We went camping last weekend, and as usual, I brought along the little first-aid kit that my husband brought into our marriage... almost seven years ago. I knew it had some band-aids and gauze, but never gave much thought to what else it could (or should!) have.
So we were camping. With 150 other people. In the woods. With yellow jackets, and splintery wood, and rusty nails. It wasn't until I tried to help with a couple of minor injuries that I realized how worthless my first-aid kit actually was.
I wished I had a medical supply closet in my back pocket. Or at least a little more than what I had on hand. So yesterday I put together my own little first-aid kit. Most of this stuff is available at Walmart, or your neighborhood drug store. A few of these things you would have to get from a medical supplies supplier.
First thing was finding a new container to hold everything. An old salad container was just the right size. As a bonus, it's transparent, so I can easier locate what I need when I need it! (Plus, I get bonus points for upcycling, right?!)
Everything I came up with (except the hand sanitizer, which I forgot to include in this picture). There are still lots of things I wish I could have on hand. Like sterile saline, hydrocodone, nitroglycerine, and a suture kit (y'know, in case there's a doctor around). Oh, and oxygen and IV fluids, while we're dreaming.
The creams, ointments, and skin glue.
The oral medications. (yes, I spelled Benadryl wrong. I always do. I blame it on learning Latin in grade school.)
I emptied my medicine cabinet, and included pretty much everything that wasn't a supplement. I wrote down the various uses of the meds, just in case I'm not the person using the first aid kit.
Tools and instruments. You never know what you're going to need, right?
Bandages, absorption, and cold compress.
This handy dandy little First-Aid Guide booklet was in the old kit I had. It has some pretty good information in it, so I decided to throw it in.
Other good things to have.
Everything neatly tucked into my new and improved first-aid kit.
Master List for a Nurse's First-Aid Kit
-alcohol based hand sanitizer
-dull tip tweezers
-sharp tip tweezers
-various size band-aids, including butterfly band-aids
-various sizes of sterile gauze
-tongue depressor (for finger splints, etc)
-cold compress pack
-baking soda (mix with a little water for bee stings)
-liquid skin glue
-triple antibiotic ointment
-pain relieving ointment (20% benzocaine)
-antifungal cream (miconazole nitrate)
-Aspirin (in case of heart attack)
-Ibuprofen (take for pain, inflammation, or fever)
-Tylenol (pain, fever)
-Excedrin (pain, migraines)
-Benadryl (any kind of allergic reaction. Or if you have trouble sleeping)
-Suphedrine (nasal congestion, sinus pressure)
-Tums (acid reflux, upset stomach)
-Zofran (major nausea)
-Preggie pop (mild nausea)
-Amoxicillin (just in case someone needs antibiotics, and a hospital is a thousand miles away)
-Codeine (pain, or severe coughing)
-regular lollipops (either to raise blood sugar, or as a reward for a brave kid)
Now I'll be at least somewhat prepared for splinters, bug bites, bee stings, scrapes, cuts, gashes, sprains, vomiting, and even heart attacks.
Just a little disclaimer: Always seek professional medical attention if severely injured. First-aid kits are not meant to treat major injuries or illnesses. Most of the things listed here are pretty basic, but some of it requires a good understanding of medicine to use correctly. The fact that I went through nursing school, passed my boards, and worked for several years as a nurse is really a bigger asset than any of the things I put in this kit. Some of the medications, for instance, shouldn't be given to everyone. I noted the expiration dates of medications, because expired meds are not always safe to take. They can become less effective, more potent, or even dangerous. I plan on replacing the expired meds as soon as possible.
Cheers, and keep those band-aids handy!