Most people think of adhesive bandages and antibiotic ointment when they think of first aid kits, yet few look beyond the necessities. You would never think to add these ten things to your first aid kit, but they effectively round out your emergency preparedness plan and can potentially save a life.
1. Inflatable Splint
Inflatable splints are fantastic when stabilizing a broken arm or leg. Easy to use and readily available, inflatable splints not only adjust to the person’s limb, but they also give them an increased sense of security while they are being transported to the hospital.
2. Athletic Stretch Tape
Most often associated with holding cotton balls in place when you donate blood, athletic stretch tape is perfect for holding gauze pads in place and applying hands-off pressure when a wound is bleeding.
3. Fast-Acting Glucose Injection
People with type I diabetes are accustomed to carrying around some form of fast-acting glucose injection kit for use during cases of severe hypoglycemia. However, if that person passes out and their associates do not know where their supplies are kept, having a kit on hand in a first aid kit is not only helpful, it can be potentially life-saving.
4. Epinephrine Injection Kit
Like people with type I diabetes, people with severe allergies tend to carry epinephrine injections with them wherever they go. However, if a colleague happens upon someone who is in anaphylaxis, there is no time to go hunting for their kit. Having one on hand in a centralized first aid kit cabinet can make the difference between life and death for someone with severe allergies.
These sanitary items are not only helpful for menstruating women; they are ideal for stopping nosebleeds. Inserting a tampon into the nose lets the cotton expand in the space and apply gentle pressure to the injured area. Once a clot has formed or, if necessary, the person is transported to the hospital; the tampon can be safely and easily removed.
6. Panty liners or Sanitary Napkins
Like tampons, panty liners or sanitary napkins are perfect for protecting large cuts or applying pressure to an area that is bleeding. More absorbent than gauze with an adhesive back that prevents it from slipping, thin sanitary napkins or panty liners can be wrapped with athletic stretch tape for a clean, sanitary dressing. Just be sure to avoid scented items.
7. Duct Tape
From taping a splint onto a limb to fashioning a sling, there are no limits to what duct tape can do for a first aid kit.
8. Medical Glue
Any cut that is deep enough to require stitches should be evaluated by a medical professional. However, medical glue can provide skin adhesion in a pinch.
A home first aid kit is an ideal place to store emergency cash. If you are forced to evacuate your home, you can grab the first aid kit and be assured of having enough money to fill a gas tank or purchase food along the way.
10. Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
Sudden cardiac arrest affects more than 300,000 people in the US every year. In every situation, a person’s chance of survival is lowered by 10 percent for every minute CPR or shock via AED is delayed. By the time emergency medical services can arrive on the scene, the person’s chance of surviving the event is near zero. It is up to bystanders to begin CPR and administer a shock via an AED. If you purchase an Emerg-A-Center first aid cabinet, you are in luck, as the cabinet comes with an AED!