10 essential first aid items for medicos
Thursday, 15 September, 2016
You may think of first aid kits as being purely for the layperson. But nobody is immune to the possibility of unforeseen medical emergencies and for healthcare workers, a workplace first aid kit should always be available and kept up to date.
All employees, from admin staff to the cleaning team, should be prepared to administer basic first aid treatment to themselves or their colleagues in workplace emergency situations. For effective first aid responses, these 10 essential first aid items should be accessible to all.
10 first aid essentials
1. Individually Wrapped Adhesive Dressings
In the course of your daily duties you may incur a range of surface wounds, from paper cuts to blisters or deeper scratches. Hygiene is paramount for medical professionals, so keep an assortment of adhesive dressings (or Band-Aids) in different shapes and sizes on hand, to protect wounds and prevent infection.
2. Antiseptic Swabs & Wipes
When cuts, scratches or grazes happen at work, superficial wounds can quickly lead to more serious infection. Keep an assortment of antiseptic swabs and wipes in your first aid kit, to protect yourself and patients from exposure to infection.
3. Antiseptic Spray
If untreated, minor cuts and scratches can cause serious infection. Hospitals and clinics are potential breeding grounds for the spread of illness and infection. Stock your first aid kit with a bottle of antiseptic liquid spray to treat wounds on the spot.
4. Instant Ice Pack
Every first aid kit should contain an instant ice pack. These nifty lightweight ice packs offer instant relief when you experience swelling or skin reactions, or in the event of unexpected back pain or inflammation.
5. CPR Kit
A swift CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) response can mean the difference between life and death. CPR is commonly used to aid patients, but there is always a chance that the procedure may need to be used on a colleague or co-worker in an emergency situation. Your workplace first aid kit should therefore contain a CPR kit, including a disposable resuscitation mask, antiseptic wipes, gloves and instructions.
6. Stainless Steel Tweezers
Tweezers can help remove splinters, glass shards or other fine objects that have become lodged in the skin.
7. Pressure Bandages
When unexpected injuries occur in the workplace, pressure bandages are useful to treat strained limbs and reduce swelling. If you suspect that your colleague has broken or fractured a bone at work, these bandages can double as a temporary sling until professional medical treatment is available.
8. Scissors or Bandage Shears
In most emergency situations, bandages need to be cut or trimmed to size. Keep your first aid kit stocked with bandage shears and ensure that the blades are sharpened periodically so that, when emergency strikes, they are ready for action.
9. Nitrile Gloves
When dealing with open wounds, it’s critical to maintain sanitary conditions. A pair of nitrile gloves can help minimise the spread of germs and bacteria. Make sure that your first aid kit contains at least one fresh pair of gloves.
10. First Aid Guide
When emergency strikes, respondents often forget first aid training in the heat of the moment. Don’t let nerves or stress get the better of you. Equip your first aid kit with a comprehensive first aid booklet that explains correct responses for various emergency situations. If you have any doubts, the guide will set you straight.
When working in the medical profession, you are surrounded by illness, injuries and emergencies on a daily basis. But not everyone who works in the health industry has the expertise to respond to workplace medical emergencies with professional confidence or accuracy. A well-stocked first aid kit and basic first aid training can help to bridge that knowledge gap when workplace wounds and injuries are sustained.
Sara is the marketing strategist of Survival First Aid Kits, Australia’s leading provider of first aid products for the home, workplace, vehicle and outdoors. Their Emergency First Aid Handbook is the only book to win the Australian Design Award and has sold over 2 million copies.
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