Given the pending pandemic and trying to think of everything before it gets here, can anyone recommend a good, complete and well equipped first aid kit (found one that appears to be a pretty good one for $20 at Wal-Mart but would like to know if there are others out there that would have more goodies, if it costs substantially more that's fine but let's say not more than $100.)
I'd also like recommendations for medical treatment manuals that cover everything from burns to breaks to what-have-you. Again, cost isn't terribly important. I don't need to know how to cover open-heart surgery, just thorough coverage of basic to semi-obscure treatments.
Since I'm posting on this topic, are there any good sites where one can obtain MREs in bulk?
Thanks in advance,
Go down to your local surplus store and pick up some MREs. As for a medical kit, surplus store is a good place, but even better, just raid Wal-Mart's first aid supply section and make sure you're stocked up on OTC meds. Make sure you have a lot of gauze and bandages.
If you want a good first aid manual, pick up an EMT-Basic textbook or take an EMT-B course. Most importantly though, make sure you have a lot of water and use your common sense.
There are two seperate issues here - one, knowing what to do, and two, having the tools on-hand to do it.
First, take a good first-aid class. Books are nice, but not a substitute for hands-one practice under a trained eye. Then, once you know how to perform certain skills, you'll know exactly what tools you'll need to perform them.
WRT a 'pandemic', I assume you want to be prepared to care for people who are disabled by bird flu or something similar. A first aid course won't help much there, but a good nursing textook might. Keeping people clean, comfortable, well-fed, and safe from pressure sores and respiratory complications is not easy if they are bedridden for a significant amount of time. Nurses are the experts here.
The only unusual supplies I can suggest would be a box or two of n95 masks, gloves, and some of that waterless handwashing stuff. Frequent handwashing is the number one way to protect yourself from infection, believe it or not. N95 masks are nice, but you'll really need to be fit-tested first. Perhaps your local FD or hospital can help with that.
You should have food and clean water available, even if the stores are closed (you don't need MREs, canned food, rice, pasta, etc are just fine unless you have to carry it all on your back). A jug of bleach and some soap will keep everything clean. Maybe sort source of heat and lights in case the power goes out.
2. Storage device
3. Knowledge, Skills, Abilities
1. It is usually cheaper and more beneficial to buy the 'dumb-dumb' first aid supplies either at one of the big-box stores or over the internet at discount wholesalers....just google everything or check Sunday sales sheets in newspaper.
-bandaids-3/4", 2" usually suffice.
-4x4's and 5x9's gauze pads, unsterile in bulk packs are fine. store in ziplocs or tupperware,etc.
-rolls of 4" kling gauze, these secure pads in place, they can be cut to 2" width if needed.
-Ace bandage rolls, lots.
-Triangle bandages, lots.
-Tape. (1", 2" medical type. Seek the silk-type tape, avoid paper tape)
-Tape. (duct, electrical...)
-Splint material. ('Sam Splint' by Seaberg Co.)
-Over the Counter Meds.( Ibuprofen, Acetomeniphren, prescribed meds...)
-Meat tenderizer for (jellyfish) bites/stings, sodium bicarb/bees-same,
-Pancake syrup for hypoglycemic problems...it can bsmeared across the gums of unconsc.Friend.
-Tweezers, trauma-scissors, knife, ringcutter, paracord, bottled H20, Alum.foil, Saran wrap, ziploc
baggies-large/small, butane lighter, small bleach, alcohol wipes.
-Quality stethescope, BP cuff. ( too advanced?)
2. Storage device-
I woud suggest a few kits put together and leave in both cars, house, barn, backpack, etc. Just determine size dimensions and weight you are willing to negotiate for each location. A two-shelf tacklebox from sporting goods place is a great start-up size. It fits well in a car and is easily carried in urban setting, fits on a shelf too. You can buy tackle boxes as big as you want and cut-remove shelves or dividers all day long to fit your needs.
Another idea is a small backpack or simialr item that can be clipped to a backpack or webgear. You can buy small shaving-kit type zippered-bags and fill them w/supplies organized by category. This is how many SWAT-Medic packs are prepared. One shaving kit can contain airway supplies and another may contain dressing supplies, etc... Each labeled accordingly, then put inside larger pack.
Finally you could Google trauma bags/packs and choose from a million types and shapes for something professionally made, empty that is. I used to use Thomas bags and was happy w/it.
Bottom line of the storage device is that if you have only one, you won't be near it when you need it, go figure. So have a few in different sizes. (Stationary, mobile, bushwackin', etc...)
Just like previous posters across this site say everyday (to include weapons and gear), Unless you take some classes, read and practice to expose yourself to this subject, you might not do as well under pressure as you think you will. Take a first aid class at the local college, volunteer at local Rescue Squad/FD, whatever.....
As far as books go, you can buy Paramedic Training manuals online. They cover not only first-aid info of "just do it" but continue to explain the why's of things that you need to do. Try this author: Brady.
There are many things that I left out of the list. Items for airways- basic and advanced, suction equip., IV fluids, OB-GYN-Delivery needs, etc.... You need to K.I.S.S. for now. Start w. basic needs and work from there. Good Luck, hope it helps.