In life, you never know when you’ll need a first-aid kit. You might come across minor scrapes or cuts at work, or perhaps a family member will stumble and break a bone—all of these things can happen in remote locations, too. While you should utilize emergency medical services (EMS) when necessary, there may be times when a first-aid kit could lessen an injury or possibly even save a life.
Many first-aid kits can be found at a typical pharmacy. Inside, though, you’ll find that most are designed to treat scraped knees and minor cuts. An article by Survival Readiness not only details how you can build your own survival kit but it lists each critical item that you’ll need to do so.
Help keep your family and loved ones safe by creating a first-aid kit. Until professional help arrives, it might make all the difference!
18 Key Items for a First-Aid Kit
- Assorted Adhesive Bandages: “This is probably the most basic first-aid supply. Adhesive bandages are helpful for all types of minor cuts and scrapes. The fabric type is much better as it’s more flexible and sticks to your skin.”
- Large Bandages: “Some injuries require more than a simple adhesive strip. If you are going to be prepared, then be prepared for large injuries as well, such as gunshot wounds or wounds caused by power tools.”
- Blood Clotting Agent: “People can bleed to death from serious injuries. A blood clotting agent, such as Celox, will help the wound to clot faster, reducing the total blood loss.”
- Medical Tape: “Most large bandages do not come with adhesive strips on them, so they must be held in place with medical tape. There are many types of medical tape available, but the best are the cohesive bandages made of a stretchy material that sticks to itself.”
- Antiseptic: “Before bandaging, it is necessary to clean out the wound and apply something to kill any bacteria that might have entered through the broken skin. Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are used for cleaning, and then antiseptic should be applied.”
- Adhesive Sutures: “A large cut needs to be closed up for healing, as well as being bandaged. If you were to go to the hospital, they would close that wound with stitches. Unless you have been trained in how to do that, you’re better off using adhesive sutures. Just ensure the skin is clean and dry where the suture will be attached.”
- CPR Mask: “Modern CPR techniques use a mask between the unconscious person and the one who is trying to revive them. The purpose of this is to avoid direct contact with bodily fluids (mostly saliva), which is the fastest way of transmitting a virus.”
- Glucose Meter: “Used by diabetics everywhere, these small electronic devices measure blood sugar levels. While most diabetics have high blood sugar, which causes long-term problems, low blood sugar can cause several short-term problems.”
- Blood Pressure Cuff: “High and low blood pressure can cause several problems as well. This is one of the key vital signs that medical personnel use to determine a patient’s overall medical condition.”
- Ear Thermometer: “Another vital sign that medical personnel look for is temperature. While an oral thermometer works, an in-the-ear model is both faster and more accurate.”
- Aluminum Splint: “Broken bones need to be immobilized. While just about anything can be used to splint them, aluminum splint material is universal. This is an aluminum strip coated with a layer of foam rubber on one side.”
- Elastic Bandage: “When it is necessary to support a joint due to a sprain, an elastic bandage is used. They are also useful for holding an aluminum splint in place. These come in a variety of widths to accommodate different sized joints.”
- Tweezers and a Magnifying Glass: “Splinters can be painful and get infected. With a pair of tweezers and a magnifying glass, they can be easily removed.”
- Eye Cup and Saline: “The best way to get something out of the eye, such as chemicals or dust, is to flush it with water. This is done by using an eye cup filled with saline solution.”
- Syrup of Ipecac: “If something that is potentially poisonous is swallowed, the best thing to do is induce vomiting. Syrup of Ipecac is used specifically for this purpose, especially for children.”
- Instant Cold Pack: “In the case of many injuries, such as a twisted ankle or a sprained wrist, putting something cold on it can reduce the swelling and associated pain. However, this must be done quickly before it has a chance to swell.”
- Rubber Gloves: “Just like the CPR mask is designed to protect the caregiver from becoming infected by air, rubber gloves are also needed to protect picking up bacteria and viruses through touch.”
- Pain Reliever: “Maybe aspirin seems a bit obvious for this list, but it is an important ingredient in any first-aid kit. [When] someone is injured, a few pain relievers [may be] necessary. They also work to prevent swelling, which is important for many types of injuries.”
An Overview of Unitek EMT
If you are interested in first aid and want to make a career change, you might want to consider EMT training. At Unitek EMT, we strive to prepare aspiring Emergency Medical Technicians by providing them with an accelerated EMT program. Experts in the EMS field educate our students through a combination of traditional learning, simulation training, and workshop-style classes.
Our 14-Day Boot Camp1 is currently completed at a facility in Tempe, Arizona. Students can also attend American Heart Association (AHA) CPR courses or a stellar EMT Refresher course. Additionally, a BLS course is offered at our Tempe facility as well.
Many aspiring firefighters also seek EMT certification to increase their employment opportunities. In fact, some employers will only hire firefighters with EMT training. To learn more about this preference, check out one of our firefighter blog posts here.
Change your future with Unitek EMT!