Accidents and medical emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere, whether you’re at home or your workplace. Such unfortunate incidents could result in injuries, including cuts and scrapes, bruises, and bleeding, accompanied by pain or discomfort. When this happens, knowing what to do to manage the situation and injuries you or your loved one sustained can help prevent the case from worsening.
One of the best ways to be prepared for such a medical emergency is by having a first aid kit ready and knowing how to use it. Essentially, a first kit aid kit bears essential supplies you’ll need to respond to common injuries. In some cases, it’ll also allow you to provide relief to patients while waiting for professional help to arrive. This includes a set of medicines, wound care supplies, and more.
However, for a first aid kit to be truly useful, it must be equipped with the necessary medical tools and supplies. You can visit a nearby pharmacy and buy premade kits or gather supplies and make your own. You can check out the official website of various online medical supplies stores to get insights on what you should put inside your kit.
As a good start, here are essentials you should always keep in your first aid kit:
Basic First Aid Supplies
You can start by getting basic items that’ll allow you to attend to common medical emergencies. This includes:
- Ice packs and heat pads: Ice packs and heat pads can help ease muscle aches and pains. It’s recommended to ice the affected area for the first 72 hours to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Warm compress, on the other hand, can help relax muscles and soothe joints.
- Scissors and tweezers: Scissors can be useful in situations wherein you need to adjust the size of your bandages or cut medical tape. On the other hand, tweezers can aid in removing harmful and painful debris that has punctured your skin, such as splinters and broken glass.
- Thermometer: Fever happens when your body’s temperature rises as it fights an infection inside. By having a thermometer in your kit, you can always check and monitor fevers immediately and take the necessary measures to feel better and recover.
- Cotton swabs: Cotton swabs can be used when cleaning or disinfecting the skin around the patient’s wound before applying topical medication.
- Disposable medical gloves: Disposable gloves can be beneficial in preventing contact with germs and bacteria when handling open wounds. This can also help prevent cross-contamination and infection.
- Hand sanitizer: If you have no access to soap and water, you can use hand sanitizers to disinfect your hands before and after treating injuries.
Wound Care Supplies
Among the things you must have in your first aid kit are wound cleaning supplies, such as betadine, alcohol, sterile water or saline spray, sterilization wipes, antiseptic cream, and more. You can use these supplies to disinfect injury sites and prevent your cuts or laceration from getting infected.
You could also add wound dressing supplies to your kit to aid in securing the wound. This includes roller bandages, adhesive bandages, sterilized gauze pads with varying shapes and sizes, alcohol pads, cotton balls, and medical tape.
Having wound care supplies can help you manage small and large wounds from getting worse. They can be beneficial in controlling bleeding and keeping the wound site from getting exposed and susceptible to becoming infected.
There may be instances wherein the medical emergency you or your loved one will encounter will result in major injuries. For instance, it could be due to a bad fall that’ll require you to stabilize or hold in place the injured limb or body part or intensive bleeding that needs immediate medical assistance. Hence, having the right supplies to help you manage trauma injuries while waiting for the medical team is vital.
As you assemble your kit, include tourniquets, triangular bandages, arm slings, hemostatic dressing, and crepe-rolled bandages, to name a few.
The next set of essentials to have in your first aid kit are medicines and topical creams for treating wounds and providing relief to pains and other medical symptoms. These include:
- Painkillers such as paracetamol for children and ibuprofen or aspirin for adults
- Antihistamine cream or tablets for allergies
- Skin rash cream for managing skin rashes
- Spray or cream to relieve insect bites
- Eye drops for relieving and treating eye irritation and infection
- Throat relief lozenges for sore throat
- Antacids for heartburn, acidity, or upset stomach
In addition to this list, you could also include personal medications or vitamins and health supplements that you or your family members may be taking.
First Aid Manual
Finally, it may help to keep a first aid manual in your kit. This can help ensure anyone can use the kit in the event of a medical emergency- whether it’s an untrained colleague or employee at work or a child at home. This manual will serve as a guide on how to use the supplies properly along with their purposes.
Being prepared for medical emergencies, whether they’re ailments or injuries, is crucial to prevent the condition from getting worse. However, to be an effective first-aid responder, you’ll need the appropriate tools and supplies. Hopefully, the list above can guide you on what to keep in your first aid kit.