Today, different variants of first aid kits have become available in the market where each kit is made to treat a specific type of injury – sprains and strains, burns, eye irritation, and minor wounds. There are also first aid kits made especially for injuries happening in a particular setting, such as the home, workplace, playground/parks, swimming pools/beach, home kennel, and more.
But just like the alphabet, you need to know the first, most common type of kit – the letter ‘A’ – among all these variants; which is called the ‘standard first aid kit’.
A standard first aid kit, as released by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) (ANSI/ISEA Z3-8.1-2015), is intended to treat a wide range of minor injuries in high-risk areas and is required to have the following equipment:
Is used to protect a wound or damaged skin from further exposure to dirt and other external factors that may worsen the injury. It comes in different sizes and shapes to perfectly fit a certain size of the wound.
Medical/Surgical Adhesive Tape
Is a pressure-sensitive adhesive tape that is used to hold a bandage or other dressing onto a wound so it is firmly kept in place while keeping the skin protected from irritation with its breathable material – usually made of cloth – that lets the air reach the skin to prevent unwanted moisture/sweat. You would also see most medical tape white because it contains zinc oxide that prevents the skin from infection.
Triple Antibiotic Ointment
The standard volume of a wound antibiotic ointment is 0.5g (0.02oz.) per sachet. It is intended to be applied quickly to an affected area of the skin to prevent infection and helps promote healing.
An antiseptic is used to clean the surface of the affected skin to prevent the growth of microorganisms that may infect the skin.
A breathing barrier, a.k.a CPR mask is a protective plastic mouthpiece so the first responder could breathe air into the patient’s mouth without the risk of cross-contamination.
There are many types of wound dressings, but a hydrogel (thick transparent gel) or a gel-soaked dressing (cloth-like material) is best applied as an initial treatment to a burnt skin for its cooling and hydrating properties that highly reduces pain and discomfort. There are also burn treatment creams that are regularly applied to make the wound heal faster and relieve pain.
Is used as a cold compress to provide immediate relief for bumps, bruises, sprains, and strains. Ice Packs have disposable and reusable variants.
Eye Skin Wash
Is a solution used to wash the eyes and flush out foreign objects and prevent infection before reaching medical help.
Is a protective cloth attached to the injured eye due to a chemical splash, foreign object, hard blow, and/or eye puncture or cuts.
First Aid Guide
A first aid guide is a chart or a booklet that gives clear instructions on how to attend to common first aid injuries so the first respondents know what to do first and how to perform the treatment properly.
Hand sanitizer is an essential part of a standard first aid kit so the first responders could observe proper hand hygiene before and after the treatment to prevent cross-contamination for both patient and the responder.
Medical Exam Gloves
The same goes for hand gloves, which ensures that the infected area will not be in contact with dirty hands and vice versa.
A roller bandage is a long strip of gauze used to bind or wrap any parts of the body to reduce blood flow/bleeding, absorb wound fluid, protect the injured area from pressure and shock, hold a splint or a dressing in place, and prevent further injury on the affected area. It is a highly-breathable material that gives comfort to the wound and is less likely to get stuck to a moist wound.
Is a crucial tool in a standard first aid kit so cutting of bandages, adhesives, and other materials quick, easy.
A sterile gauze pad is a cloth-like material that is used to clean a wound by soaking it in betadine or antiseptic. It is also used to be applied directly to the wound before wrapping with an adhesive or a bandage to protect it from dirt, absorb blood, and prevent the wound from being infected.
An extremely absorbent pad that is designed to stop severe bleeding. A 5×9 in. size is ideal for a standard first aid kit to cover large-sized wounds.
A large triangle-shaped cotton cloth (ideally 40 x 40 x 56 in.) that can be folded in different ways to be used as; wound bandage; splint; trauma pad; and protective cover for an injured head, eye, etc.
Does this standard apply to all?
Standard contents of a first aid kit may also vary from a person’s country of residence. But if you do not need to follow any guideline – like for businesses and establishments – and you’re just looking for a first aid kit for your home, any reliable standard may be suitable.
For people residing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), a standard first aid kit, as released by the Municipality of Dubai, for workplaces in a high-risk area with employees up to 150 must contain the following:
- First Aid Guide
- Plastic Band-Aid
- Adhesive Plaster
- Absorbent Cotton
- Gauze Bandage
- Sterilized Eye Pad
- Eye Wash
- Triangular Bandage
- Ammonia Inhalant
- Wound/Burn Dressing
- Calamine Lotion
- Cotton-Tipped Applicator
- Breathing Barrier
- Antiseptic Lotion
First Aid Kit Maintenance
Make sure to check the contents of your first aid kit as they have expiration dates that must be monitored and replenish so when in times of an emergency, you are sure that your first aid kit is 100% functional and ready.
Dubai Municipality Code of Safety Practice in Construction Sites – 2016