In my husbands job, he is often getting injured. Right now he has a big cut, two large burns and a smashed thumbnail. The things that we are really concerned with are the burns. They are large and one definatly needs to be covered as it is oozy. In the process of trying to take care of it, we realized that our first-aid kit was lacking some medical tape. We wanted to put gauze on it (check) and then wrap it with the medical tape. That got me to thinking.
I set out to find out all I can on making sure that when we have medical emergencies be they small or large, what do we need to take care of those problems? Here is some information that I found.
Get A Container
When our kit is assembled, we need something to hold it all in. It should be accessible and portable. My kit is housed in a basket. Depending on where I need to use it at, I can quickly grab it and transport it to where I need to go. What else could hold your medical supplies? How about a large plastic Ziploc bag. Or what about a small fishing tackle box? Maybe a small metal bucket. Or a shoe-box size Rubbermaid-type box.
Where To Keep It
My father-n-law keeps emergency kits in every vehicle. He also has them upstairs in the house and one downstairs. There is one at the camp and one on the boat. How many do you have? I have the main one in my linen closet and then another in the car. (We have a car emergency kit that came with a medical kit.)
Here are some places to keep yours:
Kitchen Cupboard (think band-aids and topical aids)
Car and Boat (think stomach-ache relief/motion sickness medicine, band-aids, hand sanitizer)
Most of us carry a cell phone. It's sort of the society that we live in. We are always "connected". But have you thought of keeping a cell phone in your emergency kit? I learned that the best thing you can keep in your car or boat first-aid kit is a cell phone. We need a way to get ahold of medical services.
I read this on about.com.
"Cellular phones need to have enough battery power to turn on, but they don't need a contract with a service to call 9-1-1. Federal law mandates that cell phones must be able to reach 9-1-1 anytime the number is called, regardless of the service agreement. Take that old cell phone you don't use anymore and put it in your first aid kit for emergencies. If you don't have one, there are programs to unite old, unused cell phones with people who need them for emergencies."
- acetaminophen and/or ibuprophen
- alcohol wipes to sanitize the wounded area
- burn ointment
- hand sanitizer
- medical adhesive tape (got to get some!)
- sterile gauze of varying sizes
- Band-Aids of varying sizes
- eye wash solution
- insect bite swaps or ant-itch oinment like Calamine lotion
- antibiotic ointment such as polysporin or neosporin
- hydrogen peroxide
- medical scissors (for cutting bandages and medical tape)
- instant cold packs
- latex/nonlatex gloves
- barrier device for CPR
- perscription medication if needed
- book on giving basic first-aid
It's absolutely imparitive that you keep your families medical information on hand. I am working on developing a sheet of my medical information and Shane's medical information. On it I will include allergies, emergency contact information, past surgeries, our primary care physican's information, insurance information, medication we are taking and other pertinant information that a medical professional would need to know. In a crisis, sometimes that information slips us. We may forget the medication that our husband takes. To have that information in one place and to have it accessible (a copy in each first-aid kit as well as in my purse), I will be better able to assist my family in an emergency. This is also helpful if I'm the one injured. Shane will be able to spout off my info. Providing that sort of information can help prevent misdiagnosis.
Make sure to keep medical phone numbers in a prominant place. We all know to call 911 but it would be a great idea to have the phone number for things like 'Dial-A-Nurse', Poison Control, our doctor's office number, insurance phone number (if you need a referal or what not) and the phone number for the local police.
Here is the number for Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
Here is the web address for Canada's Poison Control. Each province has it's own phone number. Check the site and write down yours.
First Aid Kits for Pets
You'll want to follow the same procedure as above: portable container, keeping medical information (vet info and emergency vet hospitals) and you need many of the same items. Here is a list I found.
- blankets to keep pet warm in extreme conditions
- vet tape (this is like a self sticking tape - like hockey tape - that sticks to itself. Find it in many colors at places like Pet Smart)
- muzzel or a soft rope to slip over dogs muzzel so they don't bite you (it's an animals defense and when injured, they can be very scared)
- antibacterial ointments
- cotton swabs
- gauze pads in varying sizes
- hydrogen peroxide
- ipecac or activated charcoal in the event your pet is poisoned. Contatc the vet first before using.
- medicine droppers
- medical scissors
- book on first-aid for pets
- vet information/vet hospital information
It's also a good idea to store all of these important phone numbers on your cell phone. I'm speaking from experience. Our pup, Bee, eats everything. We can't leave her alone in our truck because she will eat something. Like car stereo wires. Or our 6-disk changing CD player. Or anti-freeze...or was it brakeline fluid. I can't remember. But either way, we were on the road going to PA when we made a pit stop. While we were out of the truck, Bee had eaten a bottle that contained either the brake fluid or anti-freeze. I'm thinking it was the brake fluid because I think the anti-freeze is toxic to pets. Well, needless to say, we didn't have the vet's number. And there were a lot of phone calls to family members trying to get that information. Turns out whatever the product was wasn't harmful to dogs. At most it would make her gasy and give her diareaha. Gross, but much better than a puppy who needed a trip to the ER. After that trip, I programed the vet number on my phone. My hubby hasn't yet...and I can't tell you how many times he calls me so that I can give him the number.
Well, I hope these tips help you to put together your emergency kit. I can see the holes in mine but am armed with the information that I need to get my kit together, better. My challenge to you this week is to put your first-aid kits together. Remember that you should have more than one. You never know when or where an emergency can occur.
I apologize for the horrible formatting. I'm having such problems with Blogger. Gah!
EDITS: HELPFUL INFORMATION I RECEIVED
From Dr. Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC
Associate Director of Veterinary Services
"I wanted to make you aware of another important resource out there also - Pet Poison Helpline is an additional Animal Poison Control Center, and it's one of the most cost-effective animal poison ($35/case vs. ASPCA's new $60/case) controls out there nowadays. Unfortunately, because animal poison controls are not federal- or state-funded, there is a fee to allow the service to be run 24-7. We provide a similar service, but have the added benefit of veterinary specialists (in internal medicine and emergency and critical care) as part of our staff. You can always call 1-800-213-6680 if you ever have a problem."
From my sister at Our Blessed Home
"It's also important to make sure you have ICE (In Case of Emergency) contacts in your cell phone. If something happens, emergency personnel are supposed to check your cell phone for ICE to call your friends/family."