Author Topic: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit  (Read 16832 times)

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« on: April 13, 2016, 09:17:07 AM »
I keep a very basic first aid kit in my glove box, that's not much more than surgical gloves and a variety of bandages.  I'd like to improve this a bit.

I don't want to spend tons of money, nor take up a lot of space.  Primarily thinking about stopping bleeding or other critical things prior to EMTs arriving on scene.  I have a more comprehensive kit I camp and backpack with.  The philosophy there is that help may be much further away.

Any suggestions for automobile first aid kits?

Offline Arky

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2016, 11:30:54 AM »
I would say definitely a Quick Clot sponge and if you know how to use or are willing to learn, a tourniquet.  With a little practice I find the C-A-T tourniquet simple to use others or even on yourself.  Also EMT scissors might not be bad in case you have to cut clothing off to get to a wound.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2016, 12:18:52 PM »
I would say definitely a Quick Clot sponge and if you know how to use or are willing to learn, a tourniquet.  With a little practice I find the C-A-T tourniquet simple to use others or even on yourself.  Also EMT scissors might not be bad in case you have to cut clothing off to get to a wound.

I have heard very mixed things about a tourniquet for first aid.  During CERT training we were advised against them, as they can likely result in the loss of a limb.  In the event a limb was severed - sure, but otherwise it would seem maintaining pressure on the wound until EMTs arrived might be more prudent.


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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2016, 01:07:09 PM »
I have heard very mixed things about a tourniquet for first aid.  During CERT training we were advised against them, as they can likely result in the loss of a limb.  In the event a limb was severed - sure, but otherwise it would seem maintaining pressure on the wound until EMTs arrived might be more prudent.
Wow, that is seriously antiquated training. While a tourniquet is not something to be taken lightly, there is overwhelming research today that shows as long as someone gets to the hospital within two hours of application, limb loss is extremely rare. As for those going over two hours, if someone has uncontrolled arterial bleeding for 20 minutes, they'll be dead. With that said, before using one, one must truly understand the difference between venous and arterial bleeding.  Venous bleeding is generally very controllable without such extreme measures.  If you see a pool of blood big enough to scare you, you don't have time to wait and see if direct pressure is going to be enough.

My advise is to carry at least a dozen 4x4 sponges, a couple triangular bandages, tape, bandaids, an instant ice pack and a good blanket. A suction bulb is a good idea, as is a pocket mask and set of oral airways, assuming you have the training to go with it. A SAM splint is nice, too. And of course, several sets of gloves.

The most important thing is stop major bleeding, protect the airway and maintain c-spine immobilization. Most of the time you're dealing with airbag injuries (burns and broken wrists), minor glass cuts, and head injuries. Having a fire extinguisher is an excellent idea, too, although post-accident vehicle fires are extraordinarily rare. If they're trapped, having a fire extinguisher might be their best protection. If they're truly trapped, there's not a lot you can do without a set of extrication tools.

Modern cars are incredibly well built for protecting the passengers. Despite more cars on the road than ever and higher speed than ever, fatalities have been dropping steadily for decades. Motorcycles are the obvious exception, but at least you generally don't need extrication with them...

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2016, 02:09:26 PM »
That's why I asked :)

CERT training was free, and frankly caters to a 5th grade education level in my opinion.  That said, I got introduced to many topics I previously had no exposure to.  It was well worth my time, even with some of the bone-head FEMA stuff.

I need to make sure I've got my air-way kit, and blanket in the car.  Think I've got most of the other items in some form.
Keeping gloves is super useful.  I sometimes put them on for a mechanical check just to keep my hands clean.


Offline Cedar

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2016, 02:35:14 PM »
What are you qualified for? I would start with basic first aid/ CPR, or refresher  course.

I use an old camera bag from a garage sale, and make a step above bandaide kit. I do keep 6" curved mosquito hemostadts in there as there are 1,001 uses for them. The last thing I used mine for was having my friend pull off the remaining post of my fingernail that was barely attached, but like I said, good for all sorts of things.

Kotex pads. They are a semisterile pad. I have used them as compression pads.

1" wide porus tape.

Baby aspirin.

Peptobismol tablets

Benedril

Assorted sizes of bandaides, and angles of bandaids

Kling gauze 2"and 3"

Sterile saline. Last time I used this my friends contact fell out and onto horse manure infested dirt.

Paper matches. I learned this trick from a welder, to get debris out of the eye is to use the match end of the match to get the "thing" out of your eye. After 20 years I finally tried it, and it is quick and painless.

Travel size baby shampoo. Gets dirt out of wounds.

exam gloves

Qtips

Vetwrap 3"

A couple sized gallon baggies

Invest in a mask for cpr. Better than chancing vomit or other cooties. $14 or so is a good investment I deem

Bandage scissors or something which will cut through a seatbelt and such

Again, what are you qualified for? I carried a upgraded home built first aid car kit for 20 years, and now carry a trauma kit when I got my EMR last year.

Whatever you do, check it quarterly, rotate often due to the temperature extremes of a vehicle.

Cedar

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2016, 02:58:59 PM »
Qualified?  I'm CPR "certified", and learned how to use an AED on a dummy :)

I have a clue, but I'm no medic.  I'm not going to be doing sutures or making a trachiotomy from my leatherman and a slurpee straw.
I mainly want to stop bleeding, clean simple wounds and generally stabilize injuries until professional help arrives.

Good ideas - the hemostats and kotex especially.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2016, 03:01:33 PM »
It was mostly a general question... not specifically for you...

Cedar

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2016, 05:04:32 PM »
My wife has started IVs on the side of the road on her way home from work so when the ambulance got there she could push the Happy Drugs as quickly as possible. That said, her list of experince and qualifications boggles the mind. I'm an EMR and don't even carry a C-collar in my car.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2016, 05:29:21 PM »
My wife has started IVs on the side of the road on her way home from work so when the ambulance got there she could push the Happy Drugs as quickly as possible. That said, her list of experince and qualifications boggles the mind. I'm an EMR and don't even carry a C-collar in my car.

Though as a parent of a kid with T1D, I've got a LOT of needle time in recently.  I realize it's not the same as tapping a vein, but I no longer wince when giving or receiving injections.  The Children's hospital made us parents inject saline into each other repeatedly until we had it down.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2016, 08:20:51 PM »
Gloves, bag of clean cotton shop rags, bottled water, duct tape, blanket, paracord, Swiss Army rescue tool, and cell phone. Minimal and useful for non medical roadside emergencies, too.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2016, 08:50:22 PM »
I have heard very mixed things about a tourniquet for first aid.  During CERT training we were advised against them, as they can likely result in the loss of a limb.  In the event a limb was severed - sure, but otherwise it would seem maintaining pressure on the wound until EMTs arrived might be more prudent.

That is interesting, as CERT training here advises TO use tourniquet and gave us information that they are safe for quite a while. My friend and I practiced using improvised ones on each other on our upper arms.

Offline Timlugia

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2016, 04:19:28 AM »
I have heard very mixed things about a tourniquet for first aid.  During CERT training we were advised against them, as they can likely result in the loss of a limb.  In the event a limb was severed - sure, but otherwise it would seem maintaining pressure on the wound until EMTs arrived might be more prudent.

That's because most CERT teams are still using 2005 version of standard first aid (no disrespect to them), also for the same reason there is no mention of hemostatic agents, burn gel or pre-made pressure dressings.
Currently, TQ is endorsed by all medical authority for layperson rescue, including current Red Cross or Boy Scout first aid program.

TQ is safe for "at least" four hours (usually good for more than 8 hours)
and no longer rated as "last resort", but the first line treatment for major extremity/axillary injury.



-------
Back to the original question:
It depends on what do you mean by minimalist
the smallest trauma kits in market are Rescue Essential patrol officer kit, or AMK Trauma Pak. You can find the later one in REI or BassPro.
both are $20, and the size of a fist.




Anyway, here are some links you can take a look for all types quality trauma kit:
http://www.rescue-essentials.com/medical-kits-1/
http://www.chinookmed.com/cgi-bin/category/medical_kits
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 04:26:31 AM by Timlugia »

Offline Carl

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2016, 06:50:26 AM »
Just be aware that a tourniquet is not good for a head wound
and a tourniquet involves METHOD of use,not just application.

Offline AnnsSolo

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2016, 08:56:12 AM »
We do a lot of 2 lane highway driving where medical help is an hour away. The chances are reasonable that we will be first on the scene of an accident. After we did our Red Cross course, I asked an ER nurse/former ski patrol friend what we should have and he showed me what's in his bag. Pretty similar to Timlugia's. Added a headlamp, SAM splint and some hard candy for diabetics, extra food and space blankets for dazed passengers, some paper and pens to make notes until help arrives.  It fits into a sling bag I got off Amazon for $10. Every few months I get it out, re-inventory it so the contents are fresh in my mind.

Offline Russkie

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2016, 11:03:56 AM »
I think you have to realistically ask yourself, what is a situation you would be likely to encounter?
For the roads you travel, what would be an average fire dept response time? If it's several hours, the minimal you'd need to potentially save a life would be different than if the response time was five minutes.
In most areas of the country, you could have rescuers on scene in just a few minutes, and only the very worst injuries would require immediate intervention.
I am a firefighter in a community where our response time averages 10 minutes from call out to any point in the coverage area. We cover a large city and the surrounding unincorporated area, so we have all terrain types and potential situations. Yet, I carry only a few basic supplies in a Ferno responder vest. I have gauze rolls, emt shears, a tourniquet, flashlight and several sizes of gauze pads, and a few pairs of gloves. That would be sufficient for any situation I could foreseeably make a difference in. Even as a firefighter responding to emergencies, that is all I would need to manage life-threatening trauma injuries before our ambulance or rescue truck arrived.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2016, 12:16:21 PM »
Accidents up here have seen major injuries with response even from volunteer fire taking 20 minutes or more. It is common for a passerby to be first on scene. Most major things a passerby can't help -- stuck in car needing extraction, but that is when a fire extingusher could be handy as one speeding idiot last year was burned in his car, likely he was dead already.... So, yes, cars do catch fire, he had rolled a few times first.

Guy needing extraction last week had somehow crossed the center line head on into a Metro passenger bus. He was there a LONG time before official help and then extraction was completed. Just talking to someone can be helpful I would think in that case.

You might need to break a window in a car. A woman was found slumped over her steering wheel last month, unresponsive to knocks on the window, doors locked. It can save time if she wasnt locked in when response arrived, and response can be quicker if the person is known to still be alive but unconcious. Since some people go park like this to kill themselves, it does get a better response if they are known to be alive.

I have seen a car precariously balanced falling off a steep drop off off of the road, and it took a long time, 45 minute, more ? before any official help arrived, even though it was witnessed happening and help was called. By the time helped arrived, besides having traffic backed up and stopped in both directions, the car had been stabilized with a tow cable on one wheel and a tow strap on the other ( yeah for people in trucks with tow straps/winches !), and finally a linked arm group of 4 guys had pulled the two ladies out. I walked one away checking for shock signs, and help arrived.

A freinds husband was seeing to a crashed motorcyclist yesterday afternoon while a second person who came by  stopped and directed traffic until help arrived. The motorcyclist was only scraped and bruised up, so bandages, help getting to the roudside, calling for help, checking for shock, was sufficient on this one. This one was 1 mile from my house on a turn.

Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2016, 09:04:33 PM »
That's why I asked :)

CERT training was free, and frankly caters to a 5th grade education level in my opinion.  That said, I got introduced to many topics I previously had no exposure to.  It was well worth my time, even with some of the bone-head FEMA stuff.

I need to make sure I've got my air-way kit, and blanket in the car.  Think I've got most of the other items in some form.
Keeping gloves is super useful.  I sometimes put them on for a mechanical check just to keep my hands clean.

I just completed CERT and tourniquets were taught here. The first rule is to stop the bleeding! People can bleed out in a matter of seconds and die. Most people would probably lose a limb then be dead. Just saying

Offline Carl

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2016, 04:01:50 AM »
I would suggest :

Plenty of gauze in rolls
Medical tape
space blankets
baby diapers,cloth for bandage
female pads,for bandage
water
a typical First Aide kit
skill in how to use the kit (if it is ugly or leaking...wrap it up)

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2016, 08:21:34 AM »
A week ago I took a first-aid class.

Curiously a few things had changed since 18 months ago when I took CERT.

We did learn about tourniquets, however the EMT training us advised against tourniquets in the case of nose bleeds...

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2016, 09:45:05 AM »
A week ago I took a first-aid class.

Curiously a few things had changed since 18 months ago when I took CERT.

We did learn about tourniquets, however the EMT training us advised against tourniquets in the case of nose bleeds...
Guess it depends on the attitude of the victim. ;)

I think the most important thing with tourniquets is being able to recognize life threatening bleeding vs non-life threatening blood loss. The problem is that even a little blood on a white cotton shirt looks horrendous, but if it's not squirting out in pulses, it probably doesn't warrant a tqt. Direct pressure and a few 4x4s has stopped every single thing I've ever seen since first getting my emt in 1989. However, that doesn't lead me to complacency. When I'm in the backcountry I always wear a 1.5" nylon belt with welded D-rings that will work as a tqt in a pinch. Both sets of bunker gear have tqts in them. It's one of those things you will probably never use, but if you need it, you really need it.

Offline bradleypaul75

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2016, 02:20:36 PM »
http://smile.amazon.com/SWAT-T-Tourniquet-Pack-Orange-Latex/dp/B01CKJEHXY?ie=UTF8&keywords=swat%20t%20tourniquet&psc=1&qid=1465416753&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1-spons


I dont own them yet but our SWAT medics have them and prefer these to standard tourniquets due to the multiple roles that they fullfil.
They do have a shelf life but so does things like Quik-Clot. (never seen one on a tourniquet)
It is a purchase I am about to make for home and auto.


I also like the practicality of some basic meds: advil/mortin/nasal decongestant/tums/asprin/dayquil/nitequil.... I have them and use it when at work or otherwise away from home.


endurance

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2016, 02:30:33 PM »
I've played with the SWAT-T but I kind of have my doubts as a fully effective tourniquet on an upper thigh. I'm just not sure you can get a tight enough purchase to truly cut off blood flow. I'd love to see a paper or some evidence of its efficacy before deciding to trust my life to it. While I think it's perfectly adequate for arms and lower legs, regular cloth tourniquets with aluminum windlasses are barely up to the task for folks with muscular thighs.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2016, 02:55:12 PM »
More about TQTs - at my course, which was hosted for Range Safety Officers at our gun club, a heated discussion came up about "tactical  TQTs".

I can't recall the brand, but basically there was some premium brand, and a Chinese knock off.  The classic comments like "spare no expense if your life could depend on it", blah, blah blah.  What was really ironic to me, was just prior to this debate, we learned how to make an improvised one using shoe laces and a ball point pen. 

So my thinking is, if a pen and paracord can be good enough, it's hard to sell me on spending $30+ dollars for something I'll likely never use, and is interchangeable with common items - even if less effective.

Don't get me wrong, a better kit is a better kit, but this felt important to have just like a Geiger counter.

endurance

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2016, 03:43:09 PM »
I would have concerns with something as narrow as parachute cord causing nerve damage, but I agree that a special tactical, high speed, windlass tqt isn't necessarily necessary. Is it faster?  Definitely, but like you said, how many times are you going to use the thing?  A piece of nylon webbing and a Sharkie would probably do adequately for a fraction of the price.

Offline Carl

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2016, 06:42:25 PM »
A week ago I took a first-aid class.

Curiously a few things had changed since 18 months ago when I took CERT.

We did learn about tourniquets, however the EMT training us advised against tourniquets in the case of nose bleeds...

A couple of tampons are good for this...;

Don't forget the value of duct tape,over gauze or sticky side out when directly on skin....I have successfully used this in a time of need.

Offline bradleypaul75

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2016, 08:18:06 PM »
also on the meds: Sudephedrine and Benedryl
A clean hand towel goes a long way for multiple roles too.

Offline Greekman

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2016, 04:32:39 AM »
Just a tip... The SWAT tourniquet borrows from the official Israeli forces TQ...



but look what I found!
Quote
Silicone tourniquets were used, by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers, for upper extremity and calf injuries, while thigh injuries were treated by an improvised "Russian" tourniquet (IRT).

Evaluating new types of tourniquets by the Israeli Naval special warfare unit
https://disastermilitarymedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2054-314X-1-1

endurance either you were good to guess or you know your lesson well!

Offline Victoria

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2016, 05:46:08 PM »
I keep a very basic first aid kit in my glove box, that's not much more than surgical gloves and a variety of bandages.  I'd like to improve this a bit.
Any suggestions for automobile first aid kits?

I was an EMT, retired now.  I would put Celox packets in the car.  Celox stopping bleeding in seconds and is used on the battlefield for the military.  If someone has bleeding, it will stop that unless it is coming from an artery.  There is a new bandage that will help stop bleeding from an artery, but it appears you want the minimal for your car, and I would have Celox, which I do have in the car. 
You can get Celox on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/CELOX-Temporary-Traumatic-Treatment-10-Pack/dp/B0032UY9BQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1466811483&sr=8-2&keywords=celox

endurance

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Re: Seeking guidance for minimalist highway first aid kit
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2016, 05:15:23 AM »
Man, I forgot how bad head bleeds are until this morning's call. Probably a 6" laceration on the top of the head and by the time we got on scene it looked like a horror movie. I'd suggest at least a 5x9" or possibly an 8x10" abdominal pad and a triangular bandage to secure it. Head bleeds are so messy. And yet he was conscious and non-combative. Amazing. Serious head injuries are almost always combative as hell. Realize, this isn't alcohol or drugs, this is the reptilian brain fighting for survival with utter disconnect with the higher thinking processes. Do what you can, but provide for your safety, and realize that a combative patient needs a hospital bad.