Posted by: Steve Marr on Aug 15, 2012
Having a good first aid kit in the home, or car is a wise idea. Keeping the kit filled an up to date is important. A kit is of little use when you open it up only to discover a pressure bandage is gone. A few simple items you may already have around make a useful and inexpensive addition to a medical kit.
Tea bags contain the anti-inflammatory tannin and have several uses. First, to stop small bleeding from a nose bleed, cut or scrape. Take a tea bag, place just enough boiling water on the bag to get completely wet, then allow to cool a bit and then place directly on the wound. My dentist instructed me to use a tea bad to curtail bleeding from a tooth extraction. Tea is also an eye wash, make a cup of tea, allow to cool and then place your eye in the tea, open and close your eye for the cleansing to help. If your eye is swollen place the tea bag directly on your closed eye to reduce swelling.
An old pop bottle can become a makeshift splint. Cut off the top and bottom of the bottle and then cut it along it's length. You end up with a sheet of strong plastic that rolls back into a tube. Store rolled up using a rubber band to hold the “curled” shape. If needed, unroll and you can use as a splint for a broken bone or to place over a dressed wound to keep clean.
Duct tap has many uses, I store extra, you can fix almost anything with good duct tape. Duct tape can hold dressings in place or hold a splint in position.
An old credit card can be cut into strips and used as finger splints, place one on each side of a broken finger and tape in place. In addition, if you get stung, use the sharp edge of the credit card to clean the sting, using tweezers or your fingers will just push the poison into your body, the sharp edge can clean while keeping the poison out.
Clear plastic bags can be used to form a barrier to stop infections from cuts or burns. Place the bag over the wound, use duct tape to hold in place and you buy yourself some time to properly deal with the wound. Any reduction of possible infection is welcome.
Super absorbent microfiber drying cloths are another great addition. Use these to dry a wound so dressing does not stick. In addition, if a badly injured person can not drink from a glass, wet the cloth and then allow then to suck on the water.
Sanitary pads can also be used if necessary as back up dressings. Simply place over a wound and hold in place with duct tape.
Keep the tire inner tube from an old bike tire. You can use these as a back up tourniquet as they stretch well.
Give some though to saving these items and including as part of your back up medical kit plan.
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