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#173530 - 05/19/09 04:16 PM Categories of contents for first aid kits??
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
As part of the move-onto-sailboat process, I pulled out:

30 year old home first aid box

10 year old boater first aid kit

5 year old auto first aid kit

3 year old kayak first aid kit

2 year old PFAK

1 1/2 year old flint / obsidian knapping first aid kit

All the loose boxes of bandaids, rolls of tape, elastic bandages, finger/thumb/wrist/thumb splints, shoulder sling, cold/hot water bottle, etc.

After looking at the table full of stuff I decided the better part of valor was to admit I am at least temporarily overwhelmed. I have retreated to plan and study a bit - hopefully with your help.

The box and all kits have had periodic partial updates, but now I would like to do a better job of organizing them into:

boat [home] kit
car kit
BOB kit
flint/obsidian knapping kit

I have searched and read past threads on deciding when to toss stuff as too old, though I am open to a renewed discoussion of this topic.

I could really use help with deciding appropriate categories of contents for each kit. I am not now, and have never been, in any healthcare related position.

#173540 - 05/19/09 06:53 PM Re: Categories of contents for first aid kits?? [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
A first aid booklet from one of the kits uses the following categories:

breathing problems
broken bones
burns and scalds
chemical burns
choking, airway obstruction
cold esposure
heat exhaustion
penetrating objects
wound care and infection prevention

I wonder if there should be categories for:

poison oak
snake bite
fish hook removal



#173551 - 05/19/09 11:22 PM Re: Categories of contents for first aid kits?? [Re: dweste]
Jeff_M Offline

Registered: 07/18/07
Posts: 665
Loc: Northwest Florida
I's not entirely sure what you are asking, but here's how I organize a FAK, by category, with typical examples:

Assessment Group:
BP Cuff
Pen, paper
hand cleaner
red bag
space blanket

Airway Group:
Pocket mask
oropharyngeal airways

Trauma Group:
Assorted bulky dressings
Gauze, kling, tape, ace wrap
Burn sheets
Sam splint
irrigation fluids
antibiotic topicals

Medical Group:

#173558 - 05/20/09 02:36 AM Re: Categories of contents for first aid kits?? [Re: Jeff_M]
JohnE Offline

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 601
Loc: Southern Cal
As far as the expiration or use by dates, if the item in question is something like a gauze pad or a triangular bandage, I'd go ahead and keep it. If it's medicinal, toss it out. Some bandages can work long after their date but the packaging doesn't, you'll find that the glue used to hold them together will most likely be dried up and whatever sterility was there will be gone.

You can pick up a box of 100 single sized Rite Aid brand for about 6 bucks at the moment, should be plenty to stock up all of your kits.

Other than that, remember your ABC's, in a true first aid/trauma situation you'll want to be able to keep an airway open, provide respirations and stop bleeding. That's really all that a lay person should be doing anyway.

I'd focus on that first and then add some "nice to have" stuff afterwards. ie, personal meds, splinter tweezers, etc.


"and all the lousy little poets
comin round
tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson"

The Future/Leonard Cohen

#173577 - 05/20/09 11:41 AM Re: Categories of contents for first aid kits?? [Re: dweste]
CrazyJ Offline

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 4
I recently put together a "travel" first aid kit. I found the Adventure Medical Kits site to be pretty useful. They have a wide variety of kits and the published inventory lists break the contents into categories. I used their categories as the base for packing and listing the contents of my kit.

My categories are:
-Bandage Material
-Wound Care


Edited by CrazyJ (05/20/09 11:48 AM)

#173649 - 05/21/09 02:23 PM Re: Categories of contents for first aid kits?? [Re: NightHiker]
oldsoldier Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
Remember, you arent a surgeon. Your most common injuries will likely be puntcure wounds/cuts, blisters, and minor burn injuries. Possibly something like a sprain. Of course, if you have taken additional training, then pack what you know how to use. I have 3 kits:
EDC FAK, which is nothing more than alcohol wipes, assorted bandages, and some pain relievers, allergy med, and anti diahreal pills. Aqll contained in a mint tin

hiking/kayak FAK: one of the off the shelf ones from a good company, with gloves & a CPR mask thingy thrown in. This goes into my daypack, kayak, or whatever I am carrying. It covers almost everything I would encounter, and is light. I may even have an ACE bandage in there.

Jeep FAK: This one is pretty comprehensive, and has tons of bandaids, a couple ace bandages, a SAM splint, gloves, another CPR mouth thingy, and a couple bottles of painkillers, as well as anti nausea, anti diarrhea, and antacids in there. I also threw hard candy in there as well (Werthers), mostly because I like them, but I am SURE they will come in handy someday.

AMK makes great kits, and are usually well stocked. These are great to build off of. Thats my $0.02
my adventures

#173672 - 05/21/09 08:35 PM Re: Categories of contents for first aid kits?? [Re: oldsoldier]
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
FYI, Inventory:

3 ace bandages, 1 sealed breathable mesh ace-type
100's of adhesive bandages
6 small and 2 medium instant heat packs
2 triangular bandages, non-sterile
2 space blankets
10 Katadyn water purification tablets
3 small pieces of moleskin
4 "eye pads"
3 foil packs of Blistex
3 SPF 15 tubes of lip balm
1 30 ml sealed plastic bottle of saline eyewash
5 instant cold packs [3 medium and 2 small]
5 small rolls of white adhesive tape
1 film cannister size empty specimen bottle
4 small metal scissors
3 small plastic tweezers
1 1 oz. tube zinc oxide ointment
5 foil packs SPF 15 sunscreen
1 foil pack Cortaid cream
28 foil packs PDI benzelkonium chloride antiseptic wipes
9 foil packs PDI providone-iodine prep pads
4 ammonia inhalants - [3 crushable tubes and 1 foil packet]
8 tongue depressor-type sticks
2 long cotton swabs
20+ alcohol cleansing pads
8 foil packs benzocaine sting relief pads
16 foil packs triple antibiotic cream [bacitracin, neomycin sulfate, and polymyxin sulfate ?sp?]
3 2-tablet foil packs ibuprofen/Motrin
6 2-pill foil packets acetaminophen / Tylenol
6 2-pill foil packets motion sickness antiemtic diment?ydrinate
1 tube Dramamine pills medizine hydrochloride
1 2-caplet foil packet of Immodium - antidiaretic
1 foil pack providone-iodine burn ointment
1 foil pack burn cooling gel - xanthan gum, glycerine, etc.
18 sterile packs guaze pads from small to medium size
2 rolls sterile guaze - 1 3" and 1 4"
5 sealed packs of sterile gloves
1 tube Coughlans Sportsmans soap
1 small and 1 large nail clipper
1 foil pack 2 electrolyte tablets
1 small glass bottle Anebesol dental pain reliever
1 small plastic bottle Eucerin skin lotion

#173695 - 05/22/09 11:08 PM Re: Categories of contents for first aid kits?? [Re: dweste]

Here's Mine
I basically break everything into categories as well.
-PPE/Airway/Wounds/Ortho/IV access/Meds/Misc

My Kits

1-Hiking/backpacking/day trips-aint no light weight here-not talking huge, but i got my bases covered!

1-EDC-small-mostly bandaid type stuff-actually its a little white J&J box from target-talking palm size here, for scrapes and splinters and blisters type stuff

1-Base Camp / Expedition -this one lies at home, yet we take it for extended trips, events, etc...this kit is contained in a Ferno Professional ALS bag-Royal Blue (in case anyone wants to know)

4-car kits (tundra/accord/4runner(old work car)/FJ)-here again, its hard to have everything you need in the right place at the right time, -basically I quit trying to take the basecamp kit everywhere -so i have 4 small "scrapes and scratches" kits in each car-here again i just cover the min. My wife and I rotate what we drive all the time, so it became pointless to try and maintain 4 vech, and 1 huge base camp kit all the time-cost was outrageous and stuff expired all the time, so i narrowed it down to "scrapes kits" except for the hiking kit, and we just plan the big kit for larger leaves or events........yeah, I know someone is going to say "what if", I guess that when that time comes I'll just "improvise"?


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