World First Aid Day 2023: Essentials to include in your emergency medical kit
World First Aid Day is being observed on September 9 this year. Here's a list of items your emergency medical kit should include.
First aid plays a crucial role in emergency medical situations and can prove to be lifesaving in case of heart attacks, seizures, strokes, road accidents etc. It could be a set of life-saving techniques or basic medicines for certain illnesses, bandages, pain killers, or ointments. It is important to have knowledge and awareness about things like CPR, Heimlich manoeuvre, controlling bleeding, use of AED, how to take care of snake bites among others. First aid can be provided by a bystander, a family member or a colleague. In case of a sudden injury or illness, bystanders may play an essential role before the arrival of ambulance or admission to a hospital. (Also read: World First Aid Day 2023: Date, history, significance)
World First Aid Day is observed annually on the second Saturday of every September to create awareness around the role of first aid in saving lives. This year the day is being celebrated on September 9 and its theme is 'First Aid in the Digital World' which promotes utilisation of digital tools and its resources that aid in the provision of first aid education.
One must always be ready to provide this crucial help to anyone who's in need and thus it is important to keep an emergency medical kit ready.
Dr Kishore Kumar, Neonatologist and Paediatrician, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru in an interview with HT Digital shares essentials that help control bleeding or address an injury in case of an accident.
An emergency medical kit is crucial for providing immediate care during unexpected situations. Here are some essentials to include:
• Adhesive bandages: Various sizes for covering wounds and minor injuries.
• Sterile gauze and dressings: Used for larger wounds and to control bleeding.
• Adhesive tape: To secure bandages and dressings in place.
• Antiseptic wipes or solution: For cleaning wounds and preventing infection.
• Scissors: To cut tape, gauze, clothing, or other materials.
• Thermometer: To monitor body temperature.
• Digital thermometer: Accurate and safe for children
• Cotton balls or swabs: Useful for cleaning or applying ointments.
• Disposable gloves: To protect both the caregiver and patient.
• Pain relievers: Over-the-counter medications.
• CPR face shield or mask: For performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation safely.
• Instant cold packs: To reduce swelling and soothe injuries.
• Burn cream or gel: For treating minor burns.
• Prescription medications: If someone in your family has specific medical conditions, keep their necessary medications on hand.
• Emergency contact numbers: A list of important phone numbers, including local emergency services, doctors, and family members.
• Personal information: Copies of identification, medical history, and insurance information.
• Ideally every emergency kit needs to have a defibrillator and every citizen needs to be trained in CPR: In most Scandinavian countries they have defibrillator every few yards to help resuscitation. It is a long shot in India. Ss a first step, let us hope CPR training is made mandatory for all citizens, which can save lots of lives.
• Also, every citizen should carry an 'alert' badge in their wallet – listing the medications they are on and the medical conditions they have – which could help in emergencies. Like if someone is diabetic and falls unconscious, the first thing we know we need to correct is his low sugars.
"Remember to regularly check and update your emergency medical kit, ensure that everyone in your household knows where it’s kept, and consider any specific medical needs of your family members when customizing the kit. Additionally, it’s essential to have basic first aid training to effectively use these supplies in emergencies," says Dr Kumar.