Triage or Emergency Medical Kit for biking Recommendation?

zipur

Active Member
Region
USA
After my last crash, smash knee bash, I considered having a better safety plan. Not only for me but for anyone I come across. I'm looking at this Med Kit, the Waterproof IFAK 163 Pieces Portable First Aid Kit. For $15, it's not too large at 8.27 x 5.12 x 1.97 inches and a bright visible case. Your thoughts or alternate recommendations?

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indianajo

Well-Known Member
While waiting for the ambulance to come:
CPR and the Hemlich maneuver are good skills to have anywhere, although hemlich against choking applies mostly to restaurants.
The one emergency I can think of where seconds count is major blood loss through a puncture injury. I'd cut patches out of an inner tube with my diagonal cutter for wire ties and stuff the hole. Or tie the inner tube around a limb and improvise a tournequet. The classic method is rip up your shirt & stuff the hole, which is more difficult but more conventional. A new inner tube in shrink wrap is probably cleaner than a bike rider's shirt.
The other thing where seconds count is a stroke. An asperin in the bottle with my regular ibuprofen (knees are worn out) can save minutes til the ambulance gets there. Counter indication, major internal bleeding, watch out for that and Don't give the asperin. White or blue lips & fingernails. Head impact injury, possible concussion or internal bleeding, no asperin.
Shock, I carry a jacket anyway against sudden rainstorms. That could keep a body warm, assuming a size M would wrap around their body. (NOT LIKELY, everybody is huge these days). I've gone into shock just from falling or seeing somebody else bleed.
Abrasions, minor cuts, those band-aid things can wait. Lots of soap & water comes first anyway on road contact areas. The flashlight could be handy, but I carry one for flat tires at night in the regular tool box.
 
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Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Having a small kit of medical gear is good. As @indianajo points out, knowing how to use it is priceless . I carry a red zipper bag about the size of a paper back book, including an illustrated first aid booklet, along with sunblock and such.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I always suggest first a great working cell phone as a first aid kit may not do you much good depending on your injury. I always have my Apple Watch with my fall detection/emergency phone sos set up. Beyond that I don’t really carry much beyond a few bandaids and some Neosporin.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
This is a not bad and not very expensive cycling-specific first aid kit which will cover the basics:


There are also free online basic first aid courses that I'd highly recommend as a bare minimum. If you can there are also more advanced courses that vary upwards in price and time commitment. In general I'd recommend acquiring more skills over carrying more stuff, and also as you acquire the skills you can develop fine judgement in what stuff you might need to bring.
 

Oberst

Well-Known Member
ABC. Airway, breathing, circulation. On the road, what you can carry will be limited so that kit will be good but add some clotting agent such as celox to help any bad wounds from bleeding.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
There are also free online basic first aid courses that I'd highly recommend as a bare minimum. If you can there are also more advanced courses that vary upwards in price and time commitment. In general I'd recommend acquiring more skills over carrying more stuff, and also as you acquire the skills you can develop fine judgement in what stuff you might need to bring.
Agreed. I was involved in mountaineering medicine when I lived in Washington. Being so far off the beaten path (and no cell phones), a really solid kit was important.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
... Being so far off the beaten path (and no cell phones), a really solid kit was important.
It never hurts if you always ride with an ER doctor or a ski patroller either. The typical volunteer ski patroller sees an amazing number of traumatic injuries in a season.

Also, no matter how big or elaborate a kit you carry, if you end up with a serious medical emergency you will go through all of it and be improvising from your gear and whatever else you can scrounge.
 

alphacarina

Active Member
Region
USA
I'm big on wearing the clothing I would want to have on should I end up sliding along the pavement - That's my 'first aid kit'. I see many. many motorcyclists and eBike riders wearing nothing but a tee shirt and shorts and I cringe every time I see that - They just haven't experienced their first serious case of 'Honda Rash'. :p

I wear jeans at a minimum and for my motorcycle, it's jeans with kevlar reinforced knees and thighs - The kevlar is on the inside, so they look like ordinary jeans. I never rode any of my motorcycles without a padded, ventilated motorcycle jacket, even in 95 degree summer temps. For my eBike, it's a long sleeved denim shirt, buttoned at the wrists. I'm *assuming* I wouldn't be sliding down the pavement quite as fast or as far as if I were on a motorcycle . . . . so at least the pavement will have to eat through some pretty heavy denim before it starts eating through my hide

Don
 

mclewis1

Member
Region
Canada
City
Fredericton, NB
Any medical gear I carry is primarily for my benefit, to get me home. It's treatment for abrasions (hand, arm, shoulder, hip, knee) and hand injuries from a fall, any serious injuries to other extremities are likely to incapacitate me or prevent me from riding (so EMT time).

A small ziplock bag packed in with my basic tools with a few bandaids (mostly extra large), some gauze pads, a few antiseptic wipes, and a small roll of surgical tape. A few 1000 mgs of ibuprofen, a few Asprin tablets (stroke), small tube of Polysporin (regular tube 3/4 empty), and a few antihistamine tablets (in case of allergy or bee sting). Small tweezers, a razor blade and a couple of popsicle sticks (finger splints).
 

Brockrock

Active Member
Region
USA
Other than road rash, one of the most common bicycle injuries is a broken collarbone. All that can really be done with that right away is to sling that arm against the torso, and an inner tube could work well for that.

Also, since one’s hands are often the first thing that make contact with the ground during a fall off a bike, a good pair of gloves will mitigate hand and finger rash.
 

Elkman

Active Member
Most important is a clotting sponge like the ones made by Quikclot. These stop bleeding very fast and are standard equipment for military medics. And duct tape works in an emergency and I have used it when a first aid kit was not available or was one the worthless ones with a few bandaids and some ointment.

Best to have a card to provides details about any meds you are taking and any allergies and emergency contact information for the EMTs and hospital personnel. In the USA it is also important to have a credit card and approved insurance to be able to get accepted into an emergency room at a hospital. Friend had a bad injury and the hospital did not accept the insurance he had and so had to be driven across town to another hospital.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
This is a not bad and not very expensive cycling-specific first aid kit which will cover the basics:


There are also free online basic first aid courses that I'd highly recommend as a bare minimum. If you can there are also more advanced courses that vary upwards in price and time commitment. In general I'd recommend acquiring more skills over carrying more stuff, and also as you acquire the skills you can develop fine judgement in what stuff you might need to bring.
I can't recommend a kit like this enough, especially if you like going off the beaten path at all.

I've always had a similar, home-made kit like this, going back to my MTB younger days. Had to bust it open last year when we tackled a steep gravelly hill that my SO thought she could handle... she managed 2/3rds of it. I hit the summit and turned around just in time to see her go ass over tea kettle.

Split her elbow to the bone, amongst less severe scrapes and bruises.

Having a kit like that made a huge difference. After she rested and rode out the post-wipeout adrenaline jitters, she was able ride the 15km to an emergency room to get the dual layer stitches she needed. The nurse was impressed with the triaging :)
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
A couple of thoughts on Quikclot and Celox...

Probably the first thing is that this stuff is awesome for serious bleeds and certainly better and safer than a tourniquet (note that probably more people have been seriously injured and even killed by improper and overenthusiastic use of tourniquets than have been saved by them).

There are a few downsides or complications, though:
  1. The stuff is about twenty times as expensive as plain old Kling gauze (my favorite).
  2. To get it to work you need to apply direct pressure to the wound for several minutes. Depending on the situation and the wound that may or may not be easy or possible.
  3. After-wound care is more complicated, and if you use it you are basically committing to getting your patient to a doctor within a few hours at most, and preferably much less.
  4. It has a limited shelf life. Based on what I've read that shelf life issue probably has more to do with the packaging no longer able to keep the product sterile rather than any degradation in the product itself. But I still hate to throw away something that expensive.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I can't recommend a kit like this enough, especially if you like going off the beaten path at all.

I've always had a similar, home-made kit like this, going back to my MTB younger days. Had to bust it open last year when we tackled a steep gravelly hill that my SO thought she could handle... she managed 2/3rds of it. I hit the summit and turned around just in time to see her go ass over tea kettle.

Split her elbow to the bone, amongst less severe scrapes and bruises.

Having a kit like that made a huge difference. After she rested and rode out the post-wipeout adrenaline jitters, she was able ride the 15km to an emergency room to get the dual layer stitches she needed. The nurse was impressed with the triaging :)
Yow, split elbow reminds me of my brother’s bike injury where he fell on the sidewalk and his skin was scraped away down to the elbow joint.😳
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
Yow, split elbow reminds me of my brother’s bike injury where he fell on the sidewalk and his skin was scraped away down to the elbow joint.😳
I was a dumbass/daredevil on a bike when I was a kid.

If e-bikes were available to me when I was 14 years old, I'd probably be dead. :)
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Thought provoking discussion. Where I ride, traffic is light, there are gaps in cell phone coverage, and ambulance care is slow. Time to shop for a first aid kit, I think.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
There are a couple of things that aren't in your typical first-aid-kit that are nonetheless useful to bring along:

Notepad and pen. This one is real important and also pretty obvious. Most of us don't have a huge amount of experience, thankfully, with medical emergencies. Being able to write everything relevant down before calling 911 is pretty valuable in itself and will make sure you get all the information to the 911 folks. Also, if you can't reach 911 where you are you can give your notes to another cyclist or a passing car and have them go someplace where they can call 911 (in this case the written description is even more important). It is also a good place to record vital signs (like pulse and respiration) and collect a patient's medical history.

Ace bandage or similar. These are super-useful. Since ankle and knee injuries are fairly common cycling ailments, and in cases of minor injury an ace bandage may make a leisurely self-rescue possible rather than a full-on evacuation. They also can be used as improvised cravats. There are also some cool ones that stick to themselves, though they are not reusable.

Bandanas. They are useful as cravats and have numerous other uses both in emergencies and not.

Ibuprofen. Not the couple of tablets in any first aid kit, but a small bottle with a couple of dozen tablets. You might also talk to your doctor and see if they will write a prescription for some serious horse pills (800mg or 1000mg ibuprofen).

Athletic tape. This is handy for holding wound treatments in place, and for taping spots where things are chafing (and if you ride far and fast you will find that, at some point, you will chafe most anywhere).

Soap. While there are various tinctures and glops and gels with antibiotic properties, plain old soap goes a long way and does less damage to the delicate tissue in a wound. Find a tiny squeeze bottle and put some Ivory Liquid or Dr. Bronner's soap in it.

Electrolytes. If you do bonk out and get seriously dehydrated, you've probably blown out on electrolytes too. They can also be enormously helpful for treating cramps. In a pinch pickle juice or little packets of mustard also treat cramps. Nuun and Hammer Endurolyte are good brands. The fizzy tablets don't foul up water bottles.

Treatment for saddle sores. There are various products out there and when you need them, you need them badly. Vaseline from the baby section of a grocery store also works.