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Mike, kits such as these are often very overpriced, and the contents can be procured individually at a fraction of the cost. The biggest problem with any of these prepackaged kits is they have a lot of things that will never be used, especially if the user does not have a medical background and a high level of training. Not many folks will be placing a splint on a broken limb, especially if it's a compound fracture. And, you can make a reasonable splint from a couple battens and some ace bandage for a simple fracture.

One of the best kits I've come across is a WWII battlefield kit, which is housed in a 50-caliber ammo box. I picked it up at an army surplus store for $25.

Good Luck,

Gary :cool:
 

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Did you notice the expiration date 1/1/1948 :laugher
Most items in a first aid kit never expire - but the owners do. Keep in mind that an unused kit, one that has never been opened, is completely sealed from outside air by a tight fitting gasket around the rim. It would be quite difficult to contaminate the contents under these circumstances.

As for organizing the items, this depends upon your organizational skills. Some folks know where every item in their boat is located, and some even have a chart of item locations. First aid kits are pretty easy to organize, and if you set it up correctly, a great kit can be put together for under $500 and the includes the cost of the air tight Pelican case. Or you can pay some outfit to sell you a cheap, compartmentalized plastic box, one that is anything but weather proof, with a bunch of gauze bandages and Band-Aids of various sizes, a couple rolls of tape, a bunch of aspirin in tiny packets of two tablets each, some first aid creams, and a very generic first aid instruction pamphlet. My brother purchased a WM first aid kit like that for about $75 several years ago. It was a piece of junk.

Good luck,

Gary :cool:
 

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Zanshin, I have three-year-old surgical gloves in my kit that look and feel as good as the day they were packaged. Looking at that photo you posted, I believe that what you are observing is a typical reaction of latex and another forum of plastic have when they come in contact with each other. Surgical gloves are usually packaged in sterile paper containers so this does not happen. When latex turns to goo, it's quite similar to what happens when plastic fishing worms are placed in certain plastic tackle boxes, which anyone that has fished for a few years knows exactly what I'm describing.

I have a large Pelican case, one that originally housed three 33mm cameras, lenses and several rolls of film. That case has a vent in the bottom for when the case is placed on an airplane so it will not explode when transported at high altitudes. If that vent is open, then moisture can enter the case.

Also, I have a desiccant, moisture absorbing package in the case, one that does a great job of eliminating any form of moisture, humid, salt air, wide temperature swing induced condensation. That pack gets changed about every three months - just to be on the safe side. I also have desiccant packs in all my pill containers for the very same reason. You can purchase the desiccant crystals at numerous locations and they're not expensive.

One of the items that came with my WWII kit was an endo-tracheal tube, an item that I know how to use quite well, and invaluable in battlefield conditions. I've never seen one in any first aid kit other than military kits, but if someone has a severe allergic reaction to something, it is a go-to item that can often make the difference between live and death. I also have a trocar tracheotomy set in the kit, which I hope I never have to use, but I have the training to use it if necessary.

The biggest hurdle to overcome with medical treatment is if you are sailing single handed. It's very difficult to treat yourself when you have been severely injured. I fell through the hatch of my old 27 Catalina one afternoon and broke two ribs. The pain was excruciating, and despite the fact that my wife was with me, she had absolutely no sailing experience at that time whatsoever. I had to bring the boat back to the marina, tie it up, get off the boat, and she drove me to the nearest ER where the ER doc said "well, they didn't punch through your lungs, they're broken, but now you have to take a couple months off from work and allow them to hear. Oh, try not to cough." He game me some pain pills and my wife drove me home. Had I broken a leg or arm, the situation would have been far more difficult to handle by myself.

Sorry for the rant,

Gary :cool:
 

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Maybe some of you folks can clear something up for me. For a large skin tear or abrasion, traditionally you cleaned it and covered it, let it scab over and heal "dry".
More recently, sprinkling some quikclot or similar to scab it and seal it quickly.
But now I'm seeing that type of large skin wound treated by covering with a hydrophillic (vaseline-ish) dressing like Dermagran-B instead to heal 'moist'.
What's better for what criteria?
For abrasions, the best remedy, and the safest, is to thoroughly clean the wound, then cover it with an antibiotic salve such as Bacitracin Ointment, which is then covered with a gauze bandage. The bandage should be changed every day and the wound recoated until it heals properly. This not only helps prevent infection, but additionally will help prevent scaring.

For tears or deeper cuts in the skin, sutures may be required, but unless you have someone aboard that knows how to do this, and have some topical anesthetics, this is usually not an option. Under these circumstances, after cleaning the wound thoroughly and stopping the blooding, a series of butterfly bandages covered with a pressure dressing usually will do the job. Again, an antibiotic ointment should be applied to prevent infection and the bandage should be changed daily.

Hope this helps,

Gary :cool:
 

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Many years ago, when I worked in Surgical Research, we experimented with Crazy Glue, which back then was called Eastman 910, made by Eastman Kodak.

Every year, people died from liver lacerations in car wrecks, mainly because there was no way to stop the bleeding. It is impossible to successfully suture a person's lacerated liver, and you cannot live without one.

The Eastman 910 (crazy glue) solved this problem. We placed a small vial of glue in a Crossman pellet pistol, one that was fired by a C02 cartridge, blotted the lacerated liver with a surgical gauze sponge, and fired the glue at the laceration. The glue came out in a fine vapor that totally covered the liver, bubbled for a few seconds, then completely sealed everything. No more bleeding. We then glued the laceration back together with the 910, and after several months, circulation had been restored in the laceration area, which was amazing.

Crazy glue is currently in use for small lacerations, particularly on the fingertips, where healing can be somewhat difficult because of constant use of the hands and difficulty in preventing pressure or contact with the would surfaces. I've also seen it used in place of sutures in skin lacerations, and it seemed to do a great job. Minimal scaring and no possibility of suture infections, which are quite common.

I have it onboard for other reasons, but in a pinch, it may be a good addition to a first aid kit as well. However, I would also have some crazy glue solvent onboard, too - just in case you happen to touch your fingers together while applying it to a wound.

Good Luck,

Gary :cool:
 

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I know when we sprayed it on a lacerated liver, it got extremely hot for a few seconds before hardening. We were told by Kodak it was because we used it in a vapor form, which triggered an unusual reaction.

Gary :cool:
 
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