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Thread: First aid kit

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    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    First aid kit

    After the most minor of accidents this weekend (leading to a wound that looked uglier -- and bloodier -- than it really was), I've come round to the idea of carrying a tiny first aid kit around with me to be ready the next time. The challenge is to get it all into a snack-sized ziplock bag, and to be sure that I won't end up with anything I don't know how to use, or anything that ages too much to be useful. Here's what I've come up with so far. I'd welcome any suggestions or improvements:

    --a few ibuprofen for unexpected aches and pains
    --3-4 band aids for small injuries
    --3-4 individually wrapped alcohol wipes to clean off any wound
    --a strip of the stick-to-itself tape, wound carefully off the big roll and wrapped around a cork, for larger injuries -- like the one from the weekend
    --a very tiny swiss army knife, to cut the aforementioned tape
    --surgical gloves. (they can also keep your hands clean during bike repairs)

    I'm also considering:
    --a very small tube of antibiotic cream (though I worry if that would leak in hot weather, or freeze in the winter, and make the rest of the kit useless)
    --an equally small tube of antihistimine cream for insect bites and sunscreen (same reservations as above)

    Any thoughts?
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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    What are the most common injuries that the cyclist could self-treat? I would think road rash and lacerations.

    For those I would take Band-Aid brand Hurt-Free Wound Wash. This is an "anesthetic and first-aid antiseptic liquid" that is used to wash wounds and numb the pain. I would not want to clean wounds with alcohol. It stings and it could damage tissue. Hydrogen peroxide also damages tissue.

    I would also take some sterile gauze sponges to actually wash the wounds gently with the Wound Wash.

    I would not bother trying to dress or bandage road rash until I got home (or to the ER). I might dress a laceration temporarily with one of the 4 by 4s and a piece of tape. For a bleeding wound, I would apply pressure with several 4 by 4s until the bleeding stopped.

    I probably wouldn't bother with all the other stuff you mentioned, unless I was touring. I might take the ibuprofen for a headache. Band-aids are too small for typical wounds and they do not adhere well when moving and sweating. You can tear most tapes, so you would not need scissors. Antibiotic cream is great to use when you get home, or when touring, but is not needed for rough first aid.

    I would not put the first aid items in a snack bag. I would use a small plastic case, possibly a Tupperware type cigarette case purchased at the dollar store.

  3. #3
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    Hmm. Maybe I have to do some rethinking, although I should have made clear that I am really only thinking of really minor injuries. Anything that needs serious work for lacerations and such things is going to be something for a doctor or a hospital. I like the idea of the plastic case, though. Longer lasting and much more sensible.

    But I also added one of those unbreakable mirrors to my list. It has nothing to do with first aid, but should help me find my contact lens when it goes swimming up to the top right corner of my eye. (And I can always use an alcohol wipe to clean my fingers before I try that one).
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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boudicca
    Hmm. Maybe I have to do some rethinking, although I should have made clear that I am really only thinking of really minor injuries. Anything that needs serious work for lacerations and such things is going to be something for a doctor or a hospital. I like the idea of the plastic case, though. Longer lasting and much more sensible.

    But I also added one of those unbreakable mirrors to my list. It has nothing to do with first aid, but should help me find my contact lens when it goes swimming up to the top right corner of my eye. (And I can always use an alcohol wipe to clean my fingers before I try that one).
    A mirror might also be useful if you got a foreign object in your eye. And for getting the helmet bumps out of your hair before you go into the diner.

    Actually, I was thinking about minor stuff too. Road rash looks major and certainly feels major, but it is most often a "minor" problem. Same with many lacerations (cuts and scratches). In these modern times, It's usually too easy to summon professional help to mess around with first aid for any serious injuries like fractures or puncture wounds. Nowadays the most important first aid item is probably a cell phone!

    One more thing -- a card with your name, emergency contact person, medications, chronic conditions, and allergies.

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    Redeemed orthoclase's Avatar
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    I bought a large car-kit-sized first aid kit at Costco for about $20, but it came with a travel pouch that I selectively stocked with stuff from the big kit. A couple of large gauze bandages, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, regular bandages, etc. It folds flat and weighs about 3 oz.
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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Interesting subject. The need for a first aid kit varies depending on the riding. For road rides around home, generally you should need little or nothing since minor scrapes and road rash can wait until you get home and you can probably call for help (medical or a spouse/friend) for anything more serious like fractures. A pair of nitrile examination gloves is a good idea if you ride with people you don't know well to protect yourself if you need to help them.

    However, if you are travelling on a tour or deep into backcountry, help may not be so readily available and a reasonably comprehensive kit, and training to go with it, may be a wise precaution.

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    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    I'd suggest throwing in a small bottle of liquid bandage. When I got some road rash back in June,I used some Nexcare instead of gauze/big band-aids. After you clean the wound,you just spray it on and let it dry. It's waterproof,breathable,doesn't need to be peeled off,and it will cover any size or shape area.

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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder
    I'd suggest throwing in a small bottle of liquid bandage. When I got some road rash back in June,I used some Nexcare instead of gauze/big band-aids. After you clean the wound,you just spray it on and let it dry. It's waterproof,breathable,doesn't need to be peeled off,and it will cover any size or shape area.
    While I like liquid bandage, it's probably not a good thing to use at a crash site because you usually cannot adequately clean a wound without plenty of water. You don't want the liquid bandage to seal in the dirt and it would be that much more to scrub off when you get home (ouch). It's probably best to just cover the wound. A small amount of bleeding is OK and will help clean out the wound.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    While I like liquid bandage, it's probably not a good thing to use at a crash site because you usually cannot adequately clean a wound without plenty of water. You don't want the liquid bandage to seal in the dirt and it would be that much more to scrub off when you get home (ouch). It's probably best to just cover the wound. A small amount of bleeding is OK and will help clean out the wound.
    Yeah, I wouldn't mess too much with it at the scene either, even if I had the supplies. This is kind of off-topic, but I've talked with a wound care nurse at the hospital where I work and devised this care plan for road wash:

    I flood it real good with a whole bottle of water. When I get home, I wash it well with lots of sterile water, or the Band-aid brand Wound Wash. I keep it moist with lots of antibiotic cream. I cover the road rash with non-stick pads, covered with gauze for protection and cushioning if needed, and taped in place real good. (Tape messes with your skin. Paper medical tape is kinder on the skin than other kinds. That clingy gauze is better than tape, but it's too expensive.) Every day, wash the wound gently in the shower, then reapply the antibiotic cream and the bandages. I do this for two or three long weeks. That's very important -- it takes that long to heal over with new pink skin.

    And the results? Four weeks ago, I slid on some pavement and got patches of road rash on my elbow and knee. On the elbow, I followed the procedure above for three weeks. On the knee, I did nothing except wash it every day in the shower. The elbow healed without scabbing and now shows very little scarring. It healed about three days faster than the knee, also. The knee scabbed over, and it now shows a lot of scarring. I preferred the method above, overall, even though it was a lot of bother and pretty expensive.

    Does anybody know other ways to treat road rash?

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    Last one to the top... Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I personally would opt for Aleve instead of Ibuprofen. In my case (some minor arthritis) I find that the anti-inflamatory properties are better (YMMV), and in the case of injury I would think that would be an issue as well. Perhaps a couple of each would be in order.
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    If you're looking to carry something for stopping a serious bleeding wound, I'd skip the gauze pads and pack something that's designed to absorb lots of blood. Check the feminine article section of your closet or local store. Your friends may giggle when they see it in your kit, but the doctors and nurses will congratulate you in the ER.

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    Senior Member rule's Avatar
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    Look at the ones that REI carries for ideas, then put together your own, or buy one and parry it down. I have a very small med kit that is about the size of a patch kit. Ibuprofin, antihistamine, diinfectant towelettes, sting towelettes, antibacterial ointment packet, butterfly closures, non-stick pads, bandaids, and a small duoderm square. The main thing that I added to it was a section fishnet gauze. It's the best thing for holding any pad or wound covering in place on the bike.

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    N_C
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    You can go to almost any sporting goods store & buy a first aid kit that is small enough to fit in a bike bag or jersey pocket. I think you can even find them at places like K-Mart or Target. The contents of the kit are typically in a nylon bag with a zipper so you can keep it closed when you're not using it. They are usually red in color with the white equal sided cross & some of them say FIRST AID KIT on them as well. These kits are more durable then a ziploc baggie & they hold more too. All you have to do as you use the items in the kit is keep it restocked & there is room to add more if you need to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    You can go to almost any sporting goods store & buy a first aid kit that is small enough to fit in a bike bag or jersey pocket. I think you can even find them at places like K-Mart or Target. The contents of the kit are typically in a nylon bag with a zipper so you can keep it closed when you're not using it. They are usually red in color with the white equal sided cross & some of them say FIRST AID KIT on them as well. These kits are more durable then a ziploc baggie & they hold more too. All you have to do as you use the items in the kit is keep it restocked & there is room to add more if you need to.
    I've carried a kit like this for years. In addition, in the past couple years I've carried a "road rash" specific kit...I don't remember the brand...got it at either bikenashbar.com or performancebike.com. Anyway, I did have the occasion to use the first aid kit once. I was hammering up the bottom of a hill, out of the saddle cranking pretty hard, at about 15-16 MPH, and the chain slipped off the crank and I went over the handlebars. I sustained a pretty good bloody knee and elbow/forearm. After coming to my senses, I got out my handy first aid kit, cleaned up the wounds, put on bandages and then limped home. Ever since then, I don't go anywhere on my bike without some form of first aid kit.
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    Chamois Buttr (individual packs)
    I carry some small bandages, ibuprofen, a couple of gauze pads, some antiseptic cream and a small tube of sun screen as well. It's rare that I use my 1st aid kit, but when I do, 9 times out of 10 I reach for the chamois buttr.

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    Senior Member lookinUp's Avatar
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    One additional item is Benedryl capsuls/tablets. If you're slightly alergic to bug bites/stings, this can help and (for me) works better than the Benedryl creme.

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    Ibuprofen or naproxen ("Aleve") is a good idea. For long rides if you start to ache, it's handy. For any ride, if you crash, it can help start treatment right away. For example, when I doored and ended-up with a sprained elbow, the first thing I did was go across the street to get some Aleve (I now try to take some along on rides in a little baggie).

    The other stuff is a big "meh". I guess maybe some antiseptic wipes would be a good idea.
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    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Definitely antibiotic cream. As far as alcohol wipes, don't bother. You will probably have water with you, right? Use that. Using alcohol or peroxide to clean a wound is not a good idea. It kills otherwise healthy tissue in the wound, and it doesn't get everything out anyway. Give it a good wash with plenty of water, then bandage. Antibiotic cream is good if you have road rash, it'll keep the dressing from sticking to the wound and possibly pulling growing scab material off and reopening the wound.

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    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    A bandana. and the water in my water bottle. Sometimes there's a couple of band aids in my ID wallet. salt tabs in a glassine bag in my seatpouch.

    anything else can
    A)wait until I get home
    B) buy at the next store
    C) ask the guys in the ambulance

    The bandana gets used a lot more often for non first aid stuff during rides.

    for tours and off road rides I pack a full first aid kit with lots of absorbtive bandages, narcotic meds, EMT shears and the like.

    and the most often overlooked first aid items for preventative aid during long rides are sunscreen and adequate salt and water in my opinion.

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    Senior Member jph6t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 04sctj
    I've carried a kit like this for years. In addition, in the past couple years I've carried a "road rash" specific kit...I don't remember the brand...got it at either bikenashbar.com or performancebike.com.
    Like this?

    http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...ry_rn=4500870&

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    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    I bought a couple of these kits from the person who started it, I cannot find his info anymore.. he had a small and large version of a cycling 1st aid kit.. The link below is for the large 1st aid kit.. They are very small and come in handy.. It's amazing that it can all fit in such a small package, fortunately I have only had to use it once on a century.. Click the link for more photos to see actual size..

    http://www.bikemania.biz/KRASH_KIT_C...p/krashkit.htm

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