Friday, August 3, 2012

First Aid: education for an emergency before or after the apocalypse

Adventure Time
Living in a place like San Diego, we have easy access to many wilderness adventures in and around deserts, mountains, forests, and canyon trails. Yet to fully enjoy these remote spots, we should be prepared to handle both tiny and large disasters. Learning to protect and care for ourselves and our loved ones/travel buddies will come in handy after the apocalypse, when we have to do that sort of thing all the time.

First Aid Kit Basics
The American Red Cross, and those of us who have cut ourselves badly on broken glass from a picture frame, suggest having handy a basic first aid kit:

  • dressings/compresses
  • bandages of various types
  • cloth tape
  • antibiotics/antiseptics
  • gauze
  • aspirin
  • non-latex gloves
  • hydrocortisone ointment
  • breathing barrier
  • blanket
  • scissors
  • thermometer
  • tweezers
  • first aid reading material 

Compiling your own kit
I made one myself, and put it in a tupperware. I keep it in my trunk. Below is an annotated photo:

Take a class/get certified in wilderness first aid
For outdoors exploration, it is suggested that the explorer reads up on his/her destination, keeping in mind water purification and access, snakes/insects/animals, weather, altitude, and the basic bad things that can happen.

The Red Cross and the Scouts suggest a certification class in wilderness first aid -- one that touches upon the following topics:

  • Patient assessment 
  • Chest injuries
  • Shock
  • Brain/spinal injuries
  • Wounds and wound infection
  • Abdominal problems
  • Hypothermia
  • Heat
  • Lightning
  • Altitude
  • Submersion
  • Allergies

*To take a wilderness first aid class (AED/CPR certification pre-requisite) at the local Red Cross.
*Find out more from the Boy Scouts of America.