First Aid & Wound Care
First Aid and Wound CareWhether you're dealing with a minor burn or a skinned knee, it is essential to know how to address the injury and have the appropriate first aid and wound care supplies readily available.
First Aid and Wound CareFirst aid requires good hygiene; always clean hands before touching a wound and sterilize tools to clean the wound. Minor injuries will stop bleeding on their own but need to be cleansed with water to prevent infection. More extensive wounds may require firm pressure to stop the bleeding and tools such as gauze or first aid scissors for removing debris.
Wound care is the next step after cleaning and slowing the blood flow. The individual treating the wound can apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment or burn cream to prevent infection and ensure a moist environment ideal for wound healing. Next, cover the area with a bandage, gauze pad with tape, or rolled gauze to protect the wound. The type of cover will depend on the size of the wound, with smaller bandages used for minor wounds and gauze used for more significant injuries.
Get medical care if you cannot stop blood flow or if the wound or burn is extensive.
First Aid SuppliesThe person treating the injury should wear gloves to help avoid the transfer of bacteria to the skin. If multiple people need first aid, change gloves or wash hands between each patient. You can use alcohol pads to sanitize the wound and materials in contact with the wound to prevent infection. Some first aid kits contain a small bottle of antiseptic instead of alcohol pads. You can use tweezers to help remove debris and splinters- sanitize the tweezers before using them.
Splints are also a first aid stable and great for immobilizing an injury. Most first aid kits contain small splints meant for fingers but also have bandages to immobilize or stabilize injured arms and legs.
Most first aid kits have instant hot, and cold packs; cold can be great for numbing pain and reducing inflammation, which is why many first aid kits will have at least one instant cold pack. Meanwhile, some injuries, such as muscle injuries, require warmth from an instant heat pack.
If you have CPR training, you want a breathing barrier or a resuscitation mask. The breathing barrier protects during CPR and helps avoid the transfer of germs from mouth to mouth. If you feel uncomfortable using a breathing barrier, you can get a resuscitation mask instead.
Checking the temperature can be an important part of first aid. If you suspect a fever or hypothermia, a thermometer is useful for checking the temperature. You should have at least one non-Mercury thermometer at home. If you have young children, a non-glass thermometer is safer compared to a glass thermometer.
Consider adding an emergency blanket to your kit if you like camping or travel often. They are very reflective and will keep you warm while signaling for help.
Wound Care SuppliesWound care supplies should include medications, wound dressings, bandages, gauze, and adhesive tape. It is also good to have scissors and pins handy. Medications such as antibacterial ointment protect cuts and scrapes from infection, and you should apply these before bandaging the wound. While antiseptic solutions are part of first aid, you should also have them among your wound care supplies to sanitize wounds before and in between dressing applications.
There are multiple types of wound dressings in several sizes to allow you to address a few basic types of wounds and cuts. These can include band-aids of various sizes and shapes, sterile gauze dressing or gauze pads, cellulose dressing, impregnated dressing.
You can use bandages on the wound directly or apply them to keep a dressing in place. You can also use some types of bandages to stabilize an injured limb. Manufacturers list the bandage use on the box or in their online description.
Adhesive tape is important for holding bandages and dressings in place. It would help if you used adhesive tape any time you use a non-adhesive bandage or dressing or feel you need something extra to ensure that an adhesive bandage or dressing stays in place.