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Thread: Personal First Aid Kit

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    48

    Default Personal First Aid Kit

    Not really uniform/clothing but in the absence of a personal kit section of the forum...

    I'm interested to know from those on here who served in the '50s to '80s period was it common to carry extra first aid items in addition to the issued field/shell dressings? Even just a tin of elastoplast? I'm basing this line of though on photos of Fusilier Payne's kit from WW2, he had provided himself with a small first aid kit consisting of bandage, elastoplast and lint and I can imagine the practice of supplementing issue first aid items continuing post-war but as usual I don't like to assume.

    Was a general issue first aid kit introduced in this period? I know of the jungle J-Pack but thinking of a more widely issued item.

    Many thanks in advance!

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Personal First Aid Kit

    Simon

    It was generally encouraged, and sometimes enforced through SOPs, that you carried some form of individual first aid kit in addition to First Field/Shell Dressing(s). For most troops none was issued, so you either made your own or bought a commercial kit.

    To give you an idea of extensive first aid kit carried I’ve provided two SOP lists from infantry courses. Outside of these most just carried some plasters/fabric backed plaster strip, ‘pain killers’, antiseptic cream and a crepe bandage for minor injuries, and zinc oxide tape for blister prevention or treatment. Note these lists don’t include any bandages or smaller dressings as they would be in the section medic bag or vehicle first aid kit, but you could always add these along with any personal medication to your kit. Items for specific environments such as jungle, arctic, or NBC were listed separately.

    This list is taken from an SOP entitled ‘Patrol Equipment’ (provenance unknown) which was I was required to obtain for a JNCO cadre in the early eighties:

    a. Adhesive plasters
    b. Panadol
    c. Lomotol
    d. Senokot
    e. Scalpel blades
    f. Steri-strips
    g. Savlon

    The SOP states that these should be carried in a pouch (unspecified in the SOP - we were told to use a spare 58 pattern water bottle pouch) along with other items listed as ‘survival kit' as part of CEFO.

    This list is taken from the mid-eighties Senior Brecon SOP ‘Pl. Sgt: ‘Admin in the Field’ - Equipment Carriage’. Items a. –c. were basic first aid kit to be carried in the ‘rear pouches’ (either ‘conventional kidney’ or ‘any number of other pouches’):

    a. Elastoplasts
    b. Antiseptic cream
    c. Painkilling tablets

    Suggested additional items from this list were:

    d. Crepe bandage
    e. Scalpel
    f. Senokot
    g. Lomotil
    h. Space blanket
    i. Triangular bandage
    j. Mucous extractor ? !
    k. Tweezers

    Although not on the SOP lists above additional items to treat minor ailments could be carried, for example: Dioralyte powders, Proplus tablets, treatments for colds and athlete’s foot, antihistamine tablets/cream, Vaseline, (to prevent chaffing), etc. I carried two kits - essential 'first aid' items in CEFO, and less essential 'medical' items in the bergan. Those carrying tobacco tin survival kits may have packed plasters, pain killers, alcohol swabs, potassium permanganate crystals, etc. in them.

    I used a small heavy duty plastic bag or some form of container, for example an elastoplast upright tin or small Tupperware box to store the kits.

    Companies such as Survival Aids (of Penrith), BCB and Fighting Fit produced commercial military-style first aid kits the contents of which were similar to those sold today i.e. without oral medications, so you would need to add these.

    If your role required it (pilots/special forces/surveillance and target acquisition) you could be issued a ‘Medical Kit, Individual Treatment’ and also a ‘Medical Kit, Individual Treatment, Supplementary’. If you want the content lists for these I can provide, but these weren’t on general issue.

    Hope this answers your question, but let me know if clarification or addition information is required.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    482

    Default Re: Personal First Aid Kit

    Should a needle and thread for sutures be part of the kit?
    I read about the Dutch troops have had copper sulfate bandages for treatment of phosphorus burns.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    19,556

    Default Re: Personal First Aid Kit

    Steri strips or a tube of medical superglue are quicker and eaiser. After all that's what suprglue was designed to do in the first place. Field suturing is not always advisable as some of the nastiest bugs are Anerobic- Without Oxygen- so sealing a wound even with Savalon can lead to more problems by sealing dirt in. Wash well with salty water, or your own Urine. Normal Urine is sterile. I'd add good old TCP to any kit of mine, multiple uses including a gargle for throat infections, taste is foul but it works. Alginate (Seaweed) dressings are the modern way to go.
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Personal First Aid Kit

    Quote Originally Posted by .303fan View Post
    Should a needle and thread for sutures be part of the kit?
    I read about the Dutch troops have had copper sulfate bandages for treatment of phosphorus burns.

    You could use a suture kit if you knew how to use it and could clean the wound properly. Suturing was something that we left to the medics; for a temporary fix steri-strips (butterfly closures) or a dressing was used.

    I've heard of copper sulfate/suiphate treatment, but this wasn't available so we used a wet first field dressing which was keep wet.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    482

    Default Re: Personal First Aid Kit

    I would not use my urine because of my medication, it always is dark.
    In my vehicle first aid kit I carry a suture set, mostly in case I need it with the dogs.
    Not all can carry morphine, I have a second kit that contains sugared morphine in case my wife needs it.

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