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#284525 - 05/11/17 05:02 PM Improvising First Aid
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5728
Loc: southern Cal
I am sure that most of us routinely have access to some sort of FAK, hopefully compatible with our training. Within it most likely there are meds of various sorts, bandaids and sterile dressings, etc.,but nothing too terribly bulky or heavy.

This means that when faced with a really serious injury, we will need to improvise -a bandanna becomes part of a tourniquet- a belt or duct tape holds a dressing in place, etc.

What improvisations come to mind when you contemplate dealing with various serious situations when you are not in quick communication with 911? What are your tips and tricks which will be generally useful?
Sometimes even fully equipped SAR teams run out of supplies. I once took off my pants to complete splint padding (I had a second pair in my pack)....
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#284526 - 05/11/17 05:26 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: hikermor]
Montanero Online   content
Old Hand

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1024
Loc: North Carolina
Saran wrap for burns and sucking chest wounds.

You can never have too many triangular bandages, they can be used for so many things.

Don't leave duct tape on too long, it will take skin off with it.

Shirts and cut poles for a stretcher. Run the poles through the bottom and then the sleeves; you can add several shirts if needed. A poncho also makes a good litter.

Any cloth is usable as a pressure bandage. Stop the bleeding and worry about infection later.

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#284527 - 05/11/17 06:05 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: Montanero]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5728
Loc: southern Cal
One reason I like bandannas ; they make pretty good triangular bandages.
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#284528 - 05/11/17 06:19 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: hikermor]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2664
While Montanero is of course correct about duct tape taking skin off, it's probably the single most useful improvisational first aid tool imaginable for traumatic injury.

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#284529 - 05/11/17 06:27 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: chaosmagnet]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5728
Loc: southern Cal
How long is too long for duct tape? How effective is adhesive tape as a substitute for duct tape./ you should have one or the other handy (most likely D tape...0.
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#284530 - 05/11/17 08:11 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: hikermor]
Montanero Online   content
Old Hand

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1024
Loc: North Carolina
I do use duct tape for such things, you just have to be aware that you can't yank it off. I have never measured it, but I have experienced the skin removal after a couple of days of the duct tape being stuck to the skin on the bottom of a person's foot.

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#284531 - 05/11/17 08:48 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: hikermor]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2714
Loc: La-USA
The plastic pkg that battle dressings, triangular bandages, other medical supplies come in have usefulness on sucking chest wounds, insulation, etc.
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#284532 - 05/11/17 09:14 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: hikermor]
LCranston Offline
2
Member

Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 145
Loc: Nebraska
Super Glue!!!

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#284533 - 05/11/17 09:47 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: chaosmagnet]
NAro Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 474
I agree with the duct tape comments. We once used it, cut into butterfly strips, to close an eyebrow/eyelid laceration. As to difficulty removing it: it pretty much sloughed off when we got to the trail head 2 days later. One of our party was an eye surgeon! He's never seen anything work better, leaving absolutely no scar. We're sold.

Other than that, we're always wearing something that could be cut up for a pressure bandage, etc., if we had to.

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#284534 - 05/11/17 09:50 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: LCranston]
NAro Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 474
I disagree with the super glue unless you're absolutely sure you disinfected the cut. Same disagreement as to suturing in the field. Unless you're willing to risk infection, you don't want to totally seal up a laceration. You need a bit of leakage/draining. Butterfly strips are the way we go.

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