Medical gear

Nautadoc

New member
So what are some useful medical gears people bring with them on their adventures?

I always keep a quick tourniquet on passenger and driver side. I also have some pressure dressings. Hemostats have numerous uses. Then it's non-sterile and sterile 4x4's, peroxide, something to make a splint out of. Something to pull slivers out of fingers... I have sutures but I don't have any lidocaine. I do have my BLS up to date: that's something easy to keep up on and they teach you a lot of good things. And I know my limitations.

I was never impressed with store-bought emergency kits. So over the years, I have made up my own. Gimme some ideas of what I haven't thought of .
 

crazysccrmd

Observer
I’m about the same. A few tourniquets, pressure dressings/israelis, cravats, sam splints, gauze, quick clot powder/gauze, medical tape, and the usual basic motrin and bandaid type stuff. I keep this stuff in my truck all the time because you never know when you’re going to need it. My kit is pretty much designed to control the bleeding and keep someone alive until real medical aid can get to them.
 

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Sounds like you have some good basic stuff for keeping blood in but, what about airway? Basic CPR mask, gloves, survival blanket, etc. good luck
 

crazysccrmd

Observer
Sounds like you have some good basic stuff for keeping blood in but, what about airway? Basic CPR mask, gloves, survival blanket, etc. good luck
I used to carry nasal and oral pharyngeals but took them out after my job stopped training to use them. I figure I'll rely on physical positioning of the head/neck to keep the airway open and hope no one's face is smashed enough to need tools to do it. A CPR mask is something I need to get and keep forgetting. There's a few pairs of latex gloves in the kit and the survival blankets are in the survival kit with the emergency rations, water, flares, etc.
 
Splints take a look at the Sam Splint.
Are clotting bandages and sponges still recommended?
Israeli pressure bandages and tourniquets. Make sure to note the time applied. A guess is better than nothing. Write it on the body. Forehead is a good place.
 

jgaz

Adventurer
This is a link to an expo member’s, @teotwaki, blog that details his very comprehensive, vehicle first aid kit.
Many will think this is overkill (until it isn’t). But depending on your activities, how far you are from definitive medical care, training, etc I think it’s an excellent example for a group kit.
 
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BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
I used to carry nasal and oral pharyngeals but took them out after my job stopped training to use them. I figure I'll rely on physical positioning of the head/neck to keep the airway open and hope no one's face is smashed enough to need tools to do it. A CPR mask is something I need to get and keep forgetting. There's a few pairs of latex gloves in the kit and the survival blankets are in the survival kit with the emergency rations, water, flares, etc.
Well done. Sounds like you have the skills to keep someone alive. It's always a tough thing to deal with regarding current training versus past training (still possess skill), current certification versus post certification, different state guidelines/rules/laws for what is considered a technical medical skill (good samaritan level, first aid level, first responder level, EMT level. Paramedic level, etc...) and when you can or can't use it due to possible liability. In the end, I would prefer someone with past training/knowledge/experience, using equipment/technics (NPA, etc.) they were trained on but, currently uncertified on, work on me roadside, yet recognize their limitations and transfer to a higher medical level when it becomes available since they can fix sloppy field medical technics, but can't fix dead. Thanks for your past skills.
 
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GB_Willys_2014

Well-known member
Splints take a look at the Sam Splint.
Are clotting bandages and sponges still recommended?
Israeli pressure bandages and tourniquets. Make sure to note the time applied. A guess is better than nothing. Write it on the body. Forehead is a good place.
+1 on the IDF pressure bandage

+1 on noting the time of a tourniquet

This is a link to an expo member’s blog that details his very comprehensive, vehicle first aid kit.
Many will think this is overkill (until it isn’t). But depending on your activities, how far you are from definitive medical care, training, etc I think it’s an excellent example for a group kit.
Good link!
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
Ok prepare for RANT here....
I am a remote medical person who also works at a very large urban hospital that gets plenty "field repairs" gone wrong.
Everything below is based on REAL experiences of treating people in the field with little to nothing and dealing in the ICU with all the infections after.

First before you worry about the kit what is your plan for when it all goes wrong? InReach, Spot, Ham, Cell, Smoke Signal.....all the kit in the world won't matter if you can't evac the real emergency

Second do you know the allergies and medical conditions of those you travel with? Are you making sure they have their regular meds?

I do chest compression/bagging/shocking people in a big ol' hospital and it doesn't come out well often, in the field I have seriously thought about getting an AED since prices have dropped so much....but while I carry a face shield I know that unless EMS is coming fast that field CPR is something you are doing for the sake of everyone watching.

Now to the med kit

Rolled gauze, lots of rolled gauze......none of that silly paper packet crap. Rolls are cheaper, you cut off what you need or stuff the whole roll in.

Water clean enough to drink, lots and lots of water to wash wounds. People too often dress and forget. The more remote you are the more frequent dressing changes and wound cleaning (pain is good as it is still living tissue, worry when numb)
Direct pressure is the best way to stop even major bleeds....yeah having one of those cool tourniquets is a good idea, but for ONLY when someone or yourself can NOT apply direct pressure till at a hospital/ambo/copter

Quality tweezers like ladies use to pluck hairs

1 pair hemostats

Cloth medical tape 1 in wide

Coban style "tape" wrap

Ace wrap

NEVER carry sutures unless you are 1) going to a 3rd world country and will hand them to a medical professional 2) yeah no see number 1
If you disagree then explain to me that you are a medical professional, trained to suture and do it alot, will deal with the pocket wound, can sew on yourself or someone screaming in your ear, are willing to take on the liability and blah blah blah......sutures are the dumbest thing I see in kits.

Look up Woundclot, best stuff I have seen for bleeding control and I am trying to get it into our hospital, stuff is amazing and cheap enough I use it around the house.

Nasal airway, not hard to put in and won't cause gag like an oral, and sorry dude above but I work Surgical Recovery alot and deal with airways all the time, I do chin lifts, jaw thrust and there are plenty of times you HAVE to place a trumpet. Carry a couple of sizes as the weigh nothing.

Now for meds..... #1 thing is if you keep them in your hot car toss each year on your birthday
Forget all those cute single packets, go to your bathroom and pull from the stash, get some small containers and cotton balls.
Benadryl pills & cream, lots of pills as 1 dose usually isn't enough
Tylenol 20 tabs of 500mg (or bring a small bottle if space)
Ibuprofen 20 tabs of 200mg (or bring a small bottle if space)
Aspirin (be careful about bleeders) (5-10 tabs....this is more for chest pain use above for muscle, joint, cut pain)
Tums/Pepto tabs
Never Never Never use those pills that stops diarrhea, pooping your pants is better than trapping the bad stuff inside your body.
Some dry electrolyte powder just in case someone is pooping/throwing up and you need to replace what they are loosing. If they are bleeding just keep giving enough water that they are getting mad at you. They will complain they aren't that thirsty but it is really really hard to replace blood with oral at the same rate.

So here is what you will really deal with
insect sting
Tummy ache (didn't wash your hands enough when prepping food or eating jerky while driving down the trail)
Cut your finger slicing limes for drinks
Cut your hand/arm during trail repair
Burned your hand/arm making smores
Scrape your knee hiking for firewood
Twist your ankle getting that selfie
Fell and sprained your wrist limping from that selfie
Hit your leg with the hatchet/axe while cutting firewood (evac)
Smashed your hand/foot working on your rig (evac)
Chest Pain (evac)
Severe Asthma (evac)
Stroke (evac)

Think through everything you have ever been through or seen and add a few worst cases and you will be fine.
Adventure Medical Kits has some of the best setups and they sell refills
Get "Where there is no Doctor" or the Wilderness Medical Inst book or a few other good books for your kit....I can post pics since I own pretty much all of them for this type of discussion.

SAM splits and collars are cute and fun but you can do the same thing with stuff in your truck....remember much of that was designed for backpacking not when we have 2 tons of truck with us.

Ok rant off for now as I could spend hours on this topic.
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
+1 on the IDF pressure bandage

+1 on noting the time of a tourniquet



Good link!
Funny story....
Was coming off a trip and hit the highway in the middle of a triathlon, watched a dude on a bike hit a rock, go over the bars onto his head.
Knocked him out, I pulled over along with the other rigs in my convoy, was a water station near by with event radios.
EMT with me held the neck while I did an assessment and had race people radio event EMS, guy would not make it through 1 question without fading/confusion.
So I would ask 1 question like meds (write answer with sharpie on chest), allergies, heart and more.
By the time the helicopter landed he looked like a crossword puzzle but at least I didn't have to worry about a slip of paper blowing away or getting lost....basically report for all to see.
Oh and the flight crew had a collar & backboard, all we needed to do was stabilize the guy however before we were sure the bird would be coming we had a quick discussion about cutting up a foam sleep pad for the collar, using a camp table as the backboard with ratchet straps to secure the patient and swapping rig loads around to be able to transport while another person starting looking at a map & GPS routing to the nearest hospital that could handle a closed head injury......started that process as soon as there was a hint of need to evac, keep the planning going until the bird left just in case.
 

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Ok prepare for RANT here....
I am a remote medical person who also works at a very large urban hospital that gets plenty "field repairs" gone wrong.
Everything below is based on REAL experiences of treating people in the field with little to nothing and dealing in the ICU with all the infections after.

First before you worry about the kit what is your plan for when it all goes wrong? InReach, Spot, Ham, Cell, Smoke Signal.....all the kit in the world won't matter if you can't evac the real emergency

Second do you know the allergies and medical conditions of those you travel with? Are you making sure they have their regular meds?

I do chest compression/bagging/shocking people in a big ol' hospital and it doesn't come out well often, in the field I have seriously thought about getting an AED since prices have dropped so much....but while I carry a face shield I know that unless EMS is coming fast that field CPR is something you are doing for the sake of everyone watching.

Now to the med kit

Rolled gauze, lots of rolled gauze......none of that silly paper packet crap. Rolls are cheaper, you cut off what you need or stuff the whole roll in.

Water clean enough to drink, lots and lots of water to wash wounds. People too often dress and forget. The more remote you are the more frequent dressing changes and wound cleaning (pain is good as it is still living tissue, worry when numb)
Direct pressure is the best way to stop even major bleeds....yeah having one of those cool tourniquets is a good idea, but for ONLY when someone or yourself can NOT apply direct pressure till at a hospital/ambo/copter

Quality tweezers like ladies use to pluck hairs

1 pair hemostats

Cloth medical tape 1 in wide

Coban style "tape" wrap

Ace wrap

NEVER carry sutures unless you are 1) going to a 3rd world country and will hand them to a medical professional 2) yeah no see number 1
If you disagree then explain to me that you are a medical professional, trained to suture and do it alot, will deal with the pocket wound, can sew on yourself or someone screaming in your ear, are willing to take on the liability and blah blah blah......sutures are the dumbest thing I see in kits.

Look up Woundclot, best stuff I have seen for bleeding control and I am trying to get it into our hospital, stuff is amazing and cheap enough I use it around the house.

Nasal airway, not hard to put in and won't cause gag like an oral, and sorry dude above but I work Surgical Recovery alot and deal with airways all the time, I do chin lifts, jaw thrust and there are plenty of times you HAVE to place a trumpet. Carry a couple of sizes as the weigh nothing.

Now for meds..... #1 thing is if you keep them in your hot car toss each year on your birthday
Forget all those cute single packets, go to your bathroom and pull from the stash, get some small containers and cotton balls.
Benadryl pills & cream, lots of pills as 1 dose usually isn't enough
Tylenol 20 tabs of 500mg (or bring a small bottle if space)
Ibuprofen 20 tabs of 200mg (or bring a small bottle if space)
Aspirin (be careful about bleeders) (5-10 tabs....this is more for chest pain use above for muscle, joint, cut pain)
Tums/Pepto tabs
Never Never Never use those pills that stops diarrhea, pooping your pants is better than trapping the bad stuff inside your body.
Some dry electrolyte powder just in case someone is pooping/throwing up and you need to replace what they are loosing. If they are bleeding just keep giving enough water that they are getting mad at you. They will complain they aren't that thirsty but it is really really hard to replace blood with oral at the same rate.

So here is what you will really deal with
insect sting
Tummy ache (didn't wash your hands enough when prepping food or eating jerky while driving down the trail)
Cut your finger slicing limes for drinks
Cut your hand/arm during trail repair
Burned your hand/arm making smores
Scrape your knee hiking for firewood
Twist your ankle getting that selfie
Fell and sprained your wrist limping from that selfie
Hit your leg with the hatchet/axe while cutting firewood (evac)
Smashed your hand/foot working on your rig (evac)
Chest Pain (evac)
Severe Asthma (evac)
Stroke (evac)

Think through everything you have ever been through or seen and add a few worst cases and you will be fine.
Adventure Medical Kits has some of the best setups and they sell refills
Get "Where there is no Doctor" or the Wilderness Medical Inst book or a few other good books for your kit....I can post pics since I own pretty much all of them for this type of discussion.

SAM splits and collars are cute and fun but you can do the same thing with stuff in your truck....remember much of that was designed for backpacking not when we have 2 tons of truck with us.

Ok rant off for now as I could spend hours on this topic.
Well said by a medical professional! Thanks.

And have a plan when your kit is over two miles away on the other side of a bridge:

 

AbleGuy

[Back] Roads Scholar
Sterile super glue
and steri strips

I got to use the glue once on a 3/4” deep wound in my wife's upper thigh, when a very sharp knife she was using to cut something held loosely on her lap slipped and badly gouged the top of her leg. The cut looked gruesome...like a cut into a steak as you could see the severed pink muscle cleanly separated by the slice. The glue worked perfectly. Two days later, when we got to go into an urgent care facility, the doc said to leave the glue as is and said it actually skipped the need for stiches.
 

Catalanbull

Member
It's a good idea to keep a list of all the meds you're carrying with their expiration date. This way you'll always know when it's time to replace them.
 

1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
Sterile super glue
and steri strips

I got to use the glue once on a 3/4” deep wound in my wife's upper thigh, when a very sharp knife she was using to cut something held loosely on her lap slipped and badly gouged the top of her leg. The cut looked gruesome...like a cut into a steak as you could see the severed pink muscle cleanly separated by the slice. The glue worked perfectly. Two days later, when we got to go into an urgent care facility, the doc said to leave the glue as is and said it actually skipped the need for stiches.
That is a tough one.....once a wound is closed it is closed for good usually.....so if you are going to close it CLEAN it, CLEAN it really really well....
I actually missed adding a small syrnige with a blunt needle to the list (I am working surgical recovery as I type this)...the pressure washes out dirt and bugs.



For simple pain relief?

In Canada I believe you can buy over the counter a pill that is a combination of methocarbamol and ibuprofen...it seems to be recommended for back and muscle pulls/ pains?, and also buy OTC pain pills with a combination of either codeine and aspirin, or codeine and acetaminophen.

In some US states I think you can still purchase legally, without a prescription, cough syrup with codeine in it....

(Just FYI, I’m not advocating the use or purchase of any of the above)
Anything with a narcotic element is another risky one....will if impact breathing? will it cause you to miss a neuro change? Will it cause nausea?
No one, and I mean no one dies from pain, shock yes, heart attack yes but pure pain is not a killer. I speak as a person who had his left lower leg crushed and the ripped almost off at the hip, I have felt my shattered pelvis grind together and just 3 years ago split my tibia right down the middle like kindling. In all those cases I did pass out from the pain, I did scream from the pain, but it won't kill you.
 
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