VIDEO: Medical Kit Update

6:56 p.m. on January 25, 2012 (EST)
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I break out my medical kit for my annual "re-assessment".

9:30 p.m. on January 25, 2012 (EST)
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Absolutely! Good video Arson.

I keep a fully stocked day pack in my truck all the time because I never know when I might have a chance to get in a short hike, or in the unlikely chance of an emergency I could utilize items from the pack like first aid, food, or warm clothes.

Med kits are easy to overlook sometimes when we get excited about an upcoming trip with a new tent, boots, or whatever. At least that has been my experience over the years.

What do you think of the bandages you can buy that come with an antibiotic already applied to it? I still prefer to carry a separate antibiotic cream.

Is it absolutely imperative to keep bandages & gauze sterile? ('cause I don't always do so)

Anyhow...nice topic and a good reminder.

Mike G.

8:29 a.m. on January 26, 2012 (EST)
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I've never tried the bandages with the antibiotic in them, but as long as you keep the package from being opened in any way, then they're better than nothing at all.  I pack antibiotic seperately.  Smokeeater 908 posted a great video on how to pack anitbiotic in a short piece of straw that I like:

It's a nice first aid kit that he has too.  I'm stealing the straw idea for some anitbiotic, and maybe even for stuff like salt and sugar.  As long as you have a lighter and something to pinch the ends back together, then the straw gets smaller and smaller as you use the product.

I do think it's important to keep things sterile, but in the backcountry you have to be realisitic.  In the backcountry I don't withhold care in fear of infection.  Years ago when I was in Paramedic school, I had to do time in the O.R. of the hospital and intubate patients for practice.  Sometimes they would let me stay and watch the operation.  The gowns we had have a sterlile "field" between you belly button and your chest.  No one touchs that area, and if my hands would wander out of that area when I was observing, then they would become "un-sterile", and they would kick me out.  I had to keep my arm suspended in that area during the whole operation if I wasn't doing anything.

Sterilization is something I take very seriously at work, and I do my best on the trail as well.

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