The Bare Minimum Basics that Should be in All First Aid Kits

Discussion in 'First Aid Kit' started by SurvivalGirl87, Apr 26, 2016.

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  1. SurvivalGirl87

    SurvivalGirl87 Member
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    When it comes to putting together a first aid emergency supply kit, there are some basic things I would recommend anyone to have. These are things that you may think are not super important or are not a necessity, but when the situation and time calls for them, you will be glad you have these items on hand. One thing that I like to have in all of my first aid kits is some basic hand sanitizer. Don't forget Band-Aids and bandages along with adhesive tape as well.

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    An ointment such as an antibacterial ointment or triple antibiotic ointment is also an essential item in anyone's first aid kit. A box of strike-anywhere waterproof matches will also come in great handy when you least expect it. A thermometer to help monitor a body's temperature is another useful item. Pre-packaged aspirin and pre-packaged Tylenol along with a small bottle of Eugenol oil is another great idea.
    Making sure to have items that can withstand temperate climates as well as keeping these items fresh and within their expiration dates is always a suggested step to take. Keeping a granola bar, raisins, and bottled water with or near your first-aid kit is also a great idea, and it's something that oftentimes people will overlook. In a situation that requires first aid often times food and water would be a big help.
     
  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Personal medications are also very important, long term they will not last of course, then we must do the best we can.
    We have more medical kits that you can shake a stick at! One in each of our vehicles, one in each pack, & another large cabinet medical kit in the house plus first aid supplies in the kitchen & the bathroom. Most of the family are trained in first aid.
    I must admit that the one I carry on Historical Treks is a very basic one, but if the shtf we will have plenty of medical kits to go around.
    Keith.
    [​IMG]
    My personal living history medical kit.
     
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  3. Tessa

    Tessa Member
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    Being able to stop bleeding is hugely important. I can't do sutures well enough to be of any use, so I bought a stapler from a company that sells first aid supplies for hunting dogs. I hope I never have to use it, but it might keep me or someone else from bleeding to death vsomeday. I also keep big bottles of betadyne on hand, along with the bandage wrap that clings to itself. The wrap was also bought from a pet supplier because it's half the price of the drug store version, look for "vet wrap".
     
  4. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Good post Tessa, & thank you. I have often wondered about vet supplies. I wonder if they have anything else of use that they are legally allowed to sell to the public.
    One word of caution in regards to stitching or stapling wounds; make sure the wound is totally clean first. Sealing in contamination will only make things worse. Fresh urine from a healthy person is good for cleaning wounds if you have nothing else.
    Keith.
     
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  5. Lisa Davis

    Lisa Davis Active Member
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    People often overlook the use of fresh urine from a healthy person. Urine is sterile. If you need something to clean someone's wound and no fresh water is available, this is the best thing. Actually, it may be better than getting fresh water from a stream or lake because it has the potential of containing bacteria and other things that could only make a wound worse.
     
  6. Tessa

    Tessa Member
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    I wouldn't go anywhere near any of our bodies of water around here to flush a wound unless I had the time and resources to boil the water first, there's just too much in the water to be concerned about. Florida usually has at least a couple cases a year of the naegleria fowleri amoeba killing someone. It isn't common, but it's serious enough that I won't risk it.

    A lot of people are under the impression that salt water is always safer than fresh, I see a lot of comments from people online telling people to go wade in the ocean if they have any sort of cuts or wounds that they want healed up. It always makes me cringe because they apparently haven't heard of vibrio vulnificus. Infections aren't super common, but they're seriously nasty when they do happen. People have died, and others have had to have limbs amputated. Even with salt water, I'd boil it before using it anywhere near an open wound.
     
  7. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    With wading in salt water a lot depends on where you actually are!
    Is it clean pristine coastline or a polluted slime pond!
     
  8. Lakeisha Brown

    Lakeisha Brown New Member
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    I would definitely have a tourniquet in my first aid kit. Tourniquet slows down bleeding in case a person loses a limb or has a womb that is bleeding at a rapid pace.
     
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  9. Tessa

    Tessa Member
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    The water here is beautiful and crystal clear, I actually have a pic from one of our recent days at the beach that I'm attaching, it's of two sand dollars in about a foot of water. (Hmm, I wonder if you can eat those guys?) I'm right on the Gulf of Mexico and we have miles and miles of beaches. Nice to visit, but not so nice when it comes to attracting loud and obnoxious visitors. :)



    The vibrio vulnificus bacteria lives in warm salt water and has made the news here in recent years because it's killing a handful of beach-goers every year. It's pretty rare, but I'm still cautious about cuts and scrapes at the beach now.
     

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  10. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    I do not have a tourniquet in my first aid kit!
    I have a small vacuum sealed trauma pack on me!
    The pack consists of a Tourniquet, two number 15 bandages, shears and two sets of gloves
    Tourniquet to slow/stop bleeding, shears to cut clothing away, gloves to reduce contamination, one gause/bandage for the in hole and another for any out hole!
    I have two packs for each member of the group! plus a monster medical kit!
     
  11. Cara

    Cara New Member
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    Adding to being able to stop the bleeding I think knowing how to make and apply a tourniquet. If the situation is dire enough a tourniquet can be the difference between life and death. Also knowing basic anatomy of major arteries can also help to, being able to apply pressure in the correct spots to slow bleeding. Using vet supplies is a great idea. Some of the creams and ointments used for cows and horses can be used for basic first aid and can be cheaper for the quantity your getting. You can get them at any farm supply store, if you have one near you or the internet if you don't.
     
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  12. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    I think knowing how to make and apply a tourniquet.
    Make some or buy some now!
    If you ever need one you will have but a few seconds to apply one!
    Keep one handy!
     
  13. glreese

    glreese Member
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    When it comes to making a survival kit there are a few things that would be essential in mine. I think nail clippers, bottled water, Advil, matches, some snack foods. I would also put bandages, alcohol for open wounds. Canned food would also be a good idea because it lasts a long time. I knife is also something extremely important. A gun and ammunition if possible is a great idea. Possibly a tent would be a good idea in case I am without shelter. I would also maybe put a small pot to cook with inside my survival kit. I would also include a pair of gloves and a face mask.
     
  14. DaBozzLady

    DaBozzLady Member
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    With the bare essentials, comes the bare minimum needed in case of multiple events that we might face that fall into one of the five categories: fire, water, shelter, food and health. Something like a filter to purify water if stored water is gone. Good options are filtration straws or stainless steel bottles that can be used for boiling. For shelter, carry things that can be used for multi-purposes like a poncho, tarps, reflective blankets or even trash bags. To start fires, use the same, items that can be used for dual purposes like cooking, drying clothes , warmth or light. Items to include would be lighters, waterproof matches, rod fire starters and tinder options that you can become familiar with.

    Food will keep you mentally strong as well as prevent disease. It is key to learn how to scavenge, fish and plant harvest. Keep items that you can rotate out and that are dried as well as options like canned goods that don't require a lot of preparation and consider options that can be eaten cold. Knives serve purposes of protection and to be able to use to help clean food as well. As far as health is concerned, there are multiple options that will assist when necessary like flashlights, flares, surgical gauze/tape, tweezers, alcohol wipes and duct tape, to name a few. It is also a good idea to carry and know how to use a compass.
     
  15. Colorado Prepper

    Colorado Prepper Expert Member
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    I remember years ago being certified in the Army as CLS (Combat Life Saver). It was a 40 hour class to teach you basics of trauma. How and where to apply a tourniquet, how to properly dress wounds of different types, how to splint, and how to do a chest decompression procedure for a sunken chest wound. One of the things I'll never forget is when they told us to make sure we put tampons in our FAKs because through trial and error over the years, the medics found that shoving a tampon in a bullet hole is quick and very effective to stop bleeding. So I have always added those to my first aid repertoire.
     
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  16. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Good post CP.
    Keith.
     
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  17. lalakai

    lalakai Well-Known Member
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    very good thread to resurrect.

    First aid kits should be built the same way you build your survival kit...start with the most basic and critical items. Too many people want to fill a day bag with med supplies. Start slow and tailor your kit to your needs. A person in our group is a national guard medic and he usually has 3 different first aid kits. A personal kit that always goes with him, a larger kit that stays in the vehicle, and the base camp kit that could probably supply an ambulance. Others talked about them and this guy keeps several with him.....the pressure bar tourniquets. And he gets extremely pissed when someone comes in with a cheap chinese knock-off that he wouldn't use on a zombie. Spend the money and get a good one. His rule with the tourniquet.....high and tight.........and don't touch it. If the bleeding didn't stop, use another one instead of re-setting the first.
     
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  18. Sonofliberty

    Sonofliberty Master Survivalist
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    Here is my small personal IFAK
    Belt First Aid
    Kit: (Small First Aid Kit in small plastic container)
    Band-aids,
    Sutures, thread, (2) Needles
    tourniquet
    Large Bandages
    Triple Antibiotic Ointment,
    Tweezers,
    4 Packets Yellow Mustard (Burn Treatment)
    Antiseptic Wipes, Foil Wrapped
    (4)Aspirin, (4)Ibuprofin, (2) Acetaminophen, (2) Cold/Flu Capsules, (4) Cipro, (2) No-Doze, (4) Sinus Meds, (1)Athletes foot/Crotch rot creme, (2) Naproxen, Vaseline, compression bandage, superglue, smelling salts, allergy meds, hydrocortizone, (4) immodium,
     
  19. Radar

    Radar Expert Member
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    Not sure where to put this...
    I read recently that blue minty mouthwash can repel mosquitoes and I personally do not care for using DEET.
    Being outside for a while I applied mouthwash to my arms, neck and ankles. It worked.
     
  20. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Mossies are attracted to your breath, so I can see how mouthwash may help, but usage on the skin! Well done Radar.
    Keith.
     
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  21. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    surgical sewing needles , thread , surgical glue . antibiotics ,antiseptic , probe for extracting bullets . From the animal vet shelf "over counter " vetericyn , it's a spray for animals . Also works great on humans for healing up minor wounds . Minor holes will heal up super fast using this spray .
     
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  22. Sonofliberty

    Sonofliberty Master Survivalist
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    Have you tried using mint?
     
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  23. GateCrasher

    GateCrasher Expert Member
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    I'm a big believer in building your own first-aid kits instead of buying off the shelf ones, and if you build more than one (like one for each car) then I'd suggest building them identically, or Murphy's Law guarantees the item you need at the time is in the other kit which is miles away. Ask me how I know...

    Instead of a list of what I have in mine, thought it might help to list some items that have more than one use. Packing items that have multiple uses saves space, weight, and cost. Some items with more than one use that gets put in all my kits are:

    - Meclizine (Dramamine II/Antivert). Besides it's use for treating vertigo, motion sickness, and nausea, common side affects of meclizine which might be desirable are:
    drowsiness (mild sedative) which can help with anxiety or insomnia.
    hypotension (lowers blood pressure), for those that forgot or ran out of their blood pressure medication.
    potentiates the pain relieving effects of opiod drugs like codeine or oxycodone. Smaller dose of pain drug, same pain relieving effect.

    - Povidone Iodine (Betadine)*. Antiseptic for wounds, disinfect instruments before use, treatment for some skin and eye infections, and can be used to:
    Disinfect water for drinking (not effective against some microbes, but better than nothing).
    Thyroid protection from radioactive iodine (used topically, not internally).
    *Often needs to be diluted first, don't put full strength betadine in your eye for example!

    - Aspirin. Treating pain, fever, inflammation, and may help someone having a heart attack. Not used when bleeding is, or might, occur.

    - Liquid Benedryl (diphenhydramine) capsules - The liquid form enters the bloodstream faster, especially if left under the tongue to be absorbed sublingually. Also mild sedative like meclizine.

    - Ranitidine (Zantac) - Besides heartburn, can help treat a bleeding ulcer and may help with severe allergic reactions when used together with H1 blockers like benedryl. Tagamet or Pepcid works too, but Zantac is the fastest working of the H2 blockers so I stock that.

    - Headlamp. Having an extra torch/flashlight never hurts, and leaves both hands free.

    - Splinter kit. Tweezers, straight and safety pins, razor blades, Bic lighter (for sterilizing the pins/blades). Besides band-aids this is the most often used item in my first-aid kits. I keep everything in an Altoids tin so it's altogether in one place inside the larger kit.

    - 3% Hydrogen Peroxide. Not really recommended for use on wounds anymore, but the bubbling action can help loosen embedded dirt if you're low on clean water. Emergency emetic (makes you vomit) for poisonings/oral drug overdose if other methods like tickling the back of the throat doesn't work too, SHTF use only except maybe for animals.

    - Eyeglasses repair kit (the kind with the magnifying glass). Besides repairing eyeglasses the magnifying glass can help you see small objects, and it's another means of starting a fire. The first-aid kits is just where I chose to store them.

    - Sunscreen. Dual use skin moisturizer and sun protection. Ounce of prevention, one stone (or some metaphor like that :) ).

    - Nasal saline spray. Besides nasal moisturizer, it's clean water for irrigating small wounds, and emergency eyewash solution. Look for the kind in the plastic bottles with the multi-function tip (hold bottle upright for a spray, horizontal for a stream, or upside down for a drop).
     
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  24. Radar

    Radar Expert Member
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    I don't have any mint handy or growing nearby at this time, but skeeters seem to be more prolific than I ever remember.
     
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  25. Radar

    Radar Expert Member
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    Have you heard of "stop the bleed kits"? Compressed gauze for bullet wounds, stab wounds, etc. Have you ever treated a gsw? Me neither, but it can go south real quick.
     
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  26. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    The BARE minimum...Sterile gauze and duct tape or good electrical tape. A small bottle of various pills might be nice but most of the needs are available in nature if you know what to use. I have actually used thin strips of tape to close up wounds before and it worked amazingly well. I cleaned the wound, taped it closed and then bandaged over it with gauze and more tape. I was on vacation and camping and wasn't going to mess it up with going in for stitches. It healed perfectly and didn't even leave a scar like 4 or 5 stitches would have. Now I might use super glue.
     
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  27. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    Very interesting!! I will definitely give this a try. I am the mosquito magnet. If I am there everyone else is safe. They (the mosquitoes) will all be attacking me.
     
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  28. duke in wales

    duke in wales Expert Member
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    The use by date more often than not does not mean a lot https://www.npr.org/sections/health...te-may-be-more-myth-than-fact?t=1566740974678

    Army trials how shown most antibiotics still working a decade or more past their UBD, things like Aspirin and Paracetamol will last longer than you or me. There are dates on packs of sterile dressings but if the pack has not been compromised then use them.

    My packs go from basic to advanced but they all carry a minimum of one Israeli dressing. I do have hemostatic agents like Celox but tests show that direct pressure can be equally as efficient as these agents and remember wounds full of Celox need cleaning out, not easy to the untrained.

    In a basic kit is:
    Aspirin
    Paracetamol
    Ibuprofen
    Tramadol
    Anti Histamine
    Tube of Dermabond (don't use superglue on a wound)
    Few bandaid
    Roll of Micropore
    Gauze pads
    Small pair of Lister bandage scissors.
    Safety pins
    LED button torch
    Temperture strip
     
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  29. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Add an RX prescription mouth wash/rinse.
     
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  30. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    An item that many people seem not to carry these days is an eyewash glass. Getting something in your eye is easily done, & it can be very debilitating! I always carry one when away from home.
    Keith.
     
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  31. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Very good point Keith. Having an affinity for getting foreign objects in my eyes, the eye cup is a great add to a first aid kit. Thanks for the reminder.
     
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  32. duke in wales

    duke in wales Expert Member
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    I don't pack an eye wash in my basic kit, good call, I'll include a strip of 5 x 20ml or 5 x 5ml saline washes we carry in bigger kits for just such a use although the 5ml are more for using in a Nebuliser.
     
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  33. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    This is an answer I get a lot when I mention the use of an eye wash glass, but the problem is, that these saline washes do not last for ever, one use & that's it. You want to carry a lot of them & you have weight & bulk, not much granted, but you still have the problem of sustainability. Personally I have found the eyewash glass more efficient than saline washes.
    Keith.
     
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  34. duke in wales

    duke in wales Expert Member
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    The saline washes are perfect for on the go kits or bigger kits but at camp you have the luxury of more space/sterile conditions and using an eye bath would be fine. That said a clean syringe is very effective as a way of giving a flush.
     
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  35. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    I subscribe to Duke in Wales philosophy re prep while on the go and for at camp.

    This thread's theme also supports my view that for an evac a hard hat is a must wear item. Mine has a pivotable face shield.
     
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  36. Sonofliberty

    Sonofliberty Master Survivalist
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    Visine comes in a squirt bottle. It makes application very easy.
     
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  37. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good afternoon Gate Crasher and all,

    Ref the mentioned "Bic Lighter";

    Does the Bic meet or exceed use in all temperatures with reservoir leak-proof ?

    Any additional related comments appreciated. I'm making a change for weight reduction.
     
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  38. GateCrasher

    GateCrasher Expert Member
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    Never had a problem with the Bic lighters leaking in storage, even kept in vehicles where the temps ranged from about -20 to 110 (F). Don't leave them in the direct sun however. In cold temps it's sometimes necessary to warm them for a few seconds in your hand before they'll lite. I only buy (name brand) Bic ones, some cheap discount brand ones are fragile and break easily (like the striker wheel falling off).
     
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  39. GateCrasher

    GateCrasher Expert Member
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    I thought aspirin degraded rather quickly compared to other drugs. The coated tablets should last longer since they help keep air and moisture away from the drug, those are the kind I buy to store.
     
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  40. duke in wales

    duke in wales Expert Member
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    I buy all my meds when I can in blister packs, aspirin will last many years packed like that. I don't like tablets or capsules carried loose in bottles which get shaken about. We were taught to use Ibuprofen/Paracetamol combination for general pain relief and use Aspirin with someone who has maybe had a heart attack to help thin your blood (carry both tablet and soluble type). In very general terms don't give Ibuprofen or Aspirin to someone with stomach problems as they can make stomach ulcers or bleeds worse, certainly don't give for any length of time.
     
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  41. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Thank you, Gate Crasher.
     
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  42. GateCrasher

    GateCrasher Expert Member
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    I've read that the Ibuprofen and Paracetamol combination approaches the pain relief of opioid drugs, good idea to not just stock one but have different over-the-counter pain relievers. Some aspirin tablets have enteric coatings, so they don't dissolve until they reach the intestines. The caution on bleeding still applies with them, but a good choice for storage since they should last longer with the enteric coating and be less of a concern for people with stomach ulcers. .02 per tablet instead of .01 for the non-coated (according to Amazon), but maybe worth it.

    Found the research paper about the 30-40 yr old drugs they tested from your NPR article link above, attached.
     
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  43. duke in wales

    duke in wales Expert Member
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    IV paracetamol is by all accounts very effective as pain relief and is used in hospitals more and more these days rather than jumping straight in with IV Opioids.

    Thanks for the link. I can't find one I read which was based on US Army trials, it was in deapth and extensive...I'll try again to find it.

    One thing to keep an eye on is sticking plasters, the adhesive used sometimes breaks down after a few years making them all but useless.
     
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  44. GateCrasher

    GateCrasher Expert Member
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    I had to google "sticking plasters", truly we are two peoples separated by a common language :)

    I have a few docs with some results of the US DoD/FDA Shelf Life Extension Program, but always looking for more. Maybe a new thread.
     
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