Better than a Band-Aid box – By Tyler Woods 6/22/2013

My Dad always kept a well stocked first-aid kit that had various bandaging supplies and some tools like bandage scissors and tweezers. It all fit into a plywood box, painted white with a red cross on it's lid to make it easy to spot. The box was about one foot square and four inches deep. It held about all we needed as kids growing up and I've been patched together many times from what was in that box.

As I became a father, I started my own first-aid box and used a fifty caliber metal ammo can to keep it all together. It's served our family well and goes with us on any trip away from home.

Our world seems to be coming apart and as medical care becomes less accessible, the old first-aid kit may need a bigger box. I have a fiberglass equipment case that looks like a suitcase on steroids. It measures 21” x 14” x 8” and should work to organize our new and improved medical kit. Since my wife is a nurse, we will be able to add some very useful items to our growing kit.

I'm going to first add hinged panels to each side of the case to keep everything inside when it's opened. On the outside of those panels will be the “immediate need” items, held in place by elastic or Velcro pouches. These will be flashlight, surgical gloves, surgical mask, CPR shield, tourniquet... the things that when you need them, you don't have time to go looking.

On one side of my case will be bandaging supplies. More nitrile gloves and surgical masks, Band-aids, gauze rolls, gauze sponges, 4x4's, tape, splints, “rubberized” bandage rolls, wound pads, triple biotic ointment, iodine, wound cleansers, etc. Additionally, I will add a soft rolled surgical kit for suturing, and medical pads for maintaining a clean working area. Thermal blankets as space allows are always good.

The remaining side will contain a rater large supply of:

Analgesics - Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and Aspirin

Gastrointestinal OTC aids - Imodium AD, Magnesium Citrate, Maalox, and Gas-X

Antibiotics – This is a whole area that requires wise and judicious application. As much harm can result in the misuse of antibiotics as can be gained from their proper use. Never “throw pills” at a medical problem.

This side will also store a BP cuff and stethoscope.

Any extra space can be filled with bottled water.

Our kit will surely grow as time and use allows but this is our current plan for expansion from an ammo can.
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