First aid kit?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
LittleGreyCat
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First Aid Kit

Postby LittleGreyCat » 2 Jun 2019, 5:50pm

I assume this is the right place. :D

Looking at all the stuff I carry (or intend to carry) on bike rides, I realised that I don't carry a first aid kit.
There are plenty of generic ones, and also ones advertised for cycling.
However I am finding it difficult to chose.

I expect that blisters and gravel rash will be expected, possibly insect in eye and sunburn, minor cuts and grazes.
Anything cycling specific that I should consider?
Apart from a larger roll of sticking plaster to double up for tyre repair. :lol:

Weight and pack size will be important, as will a waterproof pouch (although plastic bags are available).

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geomannie
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby geomannie » 2 Jun 2019, 7:50pm

It's a hard question. Limitations on space will probably mean that you don't pack the item you might need.

I carry some plasters, including some quite large ones, antiseptic wipes and just in case a lint bandage. Most importantly IMHO is to carry a space blanket. If someone comes off their bike and can't proceed, then it's great for making them comfortable until help arrives.
geomannie

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LinusR
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby LinusR » 2 Jun 2019, 8:07pm

I carry a general purpose first aid kit that I got from Superdrug. This one I think: https://www.superdrug.com/Superdrug/Superdrug-Family-First-Aid-Kit/p/657707

I bought some extra antiseptic wipes and also one of those tic remover tweezers https://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/what-we-are-doing/shop/

Main reason I bought it was for leading off-road rides where I've cut myself on brambles. I've used it twice. First time on myself for when I cut my shin (again) on brambles and used it to clean my skin of thorns and wipe the blood off, when riding off-road. Second time today, on a road ride, to clean a cut knee and apply small bandage to one of my group who fell off.

I'm not a qualified first aider.

octave531
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby octave531 » 2 Jun 2019, 10:00pm

Apart from plasters and antiseptic wipes the thing I (and a few grateful others) have used most is sting relief antihistamine.

peetee
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby peetee » 2 Jun 2019, 10:39pm

I used to carry saline. It's available in plastic vials with twist off tops leaving a narrow opening which is extremely effective at squirting out dirt and gravel from a road-rash wound.
Apart from that, gauze bandage, steri-strips, wound dressing pads and a curved scalpel blade.
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cycle tramp
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby cycle tramp » 2 Jun 2019, 10:50pm

If you have the room, perhaps consider an eye wash bath for those times when a bit of grit, fly or dust gets into someone's eyes. That way you can flush it out using water from your water bottle.... providing no one has drunk all the water :wink:

peetee
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Re: First Aid Kit

Postby peetee » 2 Jun 2019, 10:54pm

cycle tramp wrote:If you have the room, perhaps consider an eye wash bath for those times when a bit of grit, fly or dust gets into someone's eyes. That way you can flush it out using water from your water bottle.... providing no one has drunk all the water :wink:

Coincidentally, the saline capsules I mentioned in the previous post are marketed as eyewash products.
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Back on two wheels in deepest Pastyland and loving every minute. Mission: to enjoy big, bad hills again.

Tangled Metal
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Re: First aid kit?

Postby Tangled Metal » 2 Jun 2019, 11:01pm

Various sized ambulance dressings made my first aid kit for hillwalking after a climbing accident left me leaking claret from my hand such that I filled two layers of a large ambulance dressings until the outside layer was red. Then I leaked into the second set if double layer, large ambulance dressing on my way to A&E. That's on the palm and knuckles of my hand so 8 large ambulance dressings got used before I reached hospital.

So IMHO do not forget a very thick, sterile pad and means to tie it tightly onto your injured area from your first aid kit. Lint, sterile pads, melonin pads, etc are great but a bad cut or graze can leak a lot more blood than those can cope with. A thick pad gives your body more time to clot before it gets overwhelmed.

BTW in our group when I had my accident there was a lifetime member of a lake district mountain rescue team who had officially retired from volunteering in a MRT after over 15 years in one. He had a big ice cream plastic tub for part of his first aid kit (Square x section and about 15cm high). Then he had one twice a big just for his sterile dressings. He raided both boxes to help me. I won't tell you what pain relief he had because he'd get into trouble (or someone who supplied it to him).

HobbesOnTour
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Re: First aid kit?

Postby HobbesOnTour » 3 Jun 2019, 8:09am

Whatever about what is in your first aid kit, the where is just as important. The one time I needed my first aid kit I was bloody glad that it was quickly accessible and I didn't have to rummage around through a pannier making a bloody mess!

Brucey
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Re: First aid kit?

Postby Brucey » 3 Jun 2019, 8:26am

I'm sure that this post will provoke some debate but I have mixed feelings about carrying a first aid kit; I wonder if, in many cases, it is actually a safety blanket/palliative for the mind more than a great practical help for the body. I also think that a good number of cases in which the kit would be 'needed' would be avoided altogether if the attention/effort devoted to the kit were given to other things; for example even a cheap pair of sunglasses will stop most stuff going in your eyes.

In general the things that a first aid kit might be used for fall into several categories:

a) things that allow a complete treatment of an injury so that further attention is not required
b)) things that allow a partial/temporary treatment which provides some relief and/or lessens the risk of further complications should proper treatment be delayed
c) things that might save a limb or save a life.


Things like eye irritations, very minor grazes and insect bites fall into the first category; but then these may pose no great threat anyway; the main benefit of any treatment you can apply is that it might save you a trip to the chemist. The few times I've wanted to wash my eyes out when cycling its not been the foreign object that has been the problem (tear ducts wash irritated eyes out quite well), its been sweat running into an already irritated eye. I now pay more attention to washing out hats and helmet pads; if sweat starts running out of such things and they have not been washed for a couple of days then the brine can be super-strong.

There's some value in the second category but its easy to overestimate its benefit and/or to use the first aid treatment as an excuse for not seeking proper treatment, either promptly or at all. Its also possible to do more harm than good in some cases. The main problem with (say) an adult losing about a pint of blood is the mess it makes; if the injury is serious and the application of first aid in any way delays proper treatment then it may be a poor choice to apply the first aid.

In the third category the contents of a first-aider's head are probably much more important than the contents of any kit; identifying what is a critical injury and knowing when and how to apply a tourniquet, administer CPR, what to do in the short run with a broken bone, that sort of thing. If any drugs are administered, this should be done with the utmost caution; if/when an ambulance turns up they need to be told exactly what has been given and there is always a chance that one drug may prohibit use of another, better drug, or may result in an overdose ( I've seen someone nearly OD on morphine in hospital because adequate records were not made).

I guess many of these things parallel the philosophy behind carrying a tool kit for your bike; a minimum expectation is that the repair might get you going temporarily but it isn't often the case that any roadside repair is as good as one that might be carried out in a workshop, and in the worst case you might do more harm than good.

FWIW when touring in Europe I might carry some antiseptic cream (for minor bites and grazes), some surgical tape (which can reinforce blisters, attach any temporary dressings, as well as repair rim tapes, handlebar tape, act as packing or rattly panniers, you name it) and I will have scissors on my pocket knife anyway. That is enough to do some good where it is needed; carrying much more than that gives an illusion of real benefit whilst at best merely making a slight improvement to the temporary treatment before a proper treatment is applied. The stuff that saves lives is in the head/to be improvised anyway.

Of course if you know you are vulnerable in particular ways then carrying specific things is probably worthwhile; for example I'm considering carrying some anti-histamine treatment (a cream or powder maybe) because I've found that I can swell badly if I get stung by wasps. If I thought I was vulnerable to full-blown anaphylaxis then I'd carry an EpiPen or similar.

I guess if you are really in the wilds (such that proper treatment is days rather than hours away) then there is a strong case for carrying more stuff. But otherwise, maybe not.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tangled Metal
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Re: First aid kit?

Postby Tangled Metal » 3 Jun 2019, 8:49am

I think it's obvious that knowledge is the most important part of first aid. Leave that at home in your family medical reference book and your first aid kit might as well be a kids doctor's kit.

However I can assure you the feel good factor of a good dressing that can cope with your wound should you have one is worth the minimal weight penalty.

Of course it does depend on what you're doing. I'll not carry a first aid kit on my commute for example. Half an hour each way with a lot of houses passed by and regular traffic means if something happens I'm certain someone will stop with a kit to help. On a family ride out there's a kit in the pannier and bigger one in the car. All with large dressings a well as the comfort plasters.

PS I see a lot of first aid kits as comfort kits because they're really just plasters, paracetamol and family medicine. Things like anti hystamine (cream and tablets), headache relief and plasters.

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mjr
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Re: First aid kit?

Postby mjr » 3 Jun 2019, 9:51am

Bigger kit in the car? A support/team car for family rides? ;) bryn will be along shortly...

I have a buff to use as a versatile bandage and other than that, I carry big plasters, blister plasters, antiseptic wipes, antihistamine tablets, weak over-the-counter cortisone cream and an emergency poncho/foil thing, but I've not used any of it in so long that I just thought to check and the cream has expired. Carrying much more would almost certainly just mean more to expire and be replaced wastefully.

The kit tends to live in a sealed bag either with my tools (most rides) or in a quick-access saddlebag side pocket on tour. As someone else wrote, it's not good having it where you can't find it while bleeding everywhere.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: First aid kit?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 3 Jun 2019, 11:02am

Sunglasses while riding in sunny weather, definitely, and clear glasses on dull days and winter. Though I don't feel the need around town.

thirdcrank
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Re: First aid kit?

Postby thirdcrank » 3 Jun 2019, 11:23am

I've never bothered and I'm not going to change my ways now. I've been lucky. The only time I remember receiving anything approaching first aid was when I collided at speed with a wasp which got up my nose and stung me before joining that great swarm in the sky. I panicked because of the fear of a bad reaction and stopped a couple of startled riders coming the other way, one of whom whipped out a tissue and removed the mortal remains of the wasp, to my eternal gratitude.

Based on that experience, I'd suggest taking a mirror, although had I been in an urban area, a wing mirror would have worked.

Also, that suggests it gives a warm glow to be able to help others eg fixing a puncture or a broken chain. So, I'd recommend taking a proper first aid course and getting the full monty in terms of panniers full of kit, such as triangular bandages and splints. Perhaps a portable oxygen supply.

But as I said, I've been lucky and I'm grateful for that.

Tangled Metal
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Re: First aid kit?

Postby Tangled Metal » 3 Jun 2019, 12:56pm

mjr wrote:Bigger kit in the car? A support/team car for family rides? ;) bryn will be along shortly.

Drive to ride obviously! :wink: