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The ups and downs of being a public spirited citizen around public… - John C. Kirk — LiveJournal

Oct. 7th, 2006

03:58 pm

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From:johnckirk
Date:October 7th, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)
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I guess it was probably a fairly minor thing that the staff are used to happening fairly regularly...

I wouldn't have thought it was that common. Putting it another way, I assume that they have staff on duty with basic first aid training, so it should be unusual and/or urgent for them to require assistance from the public. (I'm guessing that the average member of station staff doesn't know all the details between doctors/nurses/paramedics/etc. in terms of their skill levels, so they didn't specifically need someone who could prescribe drugs or suchlike.)

Perhaps keeping a first aid kit with a big red cross on it in your bag might do?

I keep gloves and a pocket mask in my rucksack, sometimes with my SJA ID card. I could carry my tabard too (high-vis waistcoat thing), but I don't want to lug too much stuff around all the time :)
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From:sammoore
Date:October 7th, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC)
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I carry a few things almost all the time.

I have a small field hosptial in my car and I carry a comprehensive (right up to SAM splints) on most activities, whether with my friends or with a group for work.

This shows the small kit I made up to increase the odds of me saving the life of someone when weight/size matters. Mostly this is climbing or mountaineering but I have also used it for travelling. It is tiny (see the biro next to it), waterproof and could easily live in the bottom of a bag.

Sam
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From:johnckirk
Date:October 7th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
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Interesting, thanks. I have been issued with a small "bum-bag" first aid kit by SJA, but it doesn't hold much, and I need to get it restocked. The main problem with things like gauze is that they have "use by" dates, so there's a trade-off in buying enough stuff to avoid running out without buying too much so that you'll have to throw some away. In my case, when I'm off-duty I'm normally in a well-populated area rather than somewhere remote, e.g. if I'm at a station then I assume that I could use their first aid kit to make a sling.

I bought a few things from St John Supplies recently, but they don't expire - pocket mask, penlight, tough cut scissors, and stethoscope. The stethoscope is for me to practice hearing a pulse with, so I won't be carrying that around with me (or at least not until I'm ambulance trained). My uniform shirts have a special pocket to hold pen lights (the chest pocket on the left hand side has a separate section about 1cm across), so I'll carry that with me on duty, but probably not the rest of the time. I'm not sure about the tough cuts, mainly because I might get awkward questions if they set off metal detectors and/or get classed as a weapon.
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From:sammoore
Date:October 7th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
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I carry tough-cuts in my big kit. I have never had any problems and they have been very useful for all manner of things, not just first aid. (Have you tried cutting a penny in half?)

I can't see that carrying a pair of scissors of any sort will get you in trouble. Mind you, I routinely carry a 4inch knife as part of my river rescue kit and thats never caused me any problems.
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From:susannahf
Date:October 8th, 2006 09:21 am (UTC)
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The only first aid equipment I routinely carry (ie. every day in town) is a couple of pairs of gloves, and a little tin of plasters, which also houses my emergency medication. I have a mini-maglite on my keyring. I figure that I'm unlikely to need more than this in an urban situation, where an ambulance or full first aid kit should be less than 8 minutes away, plus all of the individual items are useful in their own right (most of the gloves get used for putting chains back on bikes). If I have my usual rucksack with me, I also have alcohol hand gel.

If I'm going somewhere a bit more isolated, or I'm doing something where I might reasonably expect to encounter injuries (eg. an interdepartmental football match), I'll take my little kit, which also has wipes, a variety of dressings, bandages and tape, more plasters/gloves, another mini-mag, a pair of scissors, face mask, space blanket and alcohol hand gel. I'm currently putting together a bigger kit in a small rucksack which will also house things like a steth, ice packs, and a HSE-kit volume of bandages, since I'm doing quite a bit of volunteer work with a local charity, and they often ask me to act as a first aider, so I'd like to have more volume for that.

If I was going walking/climbing, I might want yet another balance of things. It's all to do with the likely risks and availability of help.
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From:shuripentu
Date:October 8th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC)
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Gauze has use-by dates? That's weird; I can't see gauze going off.

In any case, if you have any expired items that you can't use for professional first aid stuff (I can see SJA might get upset if their members were using first aid equipment that wasn't certified totally safe), I'm always happy to make use of them.
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From:johnckirk
Date:October 8th, 2006 02:03 pm (UTC)
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Actually, I'm not 100% sure about gauze, but dressings and so on do have these dates unless they're really ancient; every so often we'll dedicate a class night to going through all our first aid kits and removing the things that have gone past their expiry dates. Anyway, I'll keep you in mind if there's anything that's about to get binned.
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From:sammoore
Date:October 8th, 2006 08:15 pm (UTC)
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My 'personal' first aid kits are stocked with the items that have gone out of date from my 'work' kit. When the dressing I have fails to save someones life because it is 1 month past its useby date I will change this system :-)


Sam
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From:susannahf
Date:October 8th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
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sterile gauze does, because they can't guarantee it's sterile after a certain time. But like sammoore says, it's unlikely to kill someone (unless it's obviously mouldy, which I have seen before now on dressings that are over 20 years old and have been kept in a cardboard box in a damp shed).
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