What you need in your First Aid Kit

We all know how important it is to have a first aid kit in our home and in our car too. First aid kits are essential as they help us to deal with minor injuries and accidents. At one time or another most of us have probably regretted not having the right plasters/bandages etc. to hand when we needed them the most. Ensuring your first aid kit has almost everything you’re likely to need means minor injuries or accidents can be dealt with quickly and easily.

You should always make sure that your first aid kit is locked so the contents cannot spill out. It should ideally be kept in a cool and dry place so none of the dressings are affected by the warmth or damp. It’s also important that you keep it out of the reach of children as they may injure themselves or play with the contents that you could need quite badly. We have been fortunate enough to have contact with United Medical Education. They are the number one online institution that teaches ACLS certification online. First aid techniques can be found in ACLSonline and other courses they provide.

Here’s what you should keep in your first aid kit:

Plasters – These should be in a variety of shapes and sizes so it’s easy to find one more suitable to your injury. Also try to get plasters that are ideal for the tops of fingers if you can, they are more likely to stay in place than a folded over plaster.

Sterile gauze dressings – You should aim to get dressings in small, medium and large sizes so you’re able to dress a variety of wounds.

Sterile eye dressings – Ideally you should have at least two of these.

Triangular bandages – Perfect in case you need to make a sling.

Crêpe rolled bandages – Perfect for holding a dressing in place. Try to have at least 2 of these in your first aid kit.

Safety pins – Ideal for holding a wide variety of bandages in place

Disposable sterile gloves – These are essential and should be used by the individual giving first aid. They can help to prevent the spread of infection to the wound, and to the person wearing the gloves.

Tweezers – These may be needed to help remove splinters.

Scissors – Ideal for cutting bandages/plasters and more.

Alcohol-free cleansing wipes – These wipes are to be used when you need to clean a wound in order to ensure it doesn’t become infected.

Sticky tape – This is ideal for sticking down plasters, crêpe bandages and regular bandages.

Thermometer – needed in order to take someone’s temperature. Digital thermometers are ideal as they give you a more accurate reading.

Skin rash cream – Rashes can be quite nasty, buy hydrocortisone or calendula cream so they are calmed and soothed.

Insect cream or spray – This is essential as it will help to relieve insect stings and bites.

Antiseptic cream – Ideal for helping to clean wounds.

Painkillers – Paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen can be used to relieve pain. Always take as instructed.

Cough medicine – This can help to get rid of those nasty coughs.

Antihistamine tablets – Ideal if you’re prone to hay fever, or you’ve been bitten or stung by insects.

Distilled water – Perfect for cleaning wounds as it’s clean.

Eye wash and eye bath – essential if someone has something stuck in their eye or it’s been injured somehow.

A first aid instruction book or manual – This is essential so you know exactly what to do in the event of a minor accident or injury.

If you have all of the above items in your first aid kit you should be able to deal with a wide variety of minor accidents and injuries in the home. Make sure you always replace anything you use as quickly as you can.

These instructions and more related to ACLS PALS recertification can be found at the resources provided by United Medical Education.

Staying in Hospital for one Night?

If you’re about to stay in hospital for one night, chances are you’re either having some tests done or you’re undergoing a minor operation. These days we’re in and out of hospital relatively quickly unless we’re having major surgery. Even though you may only be in hospital for one night, you will need to prepare yourself for your stay.

Here’s what you need to do in order to make your time in hospital an easier one:

Before you go to hospital

  1. Tell your family doctor when you will be in hospital so they have it on their records
  2. Think about how you’re going to manage when you get home from hospital. Will you need someone to take care of you?
  3. Make sure you have a good supply of painkillers at home. They will probably come in very useful if you’re recovering after an operation. If you make sure you have plenty in stock it will mean you can rest rather than going out to buy more when you should be taking things easy.
  4. If you have been given instructions to help you prepare for you stay in hospital, it’s important that you follow them.
  5. Ensure that pets will be looked after while you’re away
  6. Make sure your children or anyone who is dependent on you is also looked after properly.
  7. Work out how you’re going to get to the hospital. Is someone going to take you or will you go by bus?
  8. How are you going to get home? Its best that you do not drive or hop on a bus as you may be drowsy after your operation.

On the day of your visit to hospital:

  • Take your prescribed medications unless you’re told not to
  • Have a bath or a shower the night before your operation or in the morning
  • Make sure you don’t have anything to eat or drink before your operation/procedure. You should get a leaflet or a booklet that tells you when you should stop eating
  • Avoid wearing makeup, nail varnish and piercings as these can attract bacteria. You will be permitted to wear a wedding ring
  • Make sure you have all your medication with you
  • To prevent boredom, bring a book, a newspaper or even a puzzle book
  • Make sure you have enough toiletries, as well as night wear, and slippers. You may also want to bring a dressing gown too.
  • If you wear glasses or a hearing aid you should bring them to the hospital with you. contact lenses are not permitted.
  • Don’t bring any valuables or money with you as the hospital won’t have anywhere safe to keep them.

After the Operation

  • You should ideally rest for 24-48 hours after your operation
  • You should also refrain from drinking alcohol, driving, operating machinery, signing legal documents and making difficult decisions 24 hours after your operation
  • You should also refrain from lifting or carrying children or any heavy items.

If you’re still not sure what you need to do in preparation for your visit, ask your GP or the hospital you’re about to attend for advice.

Keep yourself Healthy during Pregnancy

When you become pregnant for the first or fifth time, you’ll know it’s important you stay as healthy as you can. The next 9 months are going to be emotional and they’re going to have an impact on your physical health. This is now the right time to try to stay healthy so you can have a pregnancy that’s free from problems and a baby who is lovely and healthy.

Just found out?

If you’ve just found out you’re pregnant, congratulations! Although it is a time to celebrate, it’s also a time to make sure you have as much care as you need. Get in touch with your doctor or your midwife as soon as you can so you can start sorting out antenatal care. You will also need to get ultrasound scans organized too, but your midwife can help you do this. The sooner you contact your doctor or midwife, the sooner they can help you deal with any concerns you may have.

Eat sensibly

Now really is the time to be healthy, and you need to make sure your diet is a good and a balanced one. Try to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg everyday so your baby gets the nourishment it needs. You should also ensure you get a lot of fibre in your diet too, so try to eat wholegrains. Up your intake of oily fish as these are crammed full of proteins, vitamin D and omega 3 oils that are essential at helping your little one’s nervous system to develop.

Have some folic acid

This will probably have to come in the form of supplements, but that’s ok. Folic acid is essential as it can help to protect your baby from a range of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. You will only need to take this supplement during the first trimester.

Avoid some foods

You need to make sure that your baby is protected from harmful bacteria, this can may found in the following foods:

Unpasteurized milk

Ready meals that haven’t been cooked properly (Make sure you always heat them properly)

Take up exercise

The more you exercise when you’re pregnant, the easier labour may be. What’s more is it will also be easier for you to carry your baby too. You don’t have to exercise a lot, just try to boost your strength and your endurance too. Take up Pilates, yoga, swimming, and even brisk walking to help you get stronger and fitter.

Pelvic floor exercises

These exercises are essential at helping your baby to have a smoother birth. These muscles have an effect on your vagina, bladder and your anus. If you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles you’ll feel the effects especially if you have had a little incontinence each time you sneeze.

All you need to do is squeeze the muscle that you use to stop yourself from urinating. Do this at least three times each day, and do 8 squeezes each time.

Reduce your alcohol intake

Remember that any alcohol you drink will enter your baby’s blood stream. It’s advisable for you to cut out alcohol during at least the first trimester, but preferably through-out the duration of your pregnancy.

Reduce your caffeine intake

Any type of caffeine can increase the risk of miscarriage. Caffeine can be found in tea, coffee, cola drinks and energy drinks too. You don’t have to cut out caffeine all together, but you should ideally have no more than 200 mg’s each day, which is about 2 cups of instant coffee.

Quit smoking

You need to quit smoking as soon as you can as your baby can be seriously affected. If you continue to smoke through-out your pregnancy your baby could suffer from a premature birth, a low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome (Cot death) and you may even miscarry.

Get a lot of rest

Getting rest is essential, and it’s something you’re likely to need during the first 2-3 months of pregnancy. This is perfectly natural and it’s caused by your pregnancy hormones. This extra bout of fatigue is your body telling you to slow things down. Try to take a nap during the day so you can catch up on sleep. If your back hurts when you sleep, bend your knees, lie on your left side and place a pregnancy pillow under your bump. If sleeping during the day is not something you can do, put your feet up and rest for about half an hour.

The healthier your pregnancy is, the better your pregnancy will be and healthier your baby is likely to be too. If you are concerned at any time, please do not hesitate to talk to your doctor or midwife.