the drug kits that they skipped over some of the very most basic items needed in emergency first aid.  The second is that more pockets don't make a kit more effective.

Here's my car first aid kit.  It's over 15 years old and evolved out of the kit I used to carry on ATVs while working for the forest service (same bag, mostly the same contents).  70% of the time it gets used it's for a mountain biking buddy who earned himself a twisted ankle, some road rash, or a small laceration; 20% of the time it's my wife or I have a headache or a cut finger, 10% of the time it's a serious motor vehicle accident.  The kit needs to be adequate for all those possibilities. 


Unzipped top view.  On the outside pouch on the left is my pocket mask, on the outside pouch on the right is my gloves.  There's several bottles, starting at the left: Sterile saline solution (for cleaning wounds), asthma rescue inhaler (probably so expired it should be tossed), Betadine, and hydrogen peroxide.  There's also a 6" IBD, 3" Ace bandage, 1.5" cloth tape, Instant ice pack, and 4" kerlix roll.  Everything else is in ziplock bags which I'll show open below, individually:


General purpose bag:  Emergen-C packets, Tums, Immodium, lighter, suction bulb, pseudofed, flashlight with spare batteries, sharpie, OTC med bottle, GasX, Peptobismo, Q-tips in long bottle, Antihistamine tablets, 3 days prescriptions, straight and curved clamps (not sure why I have them in there).


Small to medium dressings:  Bandaids, non-stick dressings, moleskin, steristrips, gauzes and sponges up to 4x4"


Large dressings & blood stoppers (6x6" & 5x9")


Not previously mentioned:  Large space blanket in back of pack, 2nd flashlight.  Might consider adding a headlamp or headband to hold flashlight.

In any case, I'm a fan of clear ziplocks so you can see what is inside, group similar items together, and sort through what you do and don't need quickly.  More pockets to me just add time to accessing what you need.  If you used the kit every day, you might know exactly where everything is when you needed it, but even with guys what have been with my department for several years and gone on dozens of calls (we're a small department and get between 75-125 calls a year), they still couldn't find what they needed in a hurry.

At home I have a small rubbermaid tub (maybe two gallons?).  It's mostly different sizes of bandaids, pain relievers, tweezers, bandage scissors, and a couple items for serious situations (epi-pen, IBDs and a tourniquet).  I keep two or three 1 quart seal-a-meal bags filled with corn syrup in my freezer for cold packs (they're awesome because they're cheap, last forever, and conform to your injured part).  I also have a blowout kit in my gun bag that contains the essentials to deal with a gunshot wound.  Otherwise most of my stuff is several large rubbermaid bins downstairs.  I don't need to be able to readily access a lot of the stuff I stock in a hurry; control bleeding and the rest can wait.
"There are things that you don't question when your home always smells like baking bread."  From The Hunger Games

“No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”   James Madison

Offline mike77

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Re: help needed to organize First Aid Bag
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 10:46:17 AM »
Nice looking kit Endurance. What is the suction bulb in there for?

Offline endurance

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Re: help needed to organize First Aid Bag
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 12:08:07 PM »
Nice looking kit Endurance. What is the suction bulb in there for?
It's actually out of an old obstetrics kit.  Given that I don't have a suction pump and it's smaller than a turkey baster, it's my airway suction device.

If/when I get my EMT back I'll probably add a King tube for airway management.  I have oral and nasal airways, but only keep one in my blowout kit.  My wife can intubate (she's a CCRN), so she does keep around some more advanced airway stuff, but I generally don't carry what I can't use.  I probably should know what my wife keeps around, but I don't.  When she gets around to getting her EMT she'll be a hell of an asset to our VFD.  Oddly, as an RN she's not allowed to do anything yet despite being ACLS certified.  She's dreading the day she's on a call and truly needs to use ACLS drugs, but by regulations isn't allowed to use what is available, so in the long run she'll eventually get her paramedic.  Since she's already an RN, it's only a 14 day class and when she completes it she'll be qualified as a flight nurse.
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Offline GreekMan

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Re: help needed to organize First Aid Bag
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2012, 10:45:10 AM »
endurace.....is that an Ultrafire 606 flashlight in the last pic?

BTW I am actually baumoping this topic for ideaw on how to organize the contents my bag.
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Offline endurance

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Re: help needed to organize First Aid Bag
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2012, 04:00:57 PM »
endurace.....is that an Ultrafire 606 flashlight in the last pic?
...
Yep, great little light for the money, although with AA's it's nowhere near 220 lumens.  Probably closer to 160 if I had to guess.  I've used the CR2 in it and it's amazingly bright, but it only lasts 10-15 minutes, so I stick with AAs. 

I have two of them, one in this kit in my car and one in my wife's car.  The only problem I've ever had is finding it won't come on after sitting for a year without use, but once you twist all the threads in each direction it works fine.  I think it's just that the aluminum oxidizes a little at the joints and prevents a good connection.
"There are things that you don't question when your home always smells like baking bread."  From The Hunger Games

“No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”   James Madison

Offline GreekMan

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Re: help needed to organize First Aid Bag
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2012, 05:54:42 PM »
Yep, great little light for the money, although with AA's it's nowhere near 220 lumens.  Probably closer to 160 if I had to guess.  I've used the CR2 in it and it's amazingly bright, but it only lasts 10-15 minutes, so I stick with AAs. 

I have two of them, one in this kit in my car and one in my wife's car.  The only problem I've ever had is finding it won't come on after sitting for a year without use, but once you twist all the threads in each direction it works fine.  I think it's just that the aluminum oxidizes a little at the joints and prevents a good connection.

I have given away 2 as gifts. You know real output is even less. usually low end lights list the light output of the LED whne driven at its maximum. That is If they are really driven that hard, and that is before the 255 on average losses by the reflector. the oens that passed through my ahnds measured about 130 lumens wiht alkalines and NiMhs
Regarding the oxidacion...We at candlepowerforums have settled in silica greece for threads and orings.
Nyogel is the best option but the various chinese Nexttorch/ultrafire/jetbeam greases are GTG too
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