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What Should Be In A First Aid Kit?

In the United Kingdom, it is required by law that a first aid box is available in the workplace, no matter the nature of work done at the business premise. In the event that there is an injury at the workplace, or someone falls seriously sick, fatalities are often prevented by offering initial medical care. The initial step to this, of course, is ensuring that a medical kit is available for the staff to use in case of an emergency. Health and Safety Regulations, passed in 1981, make it a requirement for employers to ensure that adequate and appropriate equipment is made available at the workplace. These regulations are applicable to all places of work, including the self employed and workplaces that have less than five employees. The issue of adequacy and appropriateness differs depending on workplace circumstances.

This kit contains a collection of equipment and supplies used in administering initial help to a person in case of an emergency. The equipment found inside a kit differs depending on the needs of an organization. Some organizations purchase complete kits while others put together custom equipment and supplies depending on their need. The contents of every set of equipment are vast and really rely on the level of expertise of the personnel putting it together. It is important to note also that every area of work may have different legislation that recommends different supplies to be put in the first aid kits.

The contents of a set of supplies may be divided into five broad categories. These are airway, breathing & circulation or ABC, trauma injuries, medication, instruments & equipment and personal protective equipment.

ABC is usually the first step to providing adequate medical care in an emergency. It is common, therefore, to find that most first aid kits have equipment that provide services like artificial respiration for patients who are unable to breathe on their own. Such facilities include face shields and pocket masks. More advanced kits may contain bag valve masks, stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, manual aspirators and suction units.

For trauma injuries, supplies required include dressing materials, adhesive bandages, soap, antiseptics, saline, adhesive tapes and other agents.

In order to protect oneself, a person providing initial medical care requires equipment too. These may include gloves, goggles, aprons, surgical masks, lighters, tweezers, scissors, alcohol pads and flashlights. Other kits also contain thermometers, cotton swabs, space blankets and irrigation syringes.

Many sets have mediation for live saving purposes, like aspirin, painkillers like Paracetamol and for symptomatic relief, like diarrhea mediation. Aspirin has been used historically as an antiplatelet during medical emergencies that involve central medical chest pain. Paracetamol is often used to relieve pain, and are widely found in medical kits either as tablets or in syrup form.

Having the equipment and supplies is the initial step to ensuring emergency protection. They have to undergo regular inspection and restocking. It is also important to train as many personnel as possible on the first steps to take during an emergency using the equipment.

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