/ climbers first aid kit

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Rich Jenkin - on 10 Sep 2012
I have recently attended a first aid course through work and realised I should really be carrying a first aid kit with me when I climb.

I hoping anyone with a bit more knowledge on the subject could let me know if what I plan to be using is suitable or if anything is missing or could be dropped

Triangular bandage x2
Long roll bandage x2
Safety pin x4
Tape
Wound closure strips
The sterile white squares to cover wound under bandage
Whistle
Knife
Torch
Ibuprofen


Many thanks
Rich
aultguish on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin: Surgical gloves to prevent cross contamination whilst dealing with the bleedy bits. Scissors would be a lot easier than a knife too.
Cheers
wilkie14c - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:
I don't bother with triangluar bandages, a busted arm could be supported with slings/tat etc. A pair of small tweezers are useful for splinters. I carry a couple of sanitry towels, always ultra individually wrapped things for stemming blood flow. I have a knife on my rack anyway and a head torch too so they could be dropped and swap in some other stuff. extras I have in mine are a couple of immodium pils, some paracetmols, a cig lighter, a dioralight powder, 3 AAA batteries that are spares for my head torch and a packet of glucose sweets.
When climbing as a pair <most of the time> Either me or my mate will leave the first aid and carry something else instead, boothy bag usually. No point in having 2 first aid kits and no shelter eh.
Its all very indiviadual and the topic comes up quite often.
The Lemming - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:

My first aid kit consists of:

Paracetamol
Ibrufen
Hayfeaver tablets
Imodium
Sticking plasters
Tape to cover blisters
Safety pins
Toilet Roll
Small dressing
Small bandage
Triangle Bandage
A few odds and sods like whistle and Swiss knife.

Basically, just the stuff to stop me pooing myself, getting headaches or muscle pain. Just enough stuff to get me off the hill.

Anything beyond that needs the professionals calling in, and has no place in my little First Aid bag. :-)

Knowledge and improvisation can make up for what's missing in any kit.
GeoffRadcliffe - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to blanchie14c: Agree with your comments on triangular bandage not being needed. I recently broke my arm and the hospital put it in a cast but didn't bother with a triangular bandage. They said just to keep the arm elevated to prevent swelling. Another hospital said much the same thing. When I asked why not use one, they said that immobolising the whole arm led to a much longer recovery time and potential shoulder and elbow problems. Interestingly the NHS website still promotes their use?
Monk - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to GeoffRadcliffe:
> (In reply to blanchie14c) Agree with your comments on triangular bandage not being needed. I recently broke my arm and the hospital put it in a cast but didn't bother with a triangular bandage. They said just to keep the arm elevated to prevent swelling. Another hospital said much the same thing. When I asked why not use one, they said that immobolising the whole arm led to a much longer recovery time and potential shoulder and elbow problems. Interestingly the NHS website still promotes their use?

Surely there is an enormous difference between a broken arm in a cast and a broken arm on the hill. To limit the pain, you need to immobilise the broken bone (which the cast does). A triangular bandage offers the opportunity to immobilise the arm, allowing you to walk off the hill. Slings etc. are very unlikely to offer sufficient immobilisation (although clothing could, but if you are injured you might want to wear all the clothes you have with you).
Dan_S - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:

My general outdoors first aid kit consist of:

T-bandage x1
Melolin dressings of various sizes (some sticky, some not) x 10
Zinc oxide tape
Irripods (x5)
Assorted plasters (x20)
Iodine spray
Bite/antihistamine cream
Asprin x 5
Tuff cut scissors
Tick tweezers

From your list, I'd drop the safety pins, and 1 of the T-bandages. I'd also consider the whistle,knife and torch to be standard "hill" kit anyway, so wouldn't include them in a first aid kit.
Jim C - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:
Similar to above, but since seeing someone getting the pressure relieved from an infection under a nail bed I carry at least one sterile Hypo needle (just spin it through your fingers with light pressure and bore through the nail) and also good for blisters.

Also a condom. Slip it over a phone or any suitably sized non waterproof electronics , and and you can tie a knot in it so that in severe weather it will protect it being thin and pliable enough still operate small keys on the device through it.
Although I have not tested it since I got an touch screen iphone!
(and if the wife/partner questions you, you can give a plausable reason for it being there- In my case, the fact that it is at least 10 years out of expiry date adds credence to the excuse of why I carry it.
Roberttaylor - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin: 2m of duct tape on a roll, 4 painkillers.
Robin VdH - on 10 Sep 2012
When I did a mountain first aid course at Plas y Brenin they recommended carrying duct/gaffer tape in your first aid kit. The reasoning they gave was that medical tapes used for holding dressing just don't work that well in the wet conditions you often have in UK mountains, but duct tape will work in the wet and is good to improvised splints. Admittedly, it would hurt a bit take the dressing off later, but as the most important thing is keeping a dressing on, I now carry a small roll of duct tape in my first aid kit. Thankfully, for me and anyone I might do first aid on, I've not had to use it.

They also suggested carrrying one or two NATO first response dressings - big, thick army surplus dressings that are designed to cope with really big bleeds. Whether you want to carry something like this depends on whether you want something to hand in case of a really nasty accident and don't mind the space they take up.
wilkie14c - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Robin VdH:
I have a metre or so of gaffa tape wrapped around each of my sigg bottles so I always have some. Used recently to patch up some disintergrating 5.10s. I also carry a couple of long cable ties in the bit of the rucsack where the back frame/pad goes. Cable ties are handy for all sorts of mending jobs.
Will 01 - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin: I’ve thought of adding one of these to my first aid kit just in case. “Severe bleeding can cause shock and death in less than 10 minutes. Moderate, prolonged bleeding can do the same.
Celox can help you be prepared. It can help protect you and your colleagues whether you are in the work place, traveling, enjoying you leisure or at home.
Celox helps you deliver fast, effective first aid in any size or type of bleeding incident. Tested and proven, Celox stops severe bleeding fast to reduce blood loss and so prevent shock, protect tissues and organs and potentially save a life.
http://www.celoxmedical.com/wherebuy_firstaid.htm

What do people think?
AndrewHuddart - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Robin VdH:

Mine:
Fabric tape
Steri-strips
Misc plasters
T-Bandage
Compeeds
Military dressing (the new one, the old ones are crap in comparison
http://www.strikeforcesupplies.co.uk/index.php?method=stock&id=20250&from=49
Tick tweezers
2 Pairs of Gloves
Gaffer tape
Mouth-to-mouth Barrier
Foil Bag

Drugs:
Prescription pain killers
Immodium
Paracetamol
Ibruprofen
Hayfever tables

I see the job of a mountain first aid kit is really two fold: 1 - to have enough kit (with the skills to use it) to stop major bleeding and/or stabilise traumatic injury while MRT get on scene and, 2- to deal with minor stuff and get yourself and the casualty off the hill.
AndrewHuddart - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Will 01:

I'd get one of the new military dressings which have some coltting agent in them but which also tighten and keep good pressure on wounds. So far as my training has gone, sprikling magic powder over a wound is less important than getting good, firm/hard pressure on the wound or even on a pressure point higher up the body.
SFM - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Robin VdH:

Tampons or sanitary towels are a compact alternative.

I have 2 first aid kits. A really light and basic one for mountain marathons, general climbing and where weight and space are a premium. The other is more like the ones mentioned above...I hardly ever take it out these days though.
One thing I carry in both though is blister plasters...the most used thing I find.

Has anyone ever managed to get steri-strips to stick. I find even on washed skin they ping off after a bit. Have wondered if maybe those nose strips for anti snoring would be a better alternative?
girlymonkey - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:
Maybe I'd substitute the other pain killers with asprin as it has the added advantage that if someone is having a heart attack asprin will help with that.
AndrewHuddart - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to SFM:

On steri-strips - dry skin needed which is hard with blood kicking around! I've used them quite a bit to save a trip to A&E for a couple of stitches though so worth persevering with. I'll often gaffer tape over them to help keep them in place.
AndrewHuddart - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to SFM:

On dressings - they do but you need to carry a bandage or similar to keep them in place. The new military ones are really very good for major bleeding.
Will 01 - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:

I have a couple of extra items for minor stuff:-
**** SuperGlue
**** Spray on plaster (sorts the men out from the boys, stings like hell, but keeps grazes clean and dry)
Will 01 - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:
Here is the Youtube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCSf5Asa8rc

THERE IS LOTS OF BLOOD -- YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

My personal thoughts are if it saves a climbers life, for a few quid I'm going to get it. Hopefully never need it.

-----------------

Celox™ granules are the first in a new generation of emergency hemostatic agents. They are simple to use and highly effective. Celox™ granules quickly control even the most severe arterial bleeding. Just pour it in, pack it, and apply pressure. No specific training is required. Celox™ clots blood fast, works in hypothermic conditions and also clots blood containing heparin or warfarin. Celox™ does not generate heat in use and won't burn. Celox™ is safe to use for the entire body including head, neck and chest wounds.
Shearwater - on 10 Sep 2012
I found this thread on TGR reasonably informative: http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/146778-Supplementing-Store-Bought-First-Aid-Kit

Slightly different use-case (ski touring), and of course a US bias in product names and availability, but there's plenty of useful stuff nonetheless.
Legionreturns on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:

There's nothing you can't deal with if you carry duct tape and clingfilm! Very light too ;)
captain paranoia - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:

Useful discussion a few months ago:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=502873&v=1
lost1977 - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:

all i carry is a length of duct tape wrapped around my water bottle and never needed anymore
Mark Kemball - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin: I've got a ventolin inhaler in mine (my own inhaler), but it could come in very handy if someone has forgotten theirs.
OwenM - on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin: All I carry is an old service revolver, it's amazing how quickly people recover when I pull this out.
IainMunro on 10 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:

In my "just in case" ziploc bag I carry:

1) Foil blanket
2) Zinc oxide tape (proper "Strappal" medical tape)
3) Small penkife

I think knowledge and training (and a bit of common sense) are the most important things to have. Any genuine life threatening emergency can't be properly managed with kit portable enough to be carried (practically) in a standard daysack. It would be nice to have a minor injury cleaned up on the hill with sterile gloves etc but personally I would rather suck it in and get down to a proper casualty department. A bit of imagination and you can fashion a sling or a wound dressing from clothes and climbing kit.

Of all the things you could carry I think a foil blanket is the single best piece of emergency kit you can invest in. Unless you lose your airway or bleed to death hypothhermia/exposure will kill you quicker than most other injuries you might pick up on the hill.

Iain
vark - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to Will 01:
Your are unlikely to have a wound to which you could apply Celox. Significant climbing/outdoor injuries are likely to be closed injuries to bone/ squidgy bits that you can't acces.
If you are going to carrying it the pen applicator might be best for when you stick an ice axe through your femoral artery.
Northern Climber on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin: The one thing i carry in my first aid kit that has seen the most use is finger tape (or zinc oxide tape). i've used it to strap up a broken toe for a winter climbing weekend, cover up small cuts on hands for trad and tape up heels for blisters. you could also improvise a sling out of it and use it as a self adhesive bandage! brilliant stuff. other than that my kits pretty similar to those above
AndrewHuddart - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to vark:
Generally, you're right but the worst injury I've had to treat climbing was a lad opening his shin down to the bone with a 5cm long gash at Swanage. Celex probably wouldn't have helped but it's a good argument for a big dressing.

Not sure what the DS solution would be (Lemming will tell us if he's around this thread) but a shell dressing and lots of pressure on the wound controlled the bleeding.

Most impressive was the cool but tough performance from him getting back to his mate's car after being hoisted out of Cattle Troughs.
The Lemming - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to hindu:
> (In reply to vark)
> (Lemming will tell us if he's around this thread)

Vark is far more knowelagable than myself. He's got letters after his name while I have a 25 meter swimming badge at school.

If Vark is still around, and willing, you should really pick his brains for sound advice.

vark - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to hindu:
The problem with lay people carrying Celox is they are unlikely to appreciate how or when to use it. The shin problem you describe is exactly the sort of wound where it is not necessary.
If you classify bleeding on a scale of small, medium, large and oh f**ck that's a lot, then Celox is to be used at the latter end of the scale. It is designed for battlefield injuries with the sort of haemorrhage most civilian practitioners will see very rarely.
We've got it In the ED and it almost never gets used. I have yet to use it. Consequently I ain't carrying it when I go out.

What always gets overlooked on these threads is the training is much more important than the kit. Unfortunately the sort of training acquired through a two day first aid is unlikely to teach you many of the things that could provide immediate benefit.
AndrewHuddart - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to vark:

Thanks - sorry, didn't know your background.

My recent and in-date training is generally around "something's gone bang and he's got a hole in him or he's missing limbs".

Would you agree that the best that most of us can do on the hill is put a plaster on it and get on with our day for the minor stuff, or if serious, not screw the casualty up too much while the professionals get there?
vark - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to hindu:

> My recent and in-date training is generally around "something's gone bang and he's got a hole in him or he's missing limbs".

This is exactly what stuff like Celox is designed for but, as I am sure you will appreciate, very different to the combination of head injury, visceral injury and multiple fractures you will get from falling off something

> Would you agree that the best that most of us can do on the hill is put a plaster on it and get on with our day for the minor stuff, or if serious, not screw the casualty up too much while the professionals get there?

The first aid you will use most often is for treating trivial injuries/illness so that you can continue your day. Hence things like plasters, tape, analgesia, antihistamines will be most useful.
The problem I have with first aid courses for remote activities is that a lot of time is spent teaching basic life support. This will be no use if someone has a traumatic cardiac arrest and equally useless for a medical cardiac arrest unless you are next to a road and an ambulance can arrive quickly.

There is scope to teach some simple stuff that would be much more useful e.g. reduction of a fracture dislocation of an ankle. Doing so is simple (usually) and involves little more than brute force to make the ankle look ankle shaped again. Doing so will not only massively improve the patients pain but will have a huge benefit in terms of their subsequent surgical treatment as the skin will suffer much less damage if the ankle is promptly reduced. The only two things needed to reduce a dislocated ankle are a little bit of training and the balls to have a go.


AndrewHuddart - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to vark:

Absolutely agree about Celox being unnecessary for almost all climbing-orientated fist aid kits.

Interesting points about course content and doubtless true: does anyone offer the more practical courses?
Monk - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to vark:
> (In reply to hindu)
>


> The problem I have with first aid courses for remote activities is that a lot of time is spent teaching basic life support. This will be no use if someone has a traumatic cardiac arrest and equally useless for a medical cardiac arrest unless you are next to a road and an ambulance can arrive quickly.
>

Interestingly, on my REC first aid course we were pretty much told that (perhaps in response to questioning). The conclusion was that CPR was highly unlikely to work, and somewhere removed from the emergency services it was probably only worth continuing with as long as was required to ease your conscience! The course mostly focused on the walking wounded and keeping breathing casualties alive with any resources we had to hand. I thought it was a pretty good course, treating us like thinking adults.
DerwentDiluted - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:

As a lay first aider who has seen most things broken at some point I'd make these general points;

Don't carry anything you are not happy to use or administer, be honest about your capabilities.
Go for versatility, a SAM splint and some gaffer tape can do lots.
Be flexible with your kit, take items appropriate to where you are going and the length of time you may anticipate being primary carer without help. (at Stanage there always seems to be a paramedic on the next route, at Carnmore you may be alone a bit longer!)
Someone immobile will cool rapidly, even on a hot day, consider a bothy tent or even a simple windproof as part of your first aid kit, a broken ankle won't kill the casualty, hypothermia may do. Similarly think about some spare calories.

Finally;
You can't do anything useful without tuffcut scissors!
Rich Jenkin - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:
Thanks everyone I didn't expect so much information it should be really helpful, will definitely be re-assessing my initial ideas later!
+really glad an asthma inhaler was mentioned as I had completely forgotten about mine!
The Lemming - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to Rich Jenkin:
>
> +really glad an asthma inhaler was mentioned as I had completely forgotten about mine!
That's the secret to a good First Aid kit. Make it personal to you. Personally, since taking up walking un 1991 I have been involved in 4 or 5 situations where. Of those two needed the professinals and two just needed some wter to clean cuts and a few plasters.

In the main part such things ar rare, and you will most likely be treating yourself with all sorts of small problems. No point going overboard on kit that you may never use, and if you did need it for that 1 in a million day, then its not your fault Just do the best that you can with the kit you've got.

Unfortuneatly those working outdoors for a living are obliged to bring the kitchen sink as required by Elf and Safety. Its the way of the world.
lost1977 - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to Monk:
> (In reply to vark)
> [...]
>
>
> [...]
>
> Interestingly, on my REC first aid course we were pretty much told that (perhaps in response to questioning). The conclusion was that CPR was highly unlikely to work, and somewhere removed from the emergency services it was probably only worth continuing with as long as was required to ease your conscience! The course mostly focused on the walking wounded and keeping breathing casualties alive with any resources we had to hand. I thought it was a pretty good course, treating us like thinking adults.

we were taught pretty much the same with rescue diver training although the instructor did still take great enjoyment out of leaving a student on their own who thought otherwise whilst we went for a quick beer. 25 mins solo with resci anne changed his mind
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jacobjlloyd - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to Monk: why not carry a 'Sam Splint', or two. Better than a triangular bandage.
Monk - on 11 Sep 2012
In reply to jacobjlloyd:

They are pretty good, and perhaps I should carry one in my group kit. My main reasons for not doing so for climbing is that they are bulky and reasonably heavy.

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