Author Topic: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits  (Read 10812 times)

Offline Serellan

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Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« on: October 05, 2008, 10:11:24 PM »
So I recently decide to put first aid kits in my vehicles as part of vehicle emergency kits.  I have a pretty extensive “Field Trauma Kit” at home, but I wanted more of a basic kit for the cars.  Because I need two kits, I was cost conscious.   I looked around at a few different commercial kits, but for the cost they all included a bunch of useless things for a car emergency kit (like lip balm, sting cream, a ton of small bandages, etc).

So, I went to the pharmacy store and purchased a few items.  I may have ended up spending a bit more than I would have buying two commercial kits, but I feel I have a much more complete and compact kit, plus I had a bunch of items left over to put under the sink at home.  I spent about $70 total.

Here are the items I put in each kit:



1 Instant Cold Pack
4 Dressing Sponge 4x4
1 ACE Bandage
1 Bandage Roll
10 Gauze Pad 2x2
20 Alcohol Swab
1 Tube Triple Antibiotic
1 Roll Medical Tape
1 Pair Latex-Free gloves (wife is allergic to latex)
10 Various size bandages

This packs up nicely into a Ziploc bag (I left the cold pack in a box so it doesn’t accidentally get compressed and activated).



Overall, I think this is a better kit than most $20 commercial kits, with less useless junk, and I had extra of most of the items to keep at home.

The kit at home is more extensive and is more designed for BOB, but this small emergency kit should be enough to get me home or deal with an injury to get us to a hospital.


Lucretius

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2008, 12:02:22 PM »
No scissors? They're  great for cutting up clothing for access to wounds etc... not sharp points ones though....

Personally, I like to buy commercial kits and throwing out junk and throwing in good stuff. The extra band aids come in handy, and you spend less time shopping.

Good kit however, don't forget to keep the skills to use them up to date and well rehearsed though!

doctorzero

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2008, 06:30:37 PM »
Nice kits! I agree that commercial kits are pretty much useless for serious survival or emergency type situations. Some of the goops and "burn creams" are actually more harmful than anything. In a serious emergency you ain't gonna need no bandaids! Stock up on abd pads, 4&6" rolled gauze or "Kerlix" etc. I have my kits specifically loaded with different stuff depending where they are kept. I made up "boo boo" kits that have bandaids, OTC meds etc and have them in the gloveboxes of the vehicles, backpacks, range bags etc but I keep them separate from the major kits. The trauma gear and surgical kits do not need to be cluttered up with bandaids and tylenol. One of the best online suppliers that I have found is Mooremedical.com.

Offline Serellan

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2008, 08:42:53 PM »
No scissors? They're  great for cutting up clothing for access to wounds etc... not sharp points ones though....

Personally, I like to buy commercial kits and throwing out junk and throwing in good stuff. The extra band aids come in handy, and you spend less time shopping.

Good kit however, don't forget to keep the skills to use them up to date and well rehearsed though!

Great advice.  I will get a couple of pairs of surgical scissors to add to the kit.

Lucretius

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2008, 11:00:30 PM »
In a serious emergency you ain't gonna need no bandaids!

Lemme guess... you've no kids?  ;)

On a more serious note: in a bug out situation a band aid can be the difference between a small irritating wound on a finger and a black gangrenous painful thing that used to be a finger and now has to be amputated ASAP. You'd want to keep dirt out of there... But of course your right about priorities - I'd dump the band aids before the Kerlix!

As you point out, the band aids takes no space, weighs nothing - so why not have a few?

Offline archer

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2008, 12:09:10 AM »
Kids... bandaids... Even if there is no blood, the bandaid fixes the hurt and reduces the tears...

Thanks for the ideas! My wife just today gave me her medical kit from her car and asked me to re-stock it.

Lucretius

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2008, 03:24:49 AM »
Kids... bandaids... Even if there is no blood, the bandaid fixes the hurt and reduces the tears...

Good for morale!!! ;D

Offline archer

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2008, 11:50:42 AM »
Very good for morale, and your ear drums.

kaiservontexas

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2008, 11:57:07 AM »
I am not a kid and I need bandaids! I have been known to have the occasional slip while at work or life in general. I pack bandaids with me outside of my GHB or BOB in my regular school bag.

Offline archer

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2008, 03:18:53 PM »
I keep them in my work backpack and my GHB/BOB also.. Just in case..

kickbot

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2008, 12:19:13 PM »
Adventure Medical Kits make pretty good prepacked kits.  Comes in excellent, well organized, pouches with rooms to add additional items.  I have several larger kits that I assembled myself, but I keep a modified AMK pack with me on hikes and with my fight gear.  Also, the booklet on field first aid that comes with them is excellent and offers some good insight on outdoor medicine and clever, improvised solutions.  They can be pricey, but I recommend picking up one or two and tricking them out to suit your needs.

http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com/

Offline creuzerm

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2008, 08:26:56 PM »
I have found that I buy a cheap first aid kit and then stock it with supplies that I feel it's lacking.

I never seem to have the hundred bucks for a 'good' first aid kit. I do have several $10 first aid kits that probably cost me $50 over a few months to build out.

The biggest draw for me for doing this is that the kit LOOKS like a first aid kit.

If you get in an accident and tell the first Good Samaritan that the first aid kit is in the back of the vehicle, you want them to be able to recognize it for what it is.

Scissors that WORK would be a great thing. I have athletic tape in my kit instead of the gauze tape. It works better for that job and it does other things well too. Let me tell you. Trying to rip that stuff with a single hand can be tough. It also doesn't taste very well. The last time I had to patch my self up, I had to use a kitchen knife to cut the tape.

Offline AuburnFootball

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2008, 10:16:40 PM »
I made my own cars kits as well.  Mine look pretty similar, but I also included a bottle of Tylenol and a bottle of Children's Tylenol (I've got two young ones).  Both can help with pain, swelling, and fevers until you get to home or a doctor.

Someone also suggested keeping Benadryl in the kits for immediate relief to severe allergic reactions.  Obviously, if you know you have specific, severe allergies, keeping your epi- with you is smart.

Offline flagtag

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2008, 02:20:02 PM »
For those of you who are making up kits, please consider using NON-LATEX items - gloves, bandaids, tapes, etc.
Many people are alergic to latex (or may BECOME alergic) and don't know it.

OldManSchmidt

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2010, 09:12:14 PM »
Just found this thread and had to reply.  I often recommend to fledgling Preppers that they purchase a commercial first aid kit made to service construction crews.  I go on to say use it as a base on which to build a better kit.  They are not a field trauma kit and they are not all inclusive.  They are a far cry better than nothing.  Building a medical kit that most of us here would consider adequate, much less good, costs a small fortune.  Unless you have considerable wealth, those kits are best built a little at a time.

Good, cloth band aids can be used in place of steri-strips if needs be.

Latex is evil.  Nitrile is the only way to go.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2010, 09:46:30 PM »
Then there's the first aid kit I used when working as a chef - roll of electrical tape, roll of paper towels, latex glove. If that won't fix it, time to get to the hospital.

I keep an eye on large discount stores - you will occassionally see 1st aid kits on sale. I buy the commercial version and supplement as needed.

Offline BeefRansacked

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2010, 09:06:22 AM »
I built my first aid kit from scratch.  At first, I was going to buy a commercial one and just add or take out things as needed.  But I figured what's the point of all that if I'm going to buy additional things anyway.  It only took me one trip to buy everything that I need.

Offline kyfirefighter

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2010, 09:28:01 AM »
i am a big fan of custom building your own first aid kit around what your needs are.  the one recomendation of items my wife and i keep in our first aid kits are tampons, and maxipads.  they are booth excellent blood absorbers and the maxipads make excellent trauma dressings. 

Offline Maurk

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2010, 12:38:50 PM »
I agree that ANY kit is better than NONE.... however...... My first kit was a cheaper commercial kit which I added to (as many stated).... but on one outdoor adventure it got a good dose of rainy/damp weather and several items in the kit were ruined. I want to stress the WATERPROOF angle when considering ANY kit...homemade or commercial!

Offline Gas-Mask

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2010, 05:48:29 PM »
Good for morale!!! ;D
Its funny how they are crying their hearts out because "it hurts".   But as soon as you put a band-aid on...  It all goes away...
Definitely good for morale...

Offline Johnny Swampwalker

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2010, 07:08:55 PM »
It may be a bit off-topic, but has anyone tried superglue in place of sutures? I used Crazy Glue once on a long cut, after hearing an 'urban legend' about it, and was surprised at how well it worked. Clean the wound, pinch the sides together, apply the superglue, wait a bit, and that's it. The glue eventually comes off with the scab.

I believe there is a medical grade version, but I don't know what it is called. It would seem to me that it would take up less space, and be less work (and less squeamish) to use. Best of all, it has a multitude of uses!




Offline mike77

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2010, 01:05:09 PM »
I'm not a doctor, so take this for what it's worth. Over the years I've worked with several people that swear by super glue to hold cuts together. I once asked my doctor about it and he said it might work, but he wouldn't recommend it. I finally did a Google search myself and found several different studies and anecdotal evidence. That was enough for me to try it. I've used it on several cuts and they seem to have healed quite a bit quicker than if I had just used a bandage. Personally, I would only use it in place of sutures if I couldn't get to medical attention in a timely manner. But for cuts that aren't that bad, it seems to help. I only use it on cuts where it can hold the sides together. Abrasions and avulsions I bandage as normal, or occasionally use a product designed as a liquid bandage. I've also found that you need to stop the bleeding before you apply the adhesive so that it doesn't push the adhesive off.
I'm not a doctor, I don't know what I'm talking about, don't believe anything I say, YMMV, use at your own risk and every other CMA comment you can think of...

Offline Sweethearts Mom

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2010, 02:14:30 PM »
At Cub Scout day camp this summer, my grand son got hurt so I got to see their first aid kit. It gave me so many itdeas.

First it was in a tackle box. Water proof and lockable.

Second the trays keep things organized and easy to find. this one had about 4 trays on each side and opend out to the left and right.

Possibilities are endless.

ps...they used bactine on the wound that includes pain killer and it didn't even sting. That is now in my first aid kit.

Offline daved

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2010, 07:49:18 PM »
First it was in a tackle box. Water proof and lockable.


I keep both my home and car kits in tackle boxes. They work well.
I never had the car one until just recently. I saw a kid (teenager) on his bike get hit by a car. It was at slow speed and he was fine, so it could have been much worse. I was about to jump out of the car and help, but it was obvious my assistance wasn't needed. What I realized afterward though was that the only first aid stuff I had at the time wouldn't have been any help if there were any kind of serious injuries involved.

Offline Dawgus

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2010, 08:46:17 PM »
 I've found that commercial kits are either very generic and basic, or contain a lot of things I would never use. I made one in each vehicle, one for the garage, and have my big cabinet in the basement. Even my bike I ride in the park trails has its own small kit.  I've been able to make them fairly extensive, but also customize them for specific things that are used more, like bandaids. I'm prone to more hand injuries than anything else because I use my hands so much, so my kits have WAY more bandaids than commercial kits. Mine have sting-kill and ointments for poison ivy, where someone elsewhere in the country would have snake bite kits.
 When I first built my own kits, I listed every injury that I have had at home, jobsites, and elsewhere and listed my items based around that list. I liked being able to customize them around my needs. The one in the truck is a lot more extensive than the one in the car, simply because my truck is used when I am camping, hunting, fishing, cutting firewood, etc...more dangerous jobs. The car kit is pretty basic, and the one in the house, well, it's a 5ft metal cabinet.  :D

Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2010, 09:25:58 PM »
Two things I keep in kits, that might be slightly unusual:

20% Ambisol. Of course toothaches. But can be used as a topical anesthetic on the rest of your body. I've used it on insect stings and to deaden an area when I need to dig/cut for a deep splinter.

Benadryl. for alergies of course. but also some insect stings/bites, plus can be used if you are having trouble sleeping.

Offline Sweethearts Mom

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Re: Building a First Aid kit vs Commercial Kits
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2010, 02:46:02 AM »
Dawgus you rock;