Finally, An Injury I Can Treat

For longer then I can remember, I have carried a small first-aid kit with me wherever I went. It sat in the bottom of my backpack, never used but always available. Occasionally I would take it out and remove wraps and bandages I figured I would never use. Every time I held it in my hand though, I knew it was important to have and I dreamed of the day I would get to tear it open and save someone’s day. That day has finally arrived:

Valentina with her fresh boo boo.
Valentina with her fresh boo boo. I think the is laughing.

The new, walking version of Valentina was moving quickly down a rocky sidewalk at Gulf Coast Town Center. She still has her trips and falls but when it happens at home, it’s no big deal. This time however, the sidewalk took its toll: a scrape on the knee. I wish I could remember if she was even hurt or started crying. My mind raced into medical mode and I didn’t hear a thing. I WAS FINALLY GOING TO WRAP SOMEONE UP!!

Where is my bag?

After years of carrying a backpack with me and being prepared for any emergency, my bag is in the f-ing car. You have got to be kidding me! Now I’m forced to use the dinky plastic box of band-aids my wife insists on keeping in the diaper bag. No matter, I will dazzle everyone with my cool under pressure and perform the best band-aid application.

Fresh band-aid applied. "I've stopped the bleeding!"
Fresh band-aid applied. “I’ve stopped the bleeding!”

…and off they went. Did anyone notice how quickly I assessed the situation, triaged the baby and stopped the bleeding? Nope. Valentina just kept on walking and I was left standing on a sidewalk with a diaper bag, a box of band-aids, and the wrapper from my first “trauma response”.

I took myself to Cold Stone.

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3 thoughts on “Finally, An Injury I Can Treat

  1. Two recent related stories…

    As you know, I (under your tutelage) also keep a small first aid kit. Well, actually, I keep two. One is a small ifak that is for trauma (tourniquet, quick clot gauze, nitril gloves, z-bandage). The other has every day items: bandaides, asprin (for people who have heart attacks of course), allergy meds, benadryl, alcohol wipes etc. In my car, I keep a much larger kit that would be adequate for a multi-car pileup. So…

    Story 1) I was in my office last week and someone exclaimed, “Does anyone have a bandaide?” I of course, like you, jumped into action. Impressing everyone that I actually had a bandaide on me as well as how stocked my kit was. So I provide said bandaide and my colleague applies it to her arm. The next day I get a text that says “What kind of bandaide is that? It won’t come off…” So apparently, when you buy medical grade stuff, they perform. While I felt embarrassed of the red area where she had to rip the bandaide off, I was proud that it didn’t fall off in 5 minutes like some do. So that situation was a wash.

    Story 2) My bother-in-laws parents were in town last week and staying at the house (if you recall I still live in a two family commune). So in this commune, there is the notorious “bottom step”. For some reason, no one sees this step. The steps are dark wood and with the way the lights/shadows hit that last step, it looks like it isn’t there. Think Indian Jones and the last crusade… you know, the leap of faith invisible bridge. Anyways… I have fallen on the step, my dad has fallen on the step (3 times), and apparently it was my bother-in-law’s dad’s turn. Unfortunately he took a pretty hard fall. I was still sleeping when it happened, but I was awoken with an account that he had sprained his ankle. We I sprung into action. He was in a lot of pain and planning to go to the ER. Sophia, my in-house pharmacist, administered analgesics. I double bagged some ice and ran out to get my car kit where I have this: http://www.rescue-essentials.com/sam-splint-original-36-orange-blue-charcoal-gray/ I immobilized his foot with the split and taped the ice pack to his ankle. We then ushered him to the car and they went off to the ER. Well it turns out he broke his fibula; so it was a good thing I splinted it. The best part is the ER doc saw the splint and asked “which ambulance did you come with?” My BIL said, “Oh that, no, we did come by ambulance. That was my brother-in-law.”

    So in the end, we got to both practice our skills this month! Let’s hope we don’t have another opportunity anytime soon.

    1. Why did we never get any formal training? We spent “too much time practicing how to poke holes and not enough time patching them up.” I hope it doesn’t come back to bite us.

      BTW, do they make toddler HALO chest seals? I could wrap the ones I have completely around Valentina.

      1. I had a lot of first aide and medical training in high school (sports medicine, basic life support etc). At one time I was a certified nursing assistant. Last year I renewed certification for CPR, BLS, First Aide, and AED through American Red Cross. So overall I feel pretty comfortable in “what” to do. It is just doing it when needed that is difficult. While the first aide class covered tourniquets, I do not feel comfortable using the quick clot gauze or HALO seal. I certainly would not try to depress a lung on my own. It’s never too late to take a class! http://www.redcross.org/ux/take-a-class

        Also, there are tons of YouTube videos out there. It is probably worth spending the money on a training IFAK and actually using the items. You don’t want the first time you tourniquet someone (including yourself) to be the day you need to do it for real.

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