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First Aid For Bleeding at Home

The first thing to consider when putting together a first aid kit is where to store it. It must be easy to find, in other words, it must have a natural location, and it must be easy to move around as needed. That is, if someone is injured, the kit should be in the first place you would look. Assume you're visiting an acquaintance in a house where you don't really know your way around. If the need arose, where would you look for a first aid kit if no one could point you in the right direction? Yours should go in the first place that comes to mind. The bathroom, a washroom, or even that walk-in closet are all good options. Whatever you think is the best location should be visible the moment you walk in. The second question is what shape it should take. Some people prefer a fixed cabinet on the wall, possibly even one that is locked. That is the worst idea ever, and please excuse the strong language.

The first-aid kit should be easily transportable. What if someone is hurt in the yard, or in the back, or even in the street? Are you going to run back and forth, first frantically looking for the key you hid from the kids, and then commuting between the injury and the cabinet because you couldn't fit everything in your two hands the first time?

No. You should be able to pick up the entire kit and run with it to whoever needs your help, and it shouldn't take you more than thirty seconds. A backpack is the best option for you.

Get a good-sized backpack - not one of those 180-litre beasts, but a good 40-litre tactile backpack. Your local army surplus store, or one on the internet, will even have specialized medic backpacks that are ideal. The majority of them are even emblazoned with the universally recognized red cross. Once you've got one of those, you can start stocking it with the supplies you'll need to care for the injured.

What you need:

- Two sets of sterile gloves Latex should be used with caution because many people are allergic to it. Get something else, and make sure it's powder-free!

- Sterile dressings to prevent bleeding. There are many different kinds of these, but the make and model are unimportant. Sterile dressings are just that: sterile dressings.

- To disinfect, use a cleaning agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes.

- Antibiotic ointment for infection prevention.

This is only important for a first aid kit if help is far away. If an emergency room or an ambulance is available within a couple of hours, disinfectant soap and towelettes will suffice. Antibiotics are also not to be taken lightly. In the worst-case scenario, the incorrect one can cause allergic reactions and worsen the injury.

- Special burn dressing is required. Burns account for a significant portion of home injuries, and if treated promptly, one of these will reduce the likelihood of scarring.

- Adhesive bandages in various sizes

- An eye wash solution that can be used to flush the eyes or as a general decontaminant.

- A thermometer If emergency services are far away, this will aid in infection monitoring. A fever should always be taken seriously.

- Prescription medications that you take on a daily basis, such as insulin, heart medication, and asthma inhalers. Take note of the expiration dates!

- Prescription medical supplies, such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring devices and supplies.

Check your kit once a month for expired medication and other items that may be broken or in need of repair. Making the kit is only half the battle. The other half, and equally important, is maintenance and replenishment. It is important to note that pain relievers and other medications do not become dangerous if they are out of date, but they may lose some of their effectiveness after a while. Nonetheless, never take or administer more than the recommended dosage!


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