Every household should have a first aid kit, it really is as simple as that. But in many households first aid is delivered using improvised first aid equipment such as towels, so we got thinking and have come up with a range of first aid solutions using items commonly found around the house. We don’t claim to have necessarily invented all of the techniques, but would claim one or two as our work!
We should put in at some point that using “proper” sterile first aid kits would always be better, but hopefully these ideas will give you some options.
Use of clingfilm in improvised first aid
Use of clingfilm in treatment of burns
Famously clingfilm has been used in the treatment of burns. The burn should first be cooled, probably using water, then the burnt area can be wrapped in clingfilm. Constrictive items, such as watches and rings, should be removed if possible but burnt clothing stuck to the area should be left alone. Blisters should be left alone by the first aider. Burns often swell so elevating the affected area can sometime be useful. Due to this potential to swell, use of clingfilm to cover the burn must not be too tight. One way to avoid this is to use two sheets of clingfilm, one under, one over which can stick to each other, rather than wrapping around the burnt area.
Clingfilm has a number of advantages in the treatment of burns:
- it is almost sterile
- it retains moisture in the burnt area
- it reduces airflow over the burnt, this often reduces the pain felt be the casualty
- the burn can be assessed by the medics without removing the dressing. This has a potential down side, that the casualty can also see the burn!
Clingfilm is found in many households, a key advantage in improvised first aid, but isn’t always the easiest of things to use in a hurry.
Use of clingfilm in treatment of soft tissue injuries
A number of treatment paths are available for the treatment of soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains or bruises. Lazarus Training sponsors a local rugby team, so we see plenty of these! Clingfilm can be useful simply for holding the ice pack in the correct position.
clingfilm can also be used as an improvised sling to support an injured arm or leg. Many people struggle with remembering how to apply a triangular bandage as a sling [not matter how often they try on first aid courses!], so this can be another option.
Use of clingfilm in treatment of bleeding?
We have even worked out a way of making a tourniquet using clingfilm, but that really deserves a video. More too follow. If you have any suggestions for first aid use drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org