6 Unusual things that you’ll want to consider carrying for First Aid
Men, before you turn away, note that tampons can save your life! Why? They are sterile, packaged in a waterproof sleeve, and are super absorbent!!
Now this is where things get a little more complicated . . As we were researching this post we came across loads of different articles and forums all giving contracdicting views on whether to use a tampon for plugging holes. Well you can use it for a nose bleed no problem. The thing that caused the confusions were deep puncture wounds. Some people would say that you should fill the would with the tampon for stopping the bleeding, others say not.
Our advice: Ideally you do not want to stick a tampon in the wound, as it can cause more problems when trying to get it out, however, in a dire emergency if you do stick it in, it can save your life.
Moving away from puncture wounds, tampons can be used as small bandages too. They can be opened then taped or tied over wounds as a make-shift dressing that will keep dirt out and reduce bleeding.
Most of you will like a little drink every now and then, some of you may even take a small hipflask with you wherever you are going. Vodka probably isn’t the first thing you’d choose to drink straight, but worth considering as Vodka is a natural enemy to bacteria and will prevent infections.
Vodka acts both as a local anaesthetic and disinfectant, so is perfect for treating open blisters and other minor wounds. It’s also good to use to wash your hands if you do not have any medical gloves to hand. Again it’s recommended you ideally have proper antiseptic and gloves but when SHTF Vodka is awesome!
We all know that Duct tape can be used to repair many things, but did you know that you can even use it to repair yourself? Much like the above (and below items) duct tape is great because it also serves and everyday purpose but can also be used for essential first aid!
Now after you’ve got a cut, you’ve cleaned it with Vodka, you’ve covered it with a tampon, now you need to hold it down. That’s where duct tape comes in. In an ideal world you’ll have proper antiseptic, a gauze, and a proper bandage but when time is of the essence, duct tape is a good alternative.
On top of simply using duct tape to simply hold bandages on it actually has a few other potential functions . . .
Tick Removal. Once those little beasts get hold of your blood, it’s hard to get rid of them. How can duct tape help? Tear off a strip of duct tape large enough for you to pinch between your fingers. Pinch the duct tape sticky side inward to create a crease. Use the duct tape like you would a pair of tweezers to pinch the tick and remove it (it will probably hurt!). Be sure to remove all the tick though as if any part remains you run the risk of infection. Once done, clean the wound with your vodka then seal wit duct tape again. Sorted.
The final use for duct tape is one we never hope happens, but it’s good to be aware: A broken limb can be devastating. It will have already stopped you going on with your journey, but now you’ve still got to get back to civilisation without making it worse. Duct tape can help! Firstly avoid moving the limb. Create a splint that’ll immobilise the bone or joint. You can do this by getting two straight sticks either side of the arm or leg. Then wrap around the limb with the tape to create a secure splint. Remember though not too tight or too loose! Next thing seek proper medical attention. We are good, but we aren’t medical experts so call 999.
Much like with tampons there is a lot of conflicting advice on the web. Again we’ve looked at as much of it as possible and come up with some recommendations to you.
In an ideal world superglue isn’t great. It can cause irritation to your eyes, nose and throat and a few other bits, but in a survival situation it’s better than nothing!
In an ideal world you want medical glue, which is human tested and approved, it’s also proven to cause less skin irritation and has increased flexibililty. The downside is that it’s not cheap like your regular glue.
It’s really important to note though that wound adhesives are generally only used on minor wounds, no more than 5cm and with straight edges. Do not attempt to use glue on the following:
wounds on the face (around things like eyes, nose and mouth)
wounds where the skin flexes or over joints
wounds with uneven or jagged edges
wounds that are bleeding
Dirty wounds is particularly important as gluing a dirty would will only seal in infections, which as you can imagine is really not good, especially if you are days from proper medical attention or in a hot and humid environment.
While using these for their normal role is one aspect, they also have uses in first aid. Where tampons are good for plugging up puncture wounds. Pads make for better dressings. As long as they aren’t scented and all that jazz.
Maxi-pads are great for large lacerations and deep cuts instead of using a load of gauzes. Just take one pad can absorb a ridiculous amount of blood!
What’s also brilliant is that they are widely available and pretty cheap!! You don’t have to buy the top brand products, any pad will be sufficient for emergencies.
Starting with the teeth. Even outside you should still look after them. An infected tooth can be just as severe as any other infection! For this reason alone, you should carry dental floss. However, if you’re ever in need it can also be used for non-dentist related first aid.
Floss can be used instead of sutures (like with the pads, get standard varieties not flavoured). Dental floss is strong and sterile so good as an alternative to normal sutures.
Dental floss has saved lives! Men and women out and about away from medical
assistance have created tourniquets to stem blood flow. Obviously this shouldn’t be your first choice as the floss can cut the skin as well, but as a last ditch emergency effort, then it can be used.
The above have all been, and can all be used in emergency situations. However, we are in no way saying do any of this over seeking proper medical help and/or using proper first aid equipment.
It’s always good to know though which items that you could have in your bag or pack which could be used for first aid in an emergency. We just hope that you do actually have a proper first aid kit on you.