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#28688 - 06/30/04 06:07 PM Re: First Aid Kit: Packing and Stuff?
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
BTW, you can see the sissors that are in my first aid kit here. Note that overall kit pictures are outdated. I'll redo when I get things settled down.

So I assume you think the risk is enough that I should try to find some blunt ones? I'll have to look around and see what I can find.

-john

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#28689 - 06/30/04 06:37 PM Re: First Aid Kit: Packing and Stuff?
Polak187 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: Brooklyn, New York
I still dont understand what you guys want to expose... If the wound is so serious, mechanism of injury and protocols will suggest other stuff to worry about than wound exposure (airway, c-spine)... Plus what are you going to do with 3 sterile pads after you expose a deep wound? I'm just saying old medical motto "Do no harm". Shears have a place in your hiking, wildlife, car or home FAK...

Plus of course the size. Shears are pretty big. Want soemthing small? Try Benchmade rescue hook.

Matt
_________________________
Matt
http://brunerdog.tripod.com/survival/index.html

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#28690 - 06/30/04 06:46 PM Re: First Aid Kit: Packing and Stuff?
David Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/09/02
Posts: 245
Loc: Tennessee (middle)
Aardwolfe--
Quote:
Blunt tipped scissors would be far better; professional paramedic shears (or possibly a BenchMade Rescue Hook) would be even better.

You're right about the paramedic shears, though at a considerable space penalty. The BM Rescue Hook is better, space-wise, but not as versatile. There's been considerable discussion in this forum re: shears vs. blade. Paramedics of my acquaintance tend to use blades for clothing removal, & shears for other things. But, the shears do get the job done safely; that's why a pair is in my vehicle kit, which BTW, is in an orange Pelican 1150 case (lunch-box sized).

However, I don't think the shears will fit in the Pelican MicroCase that JohnN is using as a FAK container. If they will, they'll be even bigger than the ones he's using now, taking up more space. Remember, this is basically a pocket-sized FAK.

JohnN, having now viewed the photo of some of your gear & having read your responses & reasonings, I'd suggest placing a medium or small SAK in the kit. It would take up less room, offer the same "grab & go" completeness, and offer more blades, too.

But, you've still got the pointy scissors. Personally, I don't find that to be much of a problem, nor using a bare blade to do the same. I've removed clothing with the scissors on a Vic Classic, and also with a locking folder. Both took a bit of care on my part, but were done in complete safety with no harm.

If just cutting away clothes is the issue, perhaps one of those X-Acto blade based letter openers would be a viable, low-use alternative. It'll be dull after a pair of blue jeans, but would work!

Bandage, or Lister, scissors might be a compromise. I've got full-sized ones in the FAK at home, & a smaller pair handy in a bedroom drawer. REI sells an even smaller pair (less than 5" long) that might work for you, too. They'd certainly fit your container.

Thanks for starting this; it's making me think about what I've got, & how I've got it distributed.

David

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#28691 - 06/30/04 07:04 PM Re: First Aid Kit: Packing and Stuff?
X-ray Dave Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/11/03
Posts: 572
Loc: Nevada
For example,the kit I make for my parents will vary a LOT from my "General "FAK. Based on expected useage and training/ability. I have a kit specifically for shooting that is designed for treating gunshots and there is a full on Trauma Bag in my commute vehicle. Niether of these kits has any bandaids. If you really need what's in these kits, you are well past the band aid stage. There is a general FAK in the vehicle for lesser routine problems. For day hikes, the kit has Ace wraps and a SAM splint.Even when you finally get it all "perfect" you will find a way to "improve" it.

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#28692 - 06/30/04 07:56 PM Re: First Aid Kit: Packing and Stuff?
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
In reply to:
"There's been considerable discussion in this forum re: shears vs. blade. Paramedics of my acquaintance tend to use blades for clothing removal, & shears for other things. But, the shears do get the job done safely; that's why a pair is in my vehicle kit, which BTW, is in an orange Pelican 1150 case (lunch-box sized). "

Just to throw my 2 cents in:

I use shears almost exclusively, for clothing, seatbelts, etc. The primary purpose to expose or remove clothing is to allow proper examination of the body (for signs of injury i.e. bruising) after, as Matt has pointed out, the care of the ABC’s. The secondary purpose to expose or remove clothing is to clean and treat wounds and/or injuries. The third reason to remove clothing is to allow for proper immobilization of the injured or suspect body part. The cutting away of clothing vs. traditional removal is to prevent further injury to the body and to minimize pain in doing so. It has been my experience shears allow me to remove clothing, etc. with minimal movement to the body. While I have used a variety of blades, I still prefer a pair of blunt tipped shears. I have found the ones at the dollar store work just as well as many of the “EMT/Trauma” shears. Also, keep in mind there are times when it is best to leave clothing (i.e. shoes/boots) in place, as they provide a degree of immobilization. Just my opinion - Pete


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#28693 - 06/30/04 09:56 PM Re: First Aid Kit: Packing and Stuff?
David Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/09/02
Posts: 245
Loc: Tennessee (middle)
Hi, Pete!

At the risk of helping this thread wander further afield...

Searching all posts for "shears" will find the discussions. The one I remembered best was Matt's description of the BM Rescue Hook.

Re: Shears vs. Blades
I wonder if there is a regional, local, or institutional bias toward one or the other? As I noted above, most of the Paramedics, EMTs & firefighers I know (and I'm not one, BTW) use & prefer blades over shears. My observation is that use of shears is a decided minority around here (middle Tennessee).

Might it have something to do with an emphasis in training? or rules/regulations in departments/agencies?

Just curious. Thoughts, anyone?

David

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#28694 - 07/01/04 04:44 AM Re: First Aid Kit: Packing and Stuff?
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Hi David, thanks for the comments.

Quote:
If the latter, use drinking water, or get small single use ampules of tear solution or saline. I explained what I wanted to my Opthalmologist & asked his advice; he gave me several samples for my various kits, some of which contained multiple single use ampules.


Have you found any other source for the ampules other than your opthamologist? They sound perfect.

Thanks,

-john

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#28695 - 07/01/04 04:52 AM Re: First Aid Kit: Packing and Stuff?
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
I am thinking of doing a three tier setup like yours. Here is what I was thinking of doing. Get a small pouch that can attach with ALICE clips to the outside of the Fatboy. Either the Maxpedition M1 or M5 waistpack would probably work well. There are also many other pouches out there if you look. Put your level 1 kit in the small pouch, and attach it to the Fatboy. Then put your level 2 kit in your backpack in easy reach.


I'm planning something pretty similar. I already ordered a Maxpedition M2 and wear it on my belt (EDC). I purchased a couple of malice clips so that I can attach it to the Fatboy as desired. Right now I haven't completely decided what goes in the M2 vs my pockets but the idea is I have that flexibility. I'm actually kind of leaning towards most of my EDC in my pockets with my PDA and phone in the M2, but I do like the flexibility this provides.

BTW, this Maxpedition stuff is pretty cool. I can't wait to get my Fatboy. I'm already pondering the backpacks...

-john

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#28696 - 07/01/04 05:05 AM Re: First Aid Kit: Packing and Stuff?
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
Examination gloves I don't actually carry in the kit itself. I just grap a handfull from the lab and put them in a pocket.


This gets me thinking. Maybe I could get some sort of pouch and adhere it to the outside of the kit and put the gloves in there. Makes them easier to get before you even dive into the kit and if you just stuffed them in there it might actually deal with the bulk and stuff. Hmm.

Quote:
Consider going for a soft case rather than a hard case. They are much much easier to pack to efficiently use the space.


Hmm. Part of the reason I picked the hard case was to make it so I didn't have to deal with waterproofing and wearproofing the various items. Previously I had just stuffed things into a double bagged ziplock, but then I put the meds in little bottles, and stuff in other bags and stuff and I was still worried about crushing it in my pack (I'm not delicate with it). On the other hand, I can see where these cases are not optimal. The weight is a big one, and the other problem I run into is that the lid portion is not just a lid, but also part of the sides. That means you kind of have to "pile" stuff up to use the whole space. Obviously a bit of a problem. I do think most soft cases don't have this problem.

Quote:
I assume you have packed the medications along with the instruction sheet but binned the box it all came in?


Yah, I've been working to get as much stuff as possible with little single use packets so they contain instructions on them. However that doesn't apply to everything, but there isn't much in there and nothing too exotic.

Quote:
I would look again at some of the meds you are carrying. Some are not really what I would call first aid but are more for comfort.


Agreed. Considering I try to think about being a bit of an island, I do pack some stuff that fits into the comfort catagory. Nothing worse than being stuck in an airport or something and feeling sick and not being able to do anything about it. I'm willing to deal with a bit of the weight and bulk penalty this implies, but I do need to make sure I don't get too carried away in this respect.


Quote:
You don't need butterfly closures and steri-strips. I would lose the butterfly closures.


I'll lose the butterfly closures. I'm still waiting for someone to beat some sense into me before I lose the steri-strips! :-)

Quote:
rather than cotton gauze consider carrying a tampon. Ther are compressed and take up a lot less space.


After the discussion here, I'm just going to lose it all together. Good idea tho.

Quote:
Hope you found that of some use. The bottom line is that there is no perfect FAK. It depends on your own knowledge of what you can do and an assessment of what you will actually need it for.


Yes, the ideas are great. Thanks!

-john

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#28697 - 07/01/04 05:12 AM Re: First Aid Kit: Packing and Stuff?
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
I am still looking for the best container, but have settled for now on a spec ops pocket buddy.


I went to their web site and didn't see this. Does it go by another name?

Quote:
Still looking for a 2 oz bottle for the betadine solution.


Isn't that pretty big? My .5 oz is about as big as I'd want to carry around...

Quote:
Additionally I vacuum packed a roll of gauze to get rid of the bulk and waterproof it. Worked pretty well.


Great idea! I think I'm going to lose the gauze, but I have been impressed how well vacuum packing works in regard to bulk. The only down side is that it might slow you down a little bit getting it out.

-john

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