> Steristrips are better than butterfly sutures
I'd go with Leukostrips; they're not paper, and thus more durable in an outdoor setting. And I can get them...
My thoughts on outdoor FAK (and those of other UKC readers, especially vark's). I assumed help available within a few hours.
The topic also came up recently on backpackinglight, and has had a recent post that's very similar in theme to vark's on UKC.
As the article points out, basic first aid knowledge - including CPR - is more importantant than the FAK itself.
The suggested list includes ibuprofen or aspirin tablets (presumably as a general analgesic?) but given its anti-inflammatory properties I prefer to pack a tube of ibuprofen gel because I find it more swift and effective in relieving localised pain (in knees or ankles, for example). I also carry a small plastic bottle of antiseptic hand gel instead of the impregnated wipes.
A few Compeeds in a pocket are a must, FAK or no FAK.
The point about training being more important than specific FAK items is undoubtedly true, but also bloody difficult to maintain if you're not involved regularly in some kind of medical or rescue career or service.
I'm a recreational outdoors type. Twice in the last 25 years I've had cause to attend a 2 or 3 day outdoors first aid course and come away with a certificate valid for 3 years (the last time about 6 years ago). Both times, within a matter of months certainly, weeks probably, all that crammed knowledge has ebbed away and I'd have dreaded being called upon to try to put it into practice. Training is only really going to be effective if the skills are part of your day job or if you undertake regular refresher training - which tends to be far more practical for outdoor professionals or MR personnel than for casual hill-goers.
I'm not a UKC member, so can't read their recommendations
Strappal tape is hugely sticky and good for holding blister pads and dressings in place. I've not had to test it on holding a temporary splint so far.
You carry plasters for someone else just in case. Blimey, does this largesse extend to useful and heavy items?
ed h wrote (see)
... does this largesse extend to useful and heavy items?
Like a fridge full of beers?
Right on....non-alcoholic one's of course
Montgomery Wick wrote (see)
Blisters? Walk through the pain, it goes away. I could probably make a case for a small roll of gaffer tape. That's what I initially used to hold my hand together when I broke it a year ago in Knoydart, but it was less comfortable than simply pressing the broken bone into place with my other hand, so I took it off.
For blisters, which fourtunatly I very rarely get, I use zinc oxide tape, the 'white' stuff.
I have yet to find a way to get the likes of compeed to stay on.
huskyman wrote (see)
For blisters, which fourtunatly I very rarely get, I use zinc oxide tape, the 'white' stuff. I have yet to find a way to get the likes of compeed to stay on.
> I'm not a UKC member, so can't read their recommendations
My comments on the UKC thread:
I think, fundamentally, we have to ask what the purpose of a FAK is. To be perfectly frank, most FAK items are for providing comfort, or for the prevention of infection (to the 'casualty' from the environment or from the 'casualty' to other people). They really have little function for anything life-threatening, since they generally assume an urban location within 8 minutes of an emergency ambulance.
Quite clearly, this is not the case for rural and mountain environments. However, in these environments, we can probably dispense with the 'there, there, Mummy make it better' comfort. And, assuming we're only hours from civilisation, we can probably ignore the issue of casualty infection, since such infections are unlikely to be life-threatening in that timescale, and can be treated with antibiotics once we're back in civilisation.
So, most simple cuts and grazes can be dealt with by a simple water wash, and maybe covering with a bit of Micropore tape.
Blisters are best dealt with using specialist hydrocolloid patches.
More interesting in terms of choices of action are ankle sprains; minor sprains may be dealt with by simply tightening a boot, or using a support bandage, allowing the casualty to self-extract, but more severe sprains may need rescue.
Now for the more interesting injuries, such as severe cuts and fractures. It's likely that in such an event, we would call in emergency rescue, so we need to stabilise the situation for the time it takes for rescue to arrive, which, depending on location, may be a few hours.
For a severe cut where blood loss might prove life-threatening, we need to stem the blood flow, with pressure, tourniquet, or more recent blood-stemming products. Again, whilst infection would be an issue if the wound were left untreated thereafter, in the short term, infection isn't our primary concern; blood loss is. Once we've stemmed the blood loss, then we might clean up in and around the wound, and cover it simply; some spare clothing would do the job pretty well, but you might take a simple bandage.
For fractures, we need to stabilise to prevent pain and reduce blood loss from the fracture (trying to manage shock). So, some means of splinting, along with relevant training and experience. Splinting might simply be gaffer tape and whatever stiff things come to hand; karrimat, sit mat, tent poles, etc.
Then we need to have means to shelter the party with the casualty, to prevent hypothermia.
Beyond that, we're into medical conditions, which start to fall outside the remit of first aid, but aspirin may be useful for minor heart issues; brufen for aches, pains & inflammation; some antihistamine for stings, bites and allergic reactions; something to deal with ticks, and something to prevent the squits should they strike.
So, my FAK for 'day event' use contains: Micropore tape various sizes of leukostrip sutures a 2" bandage a crepe bandage pack of Compeed patches aspirin brufen piriton immodium a large scalpel blade O'Tom tick twister antiseptic wipes I'd like to add a sachet of coagulant powder such as Celox, if I could get one. I carry gaffer tape, a 3mm JiffyFoam sit/casmat, a survival bag and spare warm clothing for me as part of my normal kit. Whilst I acknowledge Caralyn's comments about the revised CPR instructions (I spend quite a lot of time in the CD section of BHF's second-hand shops, so I'm very familiar with Vinny...), again, I'd suggest that these are intended for an 'urban audience', on the assumption that an ambulance isn't far away. For remote CPR, I think breathing may still usefully be employed, even though I do note her observations on survival rates. If dealing with a mate, I'd like to think that I'd really tried my best.
many thanks capt.
it would appear, at least initially, that a further section of "you will die horribly" received wisdom has been consigned to the pointless bin.
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