Category Archives: Resources

Contents of an Individual First Aid Kit – aid worker version

When we run our medical training courses we are often asked “what should the contents of an individual first aid kit aid worker ‘s seem to ask this question a lot!

We understand the pressures we are all under when it comes to equipment. Budgets and then the practicalities of carrying the stuff around, on and off planes and across borders often informs our decisions on the contents of an individual first aid aid worker version.

So where do we begin? Something to carry it in I guess. You can buy all sorts of different first aid kit bags, but we have some favourites [pictured]  but it needs to be tough enough for your life and either needs to blatantly a first aid kit, or taking it in the opposite direct look like a camera bag or similar.

Contents of an individual first aid kit Aid Worker

So what goes in? We believe it’s best when an item has more than one use, but understand that sometimes this isn’t possible. For some of our media clients we even went as far as limiting the individualfirst aid kit to five items. We called it our desert island first aid kit [you need to be of a certain age to get that reference!], you might find some [poor quality] YouTube videos on our channel on this topic.

We have decided that we can squeeze in a few extra items for our aid work first aid kit, so here’s the headlines:

contents of an individual first aid kit aid workerTourniquet [our kits have a CAT-Combat Application Tourniquet]

Celox Gauze

Gauze [for wound packing]

Nasopharyngeal airway[s]

Nightingale Dressing

Olaes Dressing

Tuff cut shears

Sharpie Pen

SAM Splint

Tri-angular bandage

Space blanket [foil type]

Small role of gaffer tape/gorilla tape

There is normally some vinyl gloves, but the kit I picked up for this article was missing those, but that’s about it.

Now obviously we could add stuff, take some away, but most of the items here are easy to use [get some training to make sure you can use under pressure] and don’t have expiry dates, or they are long or it doesn’t really matter- I mean can a bandage expire?

So what’s it all for? If you have done a first aid or hostile environments courses [like our ones here] then it should all make sense, but hopefully the video below will make some sense of what the items are and why we have chosen them.

Recently when we ran some training for aid workers in Senegal we hit the problem that there was no budget to buy first aid kits, so we had to put out thinking caps on. If you would like to know what improvised and/or low cost first aid equipment we came up with drop me a line: alistair[at]

We hope to post some more video content soon, for example a first aid kit on a budget.


Asthma in the news and on our courses.

Asthma is a medical condition which is currently in the media a lot, but what is it and why the recent news coverage?

What is Asthma?

As a medical training company we are often asked “what is asthma?” Strangely there are a number of answers! Most definitions focus on the air passages that allow us to breath, the airways. Commonly in asthma the person experiences a narrowing or restriction in air flow through these airways. As asthma varies from person to person, there can be a number of causes of this: bands of tissue around the outside of the airways can constrict, tightening the airway; the inner lining of the airway can become inflamed, thereby narrowing the airway; mucus can build up inside the airway. For many sufferers it is actually a combination of this that causes the symptoms they experience.

Common symptoms of Asthma

Different people have different symptoms [how they feel] when affected by asthma, but common symptoms are: wheezing, coughing – often at nighttime, tightness of the chest.

What causes Asthma?

This also varies a lot from person to person, as there are many different “triggers” [what causes the symptoms] which can cause the person to have an “attack”. Common triggers are: pollen [which is why the story is currently in the news]; smoke; exercise; mould/fungi; stress; pollution; dust mites but this is not a definitive list. Testing is available to find out what might be an individual’s triggers as if the person can avoid these it should reduce the risk of an attack.

What to do is someone is having an Asthma attack.

Any suspicion that someone is having an asthma attack should be taken seriously, sadly 3 people per day die in the UK from asthma attacks and in around 2/3rd of those cases the person could have been saved with appropriate and prompt care.

Try and keep the person calm.

Get them to sit up, not lay down.

If they have a “reliever” inhaler, normally coloured blue, then they should take one puff as per the instructions.

If this doesn’t make them feel better you can repeat the use of the inhaler every 30-60 seconds. It is sometimes necessary to use the inhaler a few times, but if using the inhaler isn’t helping, or the person starts to feel worse call 999 for an ambulance.

If you have recently been diagnosed with Asthma, know someone who has, or are just seeking further information we would urge you to visit the website of Asthma UK. Here you can find a wide range of materials, guidelines and topical information such as asthma during Ramadan. Their website is linked to the name above or can be found at this address:

Trauma training guidelines for our delegates

Trauma training guidelines are in place to ensure that trauma treatment is delivered in a recognised and reliable format. Most trauma training guidelines used on courses are based on a balance of medical and educational needs and ideas.

Much of our trauma training works to the following guidelines:


SAFE Approach

S- Shout for help

A- Assess the scene and approach with care

F-Find the casualty and free them from danger

E-Evaluate- the Mechanism of injury [MOI] and then the casualty


CABC assessment

C- Catastrophic bleeding- is there obvious catastrophic bleeding [normally compressible bleeding]?

A- Airway-is there a clear and open airway?

B- Breathing- is the casualty breathing normally? Check first for breathing, then if the breathing/ventilation is adequate.

C- Circulation and Shock- is there any other wounds? Perform a blood sweep and consider shock.

D- Disability- is there any sign of a head injury or lowered level of response? Remember AVPU- Alert, Voice, Pain, Unresponsive

E1- Expose- expose the casualty to assess fully for injuries- the best first aid is naked first aid.

E2- Environment- is the casualty getting cold or hot?

E3- Evacuate- how is the casualty getting to medical care.



When handing a casualty over to medical care you will only have a short period of time to impart what has happened. Depending on the medical staff you may have only 30 seconds to impress!

M- Mechanism of injury

I- Injuries seen or suspected

S- Signs and symptoms

T- Treatment given [or planned]


The MIST handover is sometimes enhanced with the pre-fix- AT ie AT MIST

A- Age

T- Time of incident.

These trauma training guidelines are not designed to replace training, more to act as a reminder for those that have attended training such as our Authorised Firearms Officer standard medical training or our media safety courses. Other trauma training guidelines are used [such as MARCH] and these will be covered on future blog posts.

We have deliberately keep this post as blank as possible to allow readers to copy and paste the guidelines is wished.

If you would like to know more about trauma training contact us on 0800 242 5210.

False widow spider bites

False widow spider bites is a topic that has been raised a few times on our first aid training courses, particularly our paediatric first aid courses. There has been many reports, most including horrific pictures of the resulting “injuries”, about people in the United Kingdom that have been bitten by the false widow spider.

False widow spider bites
False widow spider bites

The spider can be recognised by their shiny, black bulbous bodies, thick legs and a skull like pattern on the “back’. Whilst the spider has been in the UK since the late 1800s, there is an increasing number of reports of spiders bites and according to Stuart Hines of the Natural History Museum’s Identification and Advisory Service, they account for the most reported spider bites in the UK.

The false widow spider is probably implicated in so many bites, due to sharing our habitat and an increased knowledge of its distinctive appearance. It is however commonly mis-identified.

If you, or someone with you, is unfortunate enough to be bitten, try not to panic! According to Stuart Hines, no one in the UK has died from a spider bite. Most of the horrific images are caused by secondary problems such as bacterial infections.

You can check the signs and symptoms using the NHS website, but obviously if you are concerned you should seek medical advice.

Accessing NHS services in Essex

Screenshot of Get Well Essex Website
Screenshot of Get Well Essex Website

Lazarus Training is based in Essex, and trains hundreds of people across the county and the East of England. On many of our courses, such as our paediatric first aid training or Emergency First Aid at Work [Schools], we are asked about contacting the NHS or accessing its services. The Get Well Essex website is a great resource for addressing these questions and issues.


The website can be found here, after entering your postcode you can find out information about pharmacies, doctors’ surgeries and even a symptoms checker.

We recommend this site to everyone in Essex, looking for information on accessing NHS services across the county.

Meningitis information resource

Meningitis Trust logo on Lazarus Training website
Meningitis Trust logo on Lazarus Training website

Meningitis is a subject that we cover on our paediatric first aid courses, but such is the level of concern we are often asked for extra information or recommended avenues of support. In April 2013 the Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK merged to form one larger and stronger organisation to further their shared aims. For those seeking information on Meningitis this means a single point of access to a wealth of information. So when asked for additional information on Meningitis or how to access help and support we don’t hesitate to recommend the Meningitis Trust website or point people towards its facebook page.

Stroke information

Stroke association on Lazarus Training site
Stroke association on Lazarus Training site

On our first aid courses we are often asked about first aid and medical situations which may occur at work or at home. One of the topics which frequently comes up is the subject of someone having a stroke. This isn’t that surprising when you consider 150,000 people each year have a stroke. As the Stroke Association’s website states, that equals one person ever five minutes. Whilst we cover subjects like this when raised on our workplace first aid courses, we also point people towards relevant resources for information. In this case the obvious resource is the website of the Stroke Association. Here you can find a wide range of information and sources for further help and assistance.

Diabetes information resource

Diabetes UK logo in Lazarus Training resources article.
Diabetes UK logo on Lazarus Training site

With approaching 4 million people in the UK having diabetes, this topic often comes up on our first aid courses. We are always happy to discuss the emergency first aid training of diabetes on courses such as our Emergency First Aid at Work, but we always encourage people to seek further information on topics relevant to them. When it comes to diabetes, we always direct them towards Diabetes UK, the nation’s main charity who “care for, connect with and campaign on behalf of all people affected by, or at risk of diabetes.

The website is a great resource of information for people concerned about, or affected by diabetes, will new content all the time, for example at the moment there is information about managing diabetes during Ramadan.

Asthma information website

asthma uk logo on lazarus training website
asthma uk logo on lazarus training website

Have you every asked yourself questions such as:

What is asthma?
What causes asthma?
What can trigger an asthma attack?
Why can’t I take tablets to treat asthma?

We recommend the website of Asthma UK as a great resource to answer these and other questions. On our first aid courses, particularly our paediatric first aid courses we are often asked about asthma and have found the Asthma UK website to be a great, easily accessible resource. It is frequently updated, for example it currently has information about fasting and asthma due to Ramadan.

Asthma UK is the UK’s leading asthma charity, and with approximately 5 million people in the UK having asthma, it is a busy organisation.