Dirty First Aid - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-24-2016   #1
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Dirty First Aid

Dirty First Aid Series - Part I - Unsponsored

We all love to kayak, sure. It has some things we love and some we hate. First Aid often becomes the elephant in the room.

When was the last time you or your peers did a course or a workshop? Do you keep ‘up to speed’ on developments?

In this series I am pleased to offer a ‘dirty’ First Aid approach. This is suited to kayakers and river users. Using a ‘find it fix it’ approach to incident care and management.

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Old 01-25-2016   #2
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Good information specific to emergencies around rivers. Thanks, I will watch for the next installment!


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Old 01-25-2016   #3
 
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Was hoping there was some good info on using duct tape and a wet dirty sweat soaked piece of sleeve from an under armor shirt to stop the bleeding from a puncture wound from a stick that got lodged close to a big artery near ones arm pit while rolling a kayak. Then dealing with a 45 minute uphill climb through the bush and poison ivy to a dirt road, with maybe one bar of cell service, on a rainy day with no sat phone reception. Only to hike another half mile to hitch hike to the town and make it to the ER by dark.. Not saying this happened to me..but I will always keep duct tape on my paddle if this happens again to someone I know.
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Old 01-26-2016   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDutchman View Post
Was hoping there was some good info on using duct tape and a wet dirty sweat soaked piece of sleeve from an under armor shirt to stop the bleeding from a puncture wound from a stick that got lodged close to a big artery near ones arm pit while rolling a kayak. Then dealing with a 45 minute uphill climb through the bush and poison ivy to a dirt road, with maybe one bar of cell service, on a rainy day with no sat phone reception. Only to hike another half mile to hitch hike to the town and make it to the ER by dark.. Not saying this happened to me..but I will always keep duct tape on my paddle if this happens again to someone I know.
I'm sure such circumstances will be covered within the series!
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Old 01-26-2016   #5
rob
 
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You can get s staple gun to close wounds for about $15 on line. I wouldn't use it unless you were bleeding pretty heavy or something was really hanging open. Puncture wounds have a higher risk of infection. Heavy bleeding and lots of water greatly lowers risk of infection. Duct tape is awesome in some areas (where you can wrap) harder in others, like a cheek.

There are some techniques to reduce a shoulder. Not always easy without sedation but when your on an isolated river, could make a huge difference. Many videos on how to do this and that's one of the most likely injuries to happen on the river.
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Old 01-26-2016   #6
 
Lewiston, Utah
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I always prefer to have a couple of medically-trained personnel on the trip if possible. I'm CPR certified (and have had to use it), and an uncle of mine who often comes with us is a surgeon (an oral surgeon, but he can still do stitches or set an I.V. when needed, and we've had to do that as well).

Here's the most important tips from my experience:

Stock your first-aid kit with anything you might need (I.V. kits, suture material, pain pills, fever suppressants, bandages, rubbing alcohol and such like), and make sure you know how to use everything in it (the most advanced first-aid kit is useless if you don't know what's in it or how to use it). Pack the kit with the possibility of needing to change out bandages for a week after someone is hurt on the first day of your trip.

Be smart. Most emergencies can be avoided in the first place if you are cautious. Drink plenty of water (no, beer doesn't count), wear a hat and sun screen, and keep an eye on kids to be sure they are doing the same. Know the physical limits of everyone in your group.

Practice beforehand. It always seemed repetitious and unnecessary as a boy scout to review the same first-aid or knot-tying stuff over and over again, but it pays off when you have to set up a rescue line or splint a leg in a real emergency.

In short, with a bit of precaution, you shouldn't need to use your first-aid kits, but make sure you know what to do if there is a freak accident.
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Old 01-26-2016   #7
 
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This is a good thread but if nothing else, it's a good reminder to check your first-aid kits before spring melt. I know mine needs some replacements.
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Old 01-26-2016   #8
 
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Right on unsponsored. Thanks for providing content. Like flyingdutchman, I"d like to see you take on how you improvise. I all my years duct tape and super glue have mcgyvered me out of all kinds of evils.

keep it up!
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Old 01-26-2016   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morbald View Post

Here's the most important tips from my experience:

Stock your first-aid kit with anything you might need (I.V. kits, suture material, pain pills, fever suppressants, bandages, rubbing alcohol and such like),..


... Pack the kit with the possibility of needing to change out bandages for a week after someone is hurt on the first day of your trip.
Hey Morbald, Like your thinkin but, I can't fit all that in my kayak. What do you think are the top 10 items needed in a first aid kit? How do you carry them? Where do you carry them? As a kayaker these are the things that plague us before every trip.
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Old 01-26-2016   #10
 
Lewiston, Utah
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Originally Posted by dirtbagkayaker View Post
Hey Morbald, Like your thinkin but, I can't fit all that in my kayak. What do you think are the top 10 items needed in a first aid kit? How do you carry them? Where do you carry them? As a kayaker these are the things that plague us before every trip.
I can see how that is an issue. I would start by getting a raft, a good oar frame, and a rocket box that you put somewhere by the rest of the bags.

Most of the trips I've done have been with rafts, so I'm not sure exactly how much space you have in your kayak for a first-aid kit. We usually use ammo cans for the kits (the narrower 7.62 ones will hold plenty for a good kit if you organize it well. I've also seen someone use a Nalgene water bottle as they are compact and waterproof.

There are a few basic things to bring, but you should always adjust what you bring depending on the preexisting conditions of members of your group.
Also bear in mind that I don't do a lot of day-trips, so I plan to have to take care of an injury for up to a week.

Here is what I would bring (in no particular order)

1) bandages
Simple bandages (I usually make sure that I have a few larger ones) don't take up too much space, and they can make life a lot more comfortable for the most common scrapes and lesions.

2) vet wrap
This stuff is like an ace bandage, but is self adhering. It can be used as a compression wrap for sprains or to be a bandage for more major wounds.

3) epinephrine
This stuff has a lot of uses, but make sure you read up on it before you throw it in your kit. It can help in emergencies with major allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), cardiac arrest, severe asthma attacks that are unresponsive to other treatments, and it is also a vasoconstrictor, so it can slow major bleeding temporarily while you work to patch the victim up.

4) ibuprofen
For me this works very well as both a pain med to take the edge off of an injury. It also works as a fever suppressant and anti-inflammatory.

5) duct tape
This stuff is just good to have on hand for everything. You can use it for splints, and for bandages if you have to.

6) rubbing alcohol or iodine
Topical antiseptics should be used whenever you have open wounds before you bandage them up. Preventing infection makes recovery much faster.

7) antibiotic ointment
Along the same lines as the alcohol, anything you can do to keep infection out helps.

8 ) scissors
Just a convenience

9) suture materials
I would only bring this if you know how to stitch a wound up. I've heard of some people just bringing a sewing kit, but it's worth it to buy a sterilized needle and nylon suture thread in a packet. Make sure you have a set of forceps (the kind that look like pliers and lock by the finger loops) for stitching.

10) permanent marker
This is useful for major emergencies to write anything you've done to the victim along with times of injury and treatment for doctors or emergency responders when they get him. (Standard protocol is to write on the victims arm or forehead, but wherever is visible works).

Beyond that just make sure to keep calm, know your limitations, have plenty of water, and use common sense.
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