The medical staff at American Partisan have written an article on first aid kits, what should go in them and why – The Prepper’s First Aid Kit. [Edit: The linked article appears to be down at American Partisan. The article was copied in its entirety over at God, Guns & Glory.]
Whether you consider yourself to be a prepper, patriot or partisan, there is no argument to made against having a robust emergency medical kit and the training and knowledge to put it to use. I’m going to show you my own medical kit that I keep nearby at all times. Before I proceed, first I want to make sure that you understand how important it is to acquire some level of medical training. Getting trained in the latest standards and techniques for Basic Life Support for adults, children and infants is easy and valuable. The American Heart Association is the gold standard for this training in the US, and can be completed in one day. Opportunities for additional medical skills training are available all over your local community as well. I recommend that anyone with a little spare time and money enroll in the EMT course at your local community college. Most EMT courses can be completed in one semester. I don’t necessarily expect everyone to go and get employed as a full-time EMT or paramedic, but going through the EMT course and occasionally practicing those skills may end up saving the life of someone in your family or in your survival group. I’m going to assume that I’m talking to an audience that has some medical knowledge or intends to acquire some at a later time.
To start off, let me first say that you need to be able to take a full set of vital signs on someone. You need to be able to assess blood pressure, heart rate (and assess for perfusion to the extremities), respiration rate, temperature and oxygen saturation. Here is a pretty good video instructing on the basic technique for manually checking blood pressure. Here’s a link on how to do that manually.
Next, you’re going to need to be able to respond to an immediate emergency involving the ABC (The AHA has rearranged these letters, but my kit still applies). Airway, breathing and circulation. Here, you see a nasopharyngeal airway, a CPR mask with valve and a trauma tourniquet. These things address ABC. Also in the photo, you see an emergency blanket, some scissors and other tools, and a seat belt cutter. If you’ve got additional space in your bag, fill it with something that you can use in a situation you don’t have another tool for. That’s where my seat belt cutter came to find a place in the bag.
You need to ensure that you’ve got some ability to protect yourself and the person you’re treating from infection. Iodine and alcohol are used to clean wounds and skin. Saline can be used as a rinse for wounds and eyes. Hydrogen peroxide should not really be used anymore as a straight antiseptic if you can avoid it, because it has the tendency to destroy healthy tissue as well as infectious organisms…