I am an EMT by trade and I carry far more than most people because I can use some rather more sophisticated stuff than others. I also do not hesitate to offer my services to other hikers.
My kit is also constantly in flux and I am aware that I probably carry far too much or at least more than can rationally be justified, but the whole premise of EMS is to be prepared. I have occasionally, when in a rash mood, considered carrying s suture setup. I suppose I could leave the lidocaine and syringes at home, but it would still need betedyne and other skin cleansers. At the end I have decided on duct/duck tape to close a wound, then get myself or the other party out.
Hemorrhage? I have dealt with a pile professionally and in one way or another have controlled them all. I have done it twice on myself, once alone, once with a panicked wife. I got the bleed controlled without panic or irrationality.
This is important. No matter how rattled you may be inside, do not show it if you are helping another. In any case, the old saw, "there are only two kinds of bleed, those life threatening and those not" is accurate. Remember it if it is yourself or another. Center yourself, breathe normally and know that rationality saves lives, yours or anothers.
This is the thing I believe. Know how to control a bleed (yes, you can use a tourniquet if you know how) and how to stabilize a break and you are pretty much good.
If you can find it, take the new "Control the Bleed" program offered in medical squads through Homeland Security. Horrendous wounds can be controlled with a tiny amount of knowledge. Ten minutes of training is enough if done by a skilled teacher. (A man at the Boston bombing had both legs severed mid-femur and survived because an Afgan war vet knew how to use a tourniquet. 8 or 9 people died in the Florida shooting that could have lived had someone knew how to stop the bleed.)
So - control the bleed, stabilize a break, control shock, get help. Carry stuff you need for these purposes and you are good.
PS carry gloves, plenty of gauze, tape, duct or surgical, improvise slings and splints, wound cleanser, allergy tabs, NSAIDs. The rest is good to have to help others, but those are the basics.
PPS blister treatment is good for everyone, I carry a splinter forceps because I know how to use it, a small hemostat and a pair of dedicated nail cutters. Come to think,
with the hemostat my sewing stuff and cleanser I could do a desperation suture if I needed to.
Edited by EMT Dave (12/30/16 10:05 PM)