Letter Re: First Aid Kits

HJL,

On the subject of first aid kits, a great item to have in the kit is an emergency manual, such as “Mosby’s Outdoor Emergency First Aid Manual.” The book is spiral bound and indexed to common injuries. You need to update the CPR instructions– rescue breaths are out; only chest compressions are in. To get the proper number of compressions, try humming “Another one bites the dust” by Queen or “Staying Alive” by the Beegees. EMTs and nurses carry pocket manuals all the time. In a stress-filled situation you don’t want to rely on an adrenaline soaked brain to remember details. – B.C.

Hugh Replies: I know we all (EMTs) carry those manuals, but that is really a legal requirement because of some lawsuit years back. (Or perhaps fear of a lawsuit.) Reading a manual to remember how many ccs of 1:1000 Epi to inject a person who is in a anaphylactic shock is not really a prudent thing to do when they need it. I realize that the human brain just doesn’t work very efficiently at 0300, when awoken from a deep sleep but that is why you train. A manual looks good, but if you can’t remember how to perform something in an emergency, you probably won’t remember how to look it up either. We carry those in our pockets to have something to read when sitting on standby. If you use the manual to refresh your training every once in a while, you can get some decent use out of them, but if you are depending on the manual to know how to perform first-aid or use a piece of equipment in an emergency, you are really wasting your space. If you have a manual, be sure to study it!

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