A first aid kit is a box, bag, or pack used to store medical and PPE supplies to treat domestic injuries and wounds.

Having a handy first aid kit at home can be a real lifesaver; literally and figuratively. Whether it’s to fix a sprain or little cuts to emergencies involving excessive bleeding, domestic accidents, poisoning, snake bites, and so on, a well-equipped first aid box will be the right point of contact.

A well-stocked first-aid kit, easily within touching distance, is an essential part of every home. Having the right supplies ahead of time will help you handle an emergency at a moment’s notice.

What type of Injuries are first aid kit supplies used for?

Trauma Injuries

  • Gunshot or stab wounds – Pressure bandages, clean clothes, gloves, and bleeding control bags are used to control such bleeding.
  • Severed / Crushed limb – you can use a tourniquet to stop hemorrhage/blood loss. A good place to get one, in case of such an extreme event is Sam Medical.
  • Deep wound – a compressed gauze, abdominal dressing, and blood-stopping bandages can all be used for deep wounds. The pressure will only be applied to control bleeding, and force should not be applied to the area if the bleeding is stopped. Sanitizers also stop the contamination of the wound.
  • Severe burns – Sterile water, water-based gels, saturated gauze, and dressings can all be used to help treat severe burns. They help to cool the skin, also reduce potential infection, and may also relieve pain caused by burns when an ice bag is applied thereafter.
  • Broken bones – a cast, splint, or brace is important to keep it in position and heal faster. A triangular bandage, splinting material, elastic bandages, and the first-aid tape are all used to help treat a broken bone. For compound fractures where the bone is broken through the skin, sterile gauze, bandages for absorbing blood, and even compress dressings can be used. Remember to see a medical professional immediately

Minor Injuries

  • Cuts & Scrapes – first, wash your hands. This helps to stop the spread of infection. Then proceed to wash and clean the wound. If you want to help the wound heal faster, apply a first aid antibiotic ointment to the cut or scrape. Adhesive bandages, butterfly bandages, antiseptics, gauze pads, first-aid tape, and gauze rolls are all used to treat minor cuts and scrapes.
  • Minor Burns – Apply cold water for a few minutes over the burn, or you can also apply a clean, wet towel. Then use a moisturizing lotion, such as aloe vera, once the skin has cooled. You can use burn sprays and burn gels to help to relieve pain and take care of the burned area. Try as much as possible to avoid oils, butter, or any petroleum-based ointments for minor burns.
  • Minor Eye Irritations -An eyewash is used to rinse the eye from natural elements that may be irritating the eye. You can just apply a bottle of eyewash and or an eyecup to rinse the eye.
  • Sprains & Strains – A twisted limb, muscle, joint, or any other parts, will require an instant cold pack to help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Eye injuries – A trained medical professional should see any injury to the eye. An eye pad can be temporarily used to keep the affected eye closed in place to prevent further injury or complication.

Skin Care Related Injuries

Skin injuries can be of many types. They may be wounds due to sharp objects, scrapes that pierce the skin into the underlying tissue, and so on.

They can usually include sunburns, wounds and scrapes, and hives due to allergic reactions and insect stings. Most of these can be treated by the use of ointments. Burn gel is helpful for minor sunburn, while insect bites will be treated with over the counter creams and painkillers since they are usually harmless. Where there is a serious reaction, for example breathing or involving excessive swelling, a  doctor should be contacted immediately.

What you should have in your kit

So, now that we know what type of health emergency and how first aid is used to treat them, what are the things you should keep in mind to have in your first aid kit. Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and more can be added or removed.  It is always advisable to keep stock of the items you will need and keep buying and updating that list. A good place to start buying and organizing your first aid and medical emergency items is Sam Medical.

  • current first aid and emergency manual
  • a list of emergency phone numbers
  • sterile gauze pads of different sizes
  • adhesive tape
  • adhesive bandages of several sizes
  • elastic bandage
  • a splint
  • antiseptic wipes
  • soap
  • antibiotic ointment
  • antiseptic solution
  • hydrocortisone cream
  • acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • extra prescription medicines
  • tweezers
  • sharp scissors
  • safety pins
  • disposable instant cold packs
  • calamine lotion
  • alcohol wipes or ethyl alcohol
  • thermometer
  • tooth preservation kit
  • plastic non-latex gloves
  • a clean blanket
  • mouthpiece for giving CPR

Travel First Aid Bag Essential items

When on the road, you will likely need a slightly different set of items than just household considerations. They will be more elaborate than simply domestic first aid tool kits. They include

  • Corticosteroids to ease skin inflammation
  • Aloe vera gel or cream
  • Medical books, instruction manuals, journals, and guides
  • A lighter
  • Dental kit
  • Clean gloves
  • Adhesive tape
  • sterile gauze pads
  • Antacid — for indigestion
  • Antidiarrheal
  • Antihistamine cream
  • Antiseptic agent for cleaning wounds and hands
  • Aspirin for mild pain, heart attack
  • Adhesive bandages (all sizes)
  • A flashlight
  • Ibuprofen
  • Insect repellant
  • A small pocket knife
  • Moleskin to apply to blisters or hot spots
  • Nasal spray for nasal congestion from colds or allergies
  • Nonadhesive wound pads
  • Polysporin antibiotic ointment
  • Oral decongestant
  • Personal medications and items
  • Plastic resealable bags
  • Pocket mask for CPR
  • Safety pins
  • Scissors
  • Sunscreen
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers

Other things you may need to know

After buying all the essentials and stocking your first aid kit for domestic work or travel, also remember to;

  • Read the manual for all the items bought, so you’ll understand how to use what’s in your kits. Also, reread the manual from time to time and check to see if it is up to date.
  • Accessibility is key. It should be stored where adults and older kids can reach it easily, especially if it’s an emergency. But, it must also be kept out of reach of younger children
  • Check the kits regularly. Replace missing items or anything that has expired.

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