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Thread: What should a good Emergency/First Aid Kit contain?

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    Roland Somodi rolanddiver is a glorious beacon of light rolanddiver is a glorious beacon of light rolanddiver is a glorious beacon of light rolanddiver is a glorious beacon of light rolanddiver is a glorious beacon of light rolanddiver is a glorious beacon of light rolanddiver is a glorious beacon of light rolanddiver is a glorious beacon of light rolanddiver is a glorious beacon of light rolanddiver is a glorious beacon of light rolanddiver is a glorious beacon of light rolanddiver's Avatar
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    What should a good Emergency/First Aid Kit contain?

    Our group frequently goes to remote places,(mainly caves) where no medical care available and it could take hours to get the smallest injury treated. Beside the Oxygen kit with MTV Demand valves, what else would you put into your first aid kit? Please also specify the amount, ie 3 ea sterile latex gloves, etc. I did a search for First Aid kit and found no threads were/are dealing with such question. I hope I'm not by asking this question. If so please forgive me and just point me to the right direction. Thanks in advance.

    Very Respectfully

    Roland Somodi
    Last edited by rolanddiver; 30th November 2008 at 11:42. Reason: typo

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    Re: What should a good Emergency/First Aid Kit contain?

    Here are my thoughts:

    First the "information/"soft stuff":
    Have a plan--where is the nearest chamber, where is the nearest trauma center.
    How are you going to transport.
    Do you have cell phone coverage, if not where. If not radio?.
    Talk to the personal at nearest chamber, they will probably be willing to provide info.

    Supplies are determined by the level of training. No training get some. Sweet talk an MD/nurse/paramedic who dives into joining you.

    So lets think about catagories of diving and other mishaps, and what we need to deal with them with a 2 hour transport time.

    Note EMS talks constantly of "the golden hour"--basically that with a life threatening event, the chance of survival goes down dramatically if time to advanced medical care exceeds this.

    With minor to major non-life threatening things, a basic first aid kit+equipement and plan to transport non ambulatory patients.
    eg sprained/broken ankle-improvised splint.

    There are several great books:
    Amazon.com: Medicine: For Mountaineering & Other Wilderness Activities 5th Edition: James A. Wilkerson: BooksAmazon.com: Medicine: For Mountaineering & Other Wilderness Activities 5th Edition: James A. Wilkerson: Books
    Amazon.com: DAN Pocket Guide to First Aid for Scuba Diving: Dan Orr, Bill Clendenen, Divers Alert Network, Guy De L....Amazon.com: DAN Pocket Guide to First Aid for Scuba Diving: Dan Orr, Bill Clendenen, Divers Alert Network, Guy De L....
    and lastly more oxygen.

    kits:
    Amazon.com: DAN DSS-Coast Guardian First Aid Kit: Sports & OutdoorsAmazon.com: DAN DSS-Coast Guardian First Aid Kit: Sports & Outdoors
    I'm sorry, this isn't what you asked for, but I think the process of formulating a plan, will provide you with an idea of what you need.
    Indeed if you know what you are doing, you can improvise for minor things--a clean rag and some tape for a minor cut. And you will know what you abosolutely need for more serious things--back board, c-collars, bag valve mask, airway adjuncts, (IV fluids, cardiac drugs, more O2)

    Did I mention training...

    Good luck and stay safe, you are on the right track by asking the question.

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    Re: What should a good Emergency/First Aid Kit contain?

    Fireman,

    Thanks for your reply. I do have a kit, and I know that it mainly depends on the type of diving you do and that is why I wrote remote places and caves but I forgot to mention dry caving and multiple sumps being involved. I know that multiple sumps would require a stretcher that could be used for UW transport of a patient. It is currently being worked on, but lack of funding has been delaying the project. As far as training goes, all of us are First Aid, CPR certified, some of us Adv Oxy Provider certified by DAN, I 'm also a First Responder and completes a US Army Combat Medic course while I worked for the DoD as a civilian. I 'm just curious to see if I someone else has something in his/her first aid kit that I never thought of.Also once we get a comprehensive list together everybody could use it a reference or a checklist to make sure you are prepared for most of the mishaps. Thanks for the links. Take care and be safe!

    VR

    Roland

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    Some Meds worth considering...

    This thread has some great info.

    One area I think is often overlooked is the quality of medications available at the travel location. I found this paper interesting and a couple the references just scary.

    Batchelor, T. (2002) Medical kits for travellers. South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal Volume 32 Number 4. RRR ID: 7645

    More papers by this author: here



    Please read this thread.
    Last edited by Gene_Hobbs; 30th November 2008 at 14:23. Reason: add older thread

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    Re: What should a good Emergency/First Aid Kit contain?

    Quote Originally Posted by rolanddiver  View Original Post
    the type of diving you do and that is why I wrote remote places and caves but I forgot to mention dry caving and multiple sumps being involved.
    I think there is a difference between a first aid kit and a "multi sump rescue kit". Are you looking for a list of stuff you can take whilst exploring? a list of stuff you might have outside the cave in a car or a list of stuff you have at base for a rescue scenario?

    In a multi sump rescue, the golden hour goes out the window. I would always try my absolute best to get a casualty out with the team in the cave as any rescue beyond a set of sumps will take at best hours from leaving the casualty so hypothermia gets added to the list of problems.

    You need to Practice with stuff like the underwater stretcher, I think the know how and experience is more critical than the gear. As suggested above, a lot can be improvised.

    Do you have Dry tubes or Pigs? do you have lead to put onto them? Getting gear _through_ the sumps is often overlooked.

    John

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    Re: What should a good Emergency/First Aid Kit contain?

    I meant to ask for little more than average emergency kit that could be used for treatment of the average maladies related or not related to diving, DCS, cuts, burns, dehydration,broken extremities, excessive bleeding, nausea, diarrhea, respiratory infection(pneumonia), cold, flu, ear infection, sinus infection and the list goes on. I know that some of these maladies stop you from diving, and even though a sinus or ear infection is not life threatening, it still could take your buddies to bring all of the equipment out and start heading towards the nearest medical facility or home. So for times like these it is always nice to have some pain reliever or some antibiotics, etc to start the treatment before a real doctor gets to see you. last time we have been to a cave in Romania, one of my friends hit the ceiling of the cave so hard that it required 3 stitches to put the skin back together on his head. He was wearing 2ea 5mm hoods because of the cold water, and still injured himself badly. That time we had a doctor joining us who is actually a member of the dry cave rescue team so he was prepared.

    VR

    Roland

    ps: we have dry tubes to carry the gear thru. it is made out of a 200mm diameter aluminium pipe with a bottom welded and top being held in place by 4 latches. Sometimes we put lead inside depending how much gear we have, sometimes put it outside with a regular scuba tank strap. We just make sure that it floats with the bottom up, and put it on the back D-ring of the crotch strap.
    Last edited by rolanddiver; 30th November 2008 at 15:16.

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    Re: What should a good Emergency/First Aid Kit contain?

    I take a defibrillator with me everywhere I go. it's expensive - over $1k - but a LOT of diver deaths are heart related. Oh - and I make damn sure that people on the boat know it's there since I'd prefer not to be the victim... with no one knowing that there's a defib onboard.
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    Re: What should a good Emergency/First Aid Kit contain?

    I thought about it but as you said it is expensive. I know a human life worth more than a price of an AED but when the funds are not available what can you do. Some Tech Diver instructors even called me a little paranoid when I made an extra trip to the sump just to carry the oxygen kit in. Funny how it is overmephasized on the class to have oxygen, first aid kit, etc, but when it comes to reality, they seem to be too cheap to maintain a decent first aid kit.

    roland
    Last edited by rolanddiver; 30th November 2008 at 16:09.

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    Re: What should a good Emergency/First Aid Kit contain?

    A satellite phone can make a huge difference. But equally imporant is knowing who you are going to call. It's remarkable how often people go into potentially dangerous situations and bring gear, including communications gear, but don't really have a plan on how to use the gear itself.

    Jeff

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    Re: What should a good Emergency/First Aid Kit contain?

    Having recently been involved with a collapsed casualty at the end of a dive in the Red Sea it was "interesting" to see how limited a well-respected dive boat's medical kit was (particularly considering there is a good chance that someone medical/paramedical/nursing is likely to be present out of 20+ divers). Especially so as we were a 6hr sail from the nearest facilities (would have been more in many boats).
    I was lucky in having an ex-paramedic/hyperbaric tec trainer on board too, in many ways more able than me (a doctor), in the circumstances.

    So worth checking what kit is present on the boat you book, and/or taking your own kit. Ever worsening weight restrictions on airlines has greatly reduced the amount of kit I have been taking on foreign trips - something I am now reconsidering.

    Should an incident occur requiring a run to shore, check for facilities available at each possible landfall point, and times to get to each, rather than necessarily heading for the nearest point.

    Neil

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