First Aid on the Homestead

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cast iron, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    How many of us are prepared to administer first aid should the need arise? I'm not talking about putting a band-aid on a simple surface cut, but more along the lines of more serious injuries like deep cuts, limb amputations, strokes, seizures, properly dressing serious wounds, concussions, prolonged fevers, cpr, serious rashes, serious prolonged infections, serious strains, sprains, breaks etc.

    It just dawned on me the other day that since I've been out of the corporate world for several years now, I've not kept up with first-aid/medical refresher training like I was required to do back then. I have what I "think" is a well stocked first-aid kit, but just having the tools around doesn't necessarily mean you know how to properly use them. I suspect that administration of first-aid in a serious situation is much like anything else - when the rubber meets the road, you will default to the level of your training.

    Seems that the subject of first-aid is even more important in some homesteading situations because of the length of time it will take before the professionals can get there and take over the scene.

    Another potential trouble area is not being able to contact someone if something happens while working on the back 40, or in my shop by myself. This came to mind the other day when I had been doing a bunch of overhead work off of a 14' ladder in my shop all day. I was fatigued (should have stopped hours ago but wanted to get the job done) and I stepped off the third rung thinking it was the first rung while coming down off the ladder. Fell back-wards into the big roll-up door and ended up with no damage, but it sure didn't feel good. I have a phone in my shop, but if something happens that prevents me from getting to that phone, I am pretty much stuck until someone comes looking for me.

    We also had a farmer not to long ago who was operating a backhoe in the back 40 and managed to get his arm caught in the loader arms as they were coming down. He was trapped in such a position that he could not shut the machine off, and could not free himself. Fortunately he was able to call for help on his cell-phone. I have a cell-phone, but I hate carrying that thing around on my belt so it usually stays in the truck.

    Even something as seemingly simple as fixing a fenceline can turn bad quickly. We rode the ATVs out to fix the fence one day and one of us sliced their arm deeply. I have first aid kits in the shop, in the home, in all of our vehicles, but I didn't have one on the atv, or on my person, or in the little toolbox we carry around. Had to cut up a shirt to wrap the arm and stop the bleeding, then high tail it back to the house. Would have been nice to have a first-aid kit to properly dress the wound in the first place.

    How about you guys, are you really prepared with adequate first-aid supplies, and equally if not more important, first-aid skills that are up to date and you are confident using?

    Wayne
     
  2. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    Thank Goodness I can say yes to the above.
    In my former life I was an ER & Life Flight Nurse.

    and I thank God for the knowledge I have everyday.
    It is common knowledge around our parts, so anytime there is a bump/bruise/cut/or break etc.. they show up on my doorstep.

    I'm glad to help, but it seems the neighborhood druggies and (suspect meth makers) are the ones that show up bleeding the most often.

    It also helps alot to have the know-how when you drive upon an accident etc...
    I strongly urge everyone who can to find somewhere that offers a first-aid course (red cross YMCA etc has good ones) Often if you can get a group together they will send out an instructor to teach it! Like at church etc?

    Or contact your local fire dept, they are always willing to help teach.

    I teach CPR once3 a month at our little fire dept, its a good thing.
     

  3. kitaye

    kitaye Well-Known Member

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    I have my First Aide and CPR Certificate and work pays for all the training and update courses. Hubby had his too but hasn't renewed it yet this year.
     
  4. wolfheart23

    wolfheart23 Well-Known Member

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    I believe I am prepared, but of course, you never know until you need the knowledge. :) We are not on our land yet, still living in suburbia for another couple years, but I have a good sized medical kit, and I have been a vet tech for 12+ years (alot of that knowledge can be applied to people - and I have a degree in biology, but I took alot of pre-nursing classes too). One question I have, if I may, is where to get some supplies. I have read many articles on recommended medical supplies to have on hand, but they don't list where to get the items. Mostly it would be surgical instruments (I have almost an entire surgical pack, but still need a few things) and injectible medications (such as antihistamines and epinephrine). Don't think getting a bottle of these from my doctor is going to happen. Any thoughts on having these things in a medical kit? Anyone know where to get such things?
    TYIA. I'll be happy to start a different thread if needed.

    Cyndi
     
  5. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    Wolfheart...

    Mail order medical supply stores are good.
    you can get EMS supply company catalogs.

    just do a search online for EMS Supplies and/or surgical supplies you'll get thousands of hits.

    I have actually even bought things like fiberglass casting tape on Ebay! lol I didn't want a whole box. just 10 rolls or so, so it worked for me! :)
     
  6. wolfheart23

    wolfheart23 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Txcloverangel! I hadn't thought of EMS suppliers. I used to be able to get whatever medical supplies I wanted from my employer, but for various reasons I'm no longer working for them. I also check out Ebay once in a while, but call me weird, I was hoping to just buy everything I wanted from one place in one order. Call me lazy, or just call me cheap (don't wanna keep paying shipping! ;))
    Thanks again!
     
  7. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    A couple years ago, I ran my hand through a belt and pulley while alone on the farm. It was not anything near life threatening, but it could have been if I had gotten more than a hand caught.

    I have known first aid my entire life, always prepare for emergencies, etc, but none of that meant a thing when I hurt myself. It all went flying out the window and all I could think to do was try to drive to the hospital. I couldn't start my truck, so the next thing I thought of was to call my husband. I didn't realize I was screaming until he answered the phone!

    My incident turned out ok. All I lost was the end of one finger, but it was a real learning experience. Keep your cell phone on your belt. It could save your life.

    The BEST first aid is practicing safety in everything you do and preventing any accidents. THINK. All the time, think. Don't work when you are tired, hungry or have too many distractions. If you are in a hurry, stop and think and slow down.

    Jena
     
  8. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    I think everyone should invest in a basic EMT course. It's not too long, and the training is invaluable. Depending upon what state you are in, they can be had fairly inexpensively, and most community colleges offer classes that you can even pick up a few college credits for, if you are so inclined.

    I keep a crash kit in my house and car, you never know when you will need the stuff. Plus, I think the most important thing I learned duering my intial classes (many many moons ago) is that you don't have to stand their like a lump wondering what should i do?

    Nikki
     
  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I think an EMT course is an excellent idea. I'm also an RN, so know what to do in an emergency. But I really need to update my first aid kit. Hardly ever need it, but when you do, you don't want stuff dried up or unusable.
     
  10. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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    Ditto on the EMT 1 course...should be a must have for the homesteader.....Both myself and DW are EMT's ....you cannot have too much first aid knowledge!
     
  11. sewsilly

    sewsilly Well-Known Member

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    Not only should adults on homesteads have an EMT or First Responder course, and a way-more than "adequate" supply kit, but CHILDREN should have adequate training as well.
    All scouting programs have good first aid programs, but all three of mine have taken Red Cross Community First Aid and CPR as soon as they turn 13. At 15, they become certified lifeguards (we live on a river). Have a family plan for ALL types of emergencies that is discussed at regular intervals. Practice getting out of a second story window!
    Keep an excellent emergency kit in all vehicles. At our house that includes boats and kayaks and an extra kit for camping.
    You can never be TOO prepared.
     
  12. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I've been through the basic EMT course. I also keep a very well stocked first aid closet at the homestead. I keep a medic bag in each of my vehicles and a smaller bag on the ATV.

    I live by myself and far away from neighbors so taking care of myself while I'm out doing chores is important. I always take my cellphone. When I leave the house The cellphone goes with me. Boots, pocketknife, keys, pistol, cellphone, wallet (coat in the winter). Just make it a habit. If I'm out cutting firewood in the timber and fall on the chainsaw I'd rather call for help rather than drag myself a mile through the woods with my intestines trailing behind me. Several months ago I was moving cattle for a neighbor who was out of town and got in between some cattle and a gate. I got smashed and got busted up pretty good with broken ribs, a mangled leg and I was bleeding rather badly. As I was laying there a good 3 miles from the nearest person assessing my injuries I felt pretty good knowing help was only a phone call away if I needed it. I patched myself up and drove myself to the hospital but it was nice to know the rescue squad would have been there in a flash if I had called.
     
  13. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm the un-official first aid station in our area...my neighbors drag over with their wounds, I patch 'em up and head them to the ER 15 miles away. Sorry to say I couldn't do much for the pony with its intestines hanging out...clean up those pastures,folks.Several freak accidents where only first aide saved them--that and our EVAC helicopter. Always carry a cell phone or let someone know when you are off to do a job and how long you'll be. DH was out in woods on extension ladder trying to catch a swarm and fell about 8"--fortunately only banged up but could have been serious. Another neighbor hit by tree he was sawing down and now paralized. Another accident with mower and only the wife's wondering why the tractor was idling sooo long that made her go investigate. Neighbor made it after coding twice. My son says he got an intensive first aide class before off to Bagdad; you might be the only one who can save your buddy. DEE who says don't forget taking CPR--not just for drowning victums. Electrical accidents,heart attack; you never know.
     
  14. wildwanderer

    wildwanderer Momma, Goatherder etc....

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    I am an EMT have been for 16 years now (currently working toward my paramedic). The best way I think you learn is scenario based. When I took my EMT class I was on a volunteer squad - so when I was in the station I was subject to quizzing which was scenario based. I did awesome on my test and have continued that theory of learning/review. I look at situations and ask myself what would I do if .... Sometimes this might seem morbid but as a family you should consider this as a game. Make it challenging push your family to learn if they don't know the answer make them look it up and learn it themselves it will stay in your mind longer.
    I teach CPR and First aid and my classes get scenarios because it will cement the knowledge.
    Working in and around the ER I have luckily picked up other skills that helped me when I could not get to advanced care. I also have picked up the tools for these procedures Sportsmans guide offers military surgical and medical kits at a good price.

    Everyone should learn CPR and first aid. I teach my classes fairly cheap because I think everyone should have that knowledge.
    This is also how we do our survival preparation (TENOWAWKI)we go through scenarios what if this or that happens and do we have what we need.

    Also volunteer with your local rescue squad or fire department nothing makes you feel more confident in an emergency situation then practise.

    Take Care- Thea
     
  15. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    As an addition to this ... don't think that children are too young to adequately grasp the concept of basic first aid and CPR. My son could properly perform infant CPR and most first aid procedures by Age 3. Now, I didn't deliberately teach him these things he picked it up on his own by watching mom teach so many red cross classes when I brought him along. I guarantee you, nothing will convince an adult that the skills can be easily mastered better then watching a three year old perform them.

    Nikki
     
  16. Kellkell

    Kellkell Well-Known Member

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    For anyone interested, Phillips is now selling Automatic External Defibrillators(AED) to the public without a prescription. Its expensive but could be a valuable addition to your kits/knowledge. Especially out in the boonies where it takes longer for EMS to get there and may not be equipped with they're one defibrillator. Odd to think but not all ambulances are trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support.
     
  17. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting this, I was going to ask about home based AED's.
    This is particularly interesting in our case as our family has significant history of heart issues going way back. Response time to our area is really long.
     
  18. triana1326

    triana1326 Dances in moonlight

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    My DH is a WFR - Wilderness First Repsonder, certified lifeguard, and WSI - Water Safety Instructor. I know basic first aid and CPR, but am looking into local EMT training. I used to be a certified lifeguard and want to get my WFA - Wilderness First Aid.

    We have a rule about chainsaw and axe use - together or not at all. Unless we are working together, the wood doesn't get cut or split. My Dad was felling a tree on a hillside when I was three when it shifted sideways on him. He threw the chainsaw away from him and started running down the hill yelling as the tree rolled down behind him. He tripped on some underbrush and fell into a depression in the hillside and the tree rolled over him. My mom was watching all this from the kitchen window and thought instantly that she was a widow. Then Dad sat up, laughing his butt off. She says she's never been so relieved in her whole life, but Dad did get a swat on the behind for scaring her so badly!!!
     
  19. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, looks like the home AED are $1100 on Amazon, not nearly as bad as I thought they would be.

    1 in 20? Are you feeling lucky?

    It takes well over 9 minutes to get any sort of aid vehicle to our place, short of landing a helo in the field.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00064CED6/102-1175313-3754559?v=glance&n=3760901
     
  20. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Considering what drug prices are and considering what you pay for a new computer or other entertainment device that is incredibly cheap. If someone has a known cardiac condition they should really have one of those if they are that inexpensive.

    I did a quick google search and seen some for a little over 800 bucks. I'm even considering one for my medical supplies and I don't even have a heart condition or know anyone who has one.