Essential contents of a first aid box
What is first aid
It is a first skilled treatment administered to a sick or injured person by a first aider which helps preserve life, prevent condition from worsening and enhance recovery. First aid can include cleaning minor cuts, scrapes, or scratches; treating a minor burn; applying bandages and dressings; the use of non-prescription medicine; draining blisters; removing debris from the eyes; massage; and drinking fluids to relieve heat stress.
There are many situations which may require first aid, and many countries have legislation, regulation, or guidance which specifies a minimum level of first aid provision in certain circumstances. This can include specific training or equipment to be available in the workplace (such as an Automated External Defibrillator), the provision of specialist first aid cover at public gatherings, or mandatory first aid training within schools.
Limitations of first aid
The nature of first aid means that most people will only have a limited knowledge, and in emergency situations, first aiders are advised to FIRST seek professional help. This is done by calling, or assigning an able bystander to call, an emergency number, which is 9-1-1 in many places. There is no worldwide common emergency number. The European Union has established 1-1-2 as the universal emergency number for all its member states. The GSM mobile phone standard designates 1-1-2 as an emergency number, so it will work on GSM systems to contact help, even in North America. In the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, the numbers 999, 112 and 911 all work in parallel. In emergency situations, it is important that the responder seek help immediately, seeking professional help by other means, if telephone contact is unavailable. The risks of inadvertently doing further injury to a victim, and/or the responder sustaining injury themselves while applying aid, can often outweigh the benefits of applying immediate treatment.
Essential content of the first aid box and their uses
- A box of adhesive dressing (Plasters) of different sizes for covering small wounds. A roll of plaster (Cloth backed, plasticized or micro-pore tape). Blunt-ended scissors for cutting bandage of plaster.
- Antiseptic lotion to use with the cotton wool and antiseptic wipes.
- Cotton wool for cleaning cuts and gauzes.
- Some triangular bandages to several safety pins for making a sling or emergency bandage.
- Sterile dressings (field dressings) of various sizes for covering wounds. Sterile eye dressings with bandage attached for eye injuries.
- Aspirin or paracetamol preferably sealed in foil to give longer life.
- Anti histamine cream for insect bites and stings.
- Tweezers for removing splinters.
- Tubular gauze bandages for finger injuries and applicator tongs.
- Two or three crepe or conforming bandages for sprains and for wounds in awkward places such as elbows and ankles.
See first aid emergency treatment guide for different conditions
You can also watch Basic first aid training video