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Advocate II

"Just knowing how to stop bleeding with pressure and feeling confident enough to actually do it can save a life."

One of the reasons for the changes that are currently underway at OLS HQ. Expecting someone else to "act" isn't a sound tactic.... Here's a sneak peak of what's to come:

Blank Day Tripper.PNG
 
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DaveT

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I always have two pieces of advice for people when they ask me this (as a paramedic I get asked often).

First, work on knowledge first. I can patch you up with surprisingly little even if I'm packing a wound with an old sock or a t shirt. You can have all the dressings and gadgets in the world but if you don't know how to do it right, somebody could die. A wilderness first aid course is a great thing to take as well.

Second, go with what you know. Buying a pre fab kit is nice and convenient and having the latest gadget is cool (and we all like our gadgets) but I always advocate building it yourself and buying items you are familiar with and trained how to use. Your kit will be smaller and more purposeful...and you'll be more familiar with what you have and don't have. If you don't know what you know how to use, you might need to take a class or do some self guided online learning. For example my personal car kit looks like a scaled down version of the trauma kit I carry on my ambulance. It's what I use every day so I go with what I know.

There are only a few special items that are important life savers which are hard to improvise like a Combat Tourniquet for example.

I guess a third little piece of advice is practice. Carry the aforementioned combat tourniquet but have never played with it...or put it on...or cranked it down so tight you think your leg is going to fall off? Do it! That experience could save somebodies life one day. Even if it's just practicing putting an arm in a sling. It's easy to forget how if you've done it once or twice...or never.

If anybody is interested, I could likely spread my kit out and take a picture of it for this thread. It's a bit overkill for the average first aider but despite that it's pretty compact and takes up far less space than the other safety gear I carry in my car.
 

Kent R

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I have been wondering if someone has put together a curriculum that meets the model of Vehicle Supported adventure? Wilderness Fire Aid is a great class but in our rigs we seem to carry more supplies and have more items to adapt to first aid and rescue. Example; on the trail a rig rolls several times and the doors are jammed, in our case we can adapt the HiLift jack to help get the door open.
I am looking for some basic rescue stuff to be included. This summer our group will be doing some of this type of training but it will only be supported by the members experience not a recognized curriculum.

This is a question Im not trying to start a debate just get some help.

Thanks
 

Road

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@El Solis - Chris, thanks for taking this on. It's wonderful that you're doing this and I hope it proves to be rewarding.

I'd like to see recommendations for Wilderness First Aid courses and other outdoor-focused first aid certification programs around the country.

I realize basic and intermediate first-aid courses are probably a great, maybe even required, starting point. I'd like to hear about the next level from people who have recent personal experience with courses and what they found helpful, and what they would have improved.
 

HappyOurOverlanding

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This thread is for any questions related to first aid, trauma care, medical care in general, and for members to post suggestions or request topics to be covered. Don't be shy, if you have the question in your head I guarantee others do to!

Chris
Thanks for creating this thread and the information PDFs. My question is more on the liability of the person that is directly helping the person in need. I've been in several situations (pulling a driver from an overturned rig to a child going into an epileptic seizure) and then stepping out of the way once the medics arrive and not knowing at that point what to do. This may sound strange but I usually leave once the medics arrive.
 

DaveT

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Thanks for creating this thread and the information PDFs. My question is more on the liability of the person that is directly helping the person in need. I've been in several situations (pulling a driver from an overturned rig to a child going into an epileptic seizure) and then stepping out of the way once the medics arrive and not knowing at that point what to do. This may sound strange but I usually leave once the medics arrive.
Good Samaritan laws exist to protect anybody trying to do the right thing regardless of their skills or abilities. I don't think you'll ever get in trouble for leaving somebody in a higher level of care than you can provide.
 

El Solis

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In regards to the Good Samaritan Law of California the law does protect bystanders who try to provide aid at the scene of an emergency. There was a case that lead to a rewrite of the law when a bystander pulled a victim from a car and the victim was paralyzed. At the time of law suit, the court interpreted the law as medical assistance only and not the rescue part associated with the rendering of the medical care. The law has been changed and now protects licensed and trained medical personnel. In my opinion, not legal opinion, I would rather help some one who needs it rather than stand by and watch them suffer and deal with the aftermath in court as needed.

Here is the actual law:
1799.102. (a) No person who in good faith, and not for compensation, renders emergency medical or nonmedical care at the scene of an emergency shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission. The scene of an emergency shall not include emergency departments and other places where medical care is usually offered. This subdivision applies only to the medical, law enforcement, and emergency personnel specified in this chapter.



(b) (1) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage other individuals to volunteer, without compensation, to assist others in need during an emergency, while ensuring that those volunteers who provide care or assistance act responsibly.



(2) Except for those persons specified in subdivision (a), no person who in good faith, and not for compensation, renders emergency medical or nonmedical care or assistance at the scene of an emergency shall be liable for civil damages resulting from any act or omission other than an act or omission constituting gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. The scene of an emergency shall not include emergency departments and other places where medical care is usually offered. This subdivision shall not be construed to alter existing protections from liability for licensed medical or other personnel specified in subdivision (a) or any other law.



(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to change any existing legal duties or obligations, nor does anything in this section in any way affect the provisions in Section 1714.5 of the Civil Code, as proposed to be amended by Senate Bill 39 of the 2009 10 Regular Session of the Legislature.



(d) The amendments to this section made by the act adding subdivisions (b) and (c) shall apply exclusively to any legal action filed on or after the effective date of that act.



(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 77, Sec. 1. Effective August 6, 2009. Note: As referenced in subd. (d), subds. (b) and (c) were added in the amendment by Stats. 2009, Ch. 77.)
 

El Solis

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@Outer Limit Supply

I love that card. We teach the Airway, Breathing Circulation in ATLS but the TCCC (Military Tactical Combat Casualty Care) recognized that massive bleeding was a primary cause of death due to the transport times from the battlefield to the treatment areas. Then airway obstruction and pneumothorax (collapsed lung). The first aid kits carried reflect this as they carry items to treat these injuries. As our society is facing more battlefield injuries in the civilian arena, this treatment plan is becoming more appropriate. So when faced with a victim, the best and easiest way to make your first assessment is to ask "Are your ok". If they answer clearly then the airway is clear and they are breathing. Any massive bleeding noticed should be treated with pressure immediately. If it is on an extremity then a tourniquet applied to the limb as high as possible is the fastest way to stop the bleeding. The details of the injury can be sorted out later.

I will be adding "cards" that people can print and carry so as to have a reminder of what to do, much like the OLS cards above.
 

slomatt

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I'd like to see recommendations for Wilderness First Aid courses and other outdoor-focused first aid certification programs around the country.
I've been certified in Wilderness First Aid by both the Red Cross and NOLS. Overall I thought both courses were highly valuable, but the NOLS course was better run and more informative. The WFA course takes place over a single weekend and I highly recommend it for anybody exploring the back country.

https://www.nols.edu/en/coursefinder/courses/wilderness-first-aid-WFA/

These are all perishable skills, so it is good to take refreshers from time to time. One possibility is to join a local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). My local CERT just had a "stop the bleed" training two weeks ago that covered ways to stop massive bleeding including pressure and tourniquets. It's one thing to carry a tourniquet, but it is much more useful to get trained to apply one by a medical expert.
 

Wanderlost

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@El Solis - Chris, thanks for taking this on. It's wonderful that you're doing this and I hope it proves to be rewarding.

I'd like to see recommendations for Wilderness First Aid courses and other outdoor-focused first aid certification programs around the country.

I realize basic and intermediate first-aid courses are probably a great, maybe even required, starting point. I'd like to hear about the next level from people who have recent personal experience with courses and what they found helpful, and what they would have improved.
I'm certified through Wilderness Medical Society. They seem to have one of the best curriculum in the industry.
 
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Advocate II

@El Solis "I will be adding "cards" that people can print and carry so as to have a reminder of what to do, much like the OLS cards above."

These cards are included with our patches but feel free to download it for personal use. If you print in "actual size" you'll be able to fold it up to credit card size and trim off the excess. As a Paramedic, finding a File of Life in someone's wallet or purse is invaluable; especially if the injured is unable to speak. This can also be used as a "memory jogger"/reference when preforming a medical assessment on a patient.

Patch.jpg
 

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smlobx

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Chris-thanks for taking this on. I think this will be a great repository for those of us looking to improve our skills in this area.
I too have the 3 part system and it has served me well the few times we've needed to use it beyond the booboo kit.
In reviewing your full kit I noticed that you listed a flashlight (as we all know bad things only happen in broad daylight!) and would like to suggest that be changed to a headlamp as this allows both of your hands to be free to treat the wounds etc.

I also carry a spare set of reading glasses but that's just me...
 
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Cort

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I always have two pieces of advice for people when they ask me this (as a paramedic I get asked often).

First, work on knowledge first. I can patch you up with surprisingly little even if I'm packing a wound with an old sock or a t shirt. You can have all the dressings and gadgets in the world but if you don't know how to do it right, somebody could die. A wilderness first aid course is a great thing to take as well.

Second, go with what you know. Buying a pre fab kit is nice and convenient and having the latest gadget is cool (and we all like our gadgets) but I always advocate building it yourself and buying items you are familiar with and trained how to use. Your kit will be smaller and more purposeful...and you'll be more familiar with what you have and don't have. If you don't know what you know how to use, you might need to take a class or do some self guided online learning. For example my personal car kit looks like a scaled down version of the trauma kit I carry on my ambulance. It's what I use every day so I go with what I know.

There are only a few special items that are important life savers which are hard to improvise like a Combat Tourniquet for example.

I guess a third little piece of advice is practice. Carry the aforementioned combat tourniquet but have never played with it...or put it on...or cranked it down so tight you think your leg is going to fall off? Do it! That experience could save somebodies life one day. Even if it's just practicing putting an arm in a sling. It's easy to forget how if you've done it once or twice...or never.

If anybody is interested, I could likely spread my kit out and take a picture of it for this thread. It's a bit overkill for the average first aider but despite that it's pretty compact and takes up far less space than the other safety gear I carry in my car.

This is an awesome post, well done. One thing I would recommend is investing in a blue training tourniquet that you know will never go into the field. It is advised to not stress a TQ that you may use in the field as you can cause a failure when you need it most. While I’ve used a TQ more times than I’ve wanted to and never experienced one failing I think it’s good advice to follow. As you wrote, unpack the TQ and make it “use ready” Incase you need it.
 
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Road

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If anybody is interested, I could likely spread my kit out and take a picture of it for this thread. It's a bit overkill for the average first aider but despite that it's pretty compact and takes up far less space than the other safety gear I carry in my car.
Sure, I'm quite interested in seeing a layout of what you keep in your daily car kit. Can't say I'm advanced, but have been through first aid and CPR classes and was first responder trained for a warehouse work environment. Been looking at what I can take locally, or when on the road, for Wilderness first aid classes.
 

DaveT

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If I get time I'll do it while I'm at work this week. It's a good idea to do that anyhow once in a while and check expiry dates inspect for worn out packaging.
 
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Joey83

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Is this a good car/home based first aid kit?

It contains the following items.

Small wounds:
2 Dry swabs
Assorted bandaids and one icebag.

Medium wounds:
2 Dry swabs
1 Sterile wound dressing (10x16cm)
4 Skin cleansing swabs

Large wounds:
1 Sterile wound dressing (17x17cm)
1 Rolled elastic bandage

Other items:
1 pair of tweezers
1 Scissor
1 Tick remover
6 Safetypins
1 Adhesive tape
1 Respiratory sheet
1 First aid blanket
1 Pair of disposable gloves

All made by a company called RFX Care
 

Overland A Far

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Great thread! And I had the question on liability as well. In Canada we have no issue with assisting - no way to sue. But one thing taught at the courses is the first thing you do before helping anyone is identify yourself as a first aider, and can I help you? and if they say no - back off and observe. We ahve to be careful when kids are involved so the child and parent needs to confirm. If the person is non-responsive there is implied consent. One great thing in our world is that in most businesses and industries here, having first aid training with CPR is a corporate and/or legal requirement. Provincial safety regulations dictate this as well. It also dictates standards for first aid kits (based on an individual and location in respect to available medical assistance and the the number of workers on the site) and with a few add on items the kits are very capable. I added a couple airway protectors for doing CPR. The PDF cards are a great idea and something I will print out.
 

Cort

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Great thread! And I had the question on liability as well. In Canada we have no issue with assisting - no way to sue. But one thing taught at the courses is the first thing you do before helping anyone is identify yourself as a first aider, and can I help you? and if they say no - back off and observe. We ahve to be careful when kids are involved so the child and parent needs to confirm. If the person is non-responsive there is implied consent. One great thing in our world is that in most businesses and industries here, having first aid training with CPR is a corporate and/or legal requirement. Provincial safety regulations dictate this as well. It also dictates standards for first aid kits (based on an individual and location in respect to available medical assistance and the the number of workers on the site) and with a few add on items the kits are very capable. I added a couple airway protectors for doing CPR. The PDF cards are a great idea and something I will print out.

Good point, in the states the Good Samaritan laws very regionally. As a first responder the rules are different and we need to give the level of care with in the scope of our practice and certification.
 
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Mrod

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One thing to consider when putting together a kit (and developing skills) is looking at activity-specific hazards. A big one for overlanders is foreign bodies and chemicals in the eyes (dirt/debris dropping in your eye while you are working under your rig, spraying gas from a leaking line, wayward sprays of WD40, etc.). It is a good idea to carry a some saline for irrigation, as well as a small tube of opthalmic ointment for afterwards. A strong magnet can be a lifesaver for removing ferrous debris from an eye (grinder dust, etc.). Learning the correct technique for irrigating an eye (or eyes) and not contaminating the other eye is an easy skill to learn and practice and should be part of your first-aid skillset.

There are certainly other hazards, but this is a big one for overlanders that is often missing from kits.

Needless to say, you should always wear eye protection when working on or around your vehicle.