Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: 1st aid kits - wound dressings

  1. #1
    Mini Goon Peter Masson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    192


    i've got two FAK's - a basic one for walking in the hills and separate one for when i go bikepacking. the one for biking has a couple of wound dressings which have expiry dates on them (March 2012). question is if it's plain unsafe to use expired dressings - do they lose their sterlie-ness and should i bin them and get more or would they be OK for another 'while'?

    any ideas?

  2. #2
    Goon
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    476


    I would suggest that they still stop blood. Sterile is not a big worry, Bleeding is.,

  3. #3
    Mini Goon Hedley Heap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    182


    Hi

    The gaffer tape on my walking poles isn't sterile and that's what goes on next.

    Seriously as has already been said if you're using a wound dressing its already a blood loss issue more than a sterility issue. In the UK you shouldn't be that far from expert/sterile help.

    Carry some cling film wrapped round something you usually carry, unwrap first foot dicard and then use the rest as a over dressing cover. Good on the hill as it keeps the crap out.

    I'm now prepared for the "Oh no you don't" comments.

  4. #4
    Mini Goon Hedley Heap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    182


    Sorry

    Forgot to say. Nice dog.

  5. #5
    Übermensch cathyjc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    2,121


    What ever caused the damage/hit you/you hit probably wasn't sterile in the first place. So as long as you are not actively putting muck and bugs into the wound, a just 'clean' dressing will be OK. Once the wound is cleaned up in a clean/sterile environment/hospital, then a sterile dressing might be appropriate. -All a generality of course.

  6. #6
    Ultra King
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    8,732


    As all have said above, in an accident, even if not bleeding, say a sprain or break, how 'sterile' bandage is, doesn't really matter. What matters is getting to professional help ASAP. If needed a course of Antibiotics will clearn any 'infection.

  7. #7
    Goon Ron Rees Davies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    308


    The 'course of antibiotics' might work at the moment, but we are gradually losing effective antibiotics and in part this is because we rely on them in this way.

    The true answer is that a sterile dressing would be better than an unsterile (out of date) one.

    This is partly because of general bacterial contamination, butparticularly because the contaminants on an expired dressing pack are likely tobe bacteria (especially Staphylococci) that have come from the skin of humans handling the pack, and thesecarry a far, far higher risk of causing infection than the general contaminants found on mud/stone/wood.

    Having said that, I agree that 'having a first aid kit / wound dressing' is a far more important consideration than whether it has exceeded a nominal expiry date, especially as the amount of handling and contamination risk in a rarely used amateur first aid kit is going to be far less than in e.g. a military medical unit's pack, so the sterility issue is 'unlikely' to be a problem.

    I would say get new wound dressings to use actually in contact with a wound, but youmight keep the older ones for using on top of the 'contact' layer or if you were to run out of sterile ones.

  8. #8
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    21,694


    Wow, that's a better gear test that all these stoves lit on the kitchen table and tents pitched in the back garden.... very public spirited, GOF - have you considered starting a blog?

  9. #9
    Mini Goon Peter Masson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    192
    Thanks to all for the comments, much appreciated.

    Ron, I like your suggestion of getting a new dressing and using old one on top if required. (Obviously, I hope I never need to use them, but better safe than sorry!)

    Hadley, thanks - like your dog too!

  10. #10
    Mini Goon Peter Masson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    192
    Sorry, Hedley!

  11. #11
    Goon Craig H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    443
    Off at a slight tangent, but when I worked in an outdoorsy sort of job, we used to keep the out of date fak stuff for pet first aid.

    Ok, back on topic then....

  12. #12
    Ultra King
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    8,732


    I still can't see any reason not to use them, it's a "first aid" item. As long as the packaging is intact, it shouldn't matter much.

    Even if not, secondary things like infection, can be treated later, when got to proper services, like a hospital.

    The idea of "first aid" is just that. Get the person able to get to secondary, possibly third aid.

    If you look at things shown from the like of 'stan, the last thing they worry about is how 'sterile' things are. Getting the casualty stable is the "only" thing, the rest can be sorted later.

  13. #13
    Übermensch ShoutsAtQuietMice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    2,874


    I always carry supplementary oxygen whilst climbing Grindslow Knoll, just in case.

    Viruses will get us in the end anyway, why prolong the planets suffering ?

    Btw, anyone ever run a culture test on a sleeve ripped from a Bamboo merino long sleeved aluminiumised base layer ? it's my back up torniquet.

  14. #14
    Übermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,303


    Why would a sealed dressing become "unsterile" after somepoint in time? Can't see it myself. As others have said, stop the blood = No 1 priority.

  15. #15
    Goon Ron Rees Davies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    308


    That's true........and if all you have is a dirty handkerchief then use that to stop the bleeding...... but if you have a choice between stopping it with an out of date and possibly unsterile dressing and using (/buying for a couple of quid) a new sterile one why use the old one. For the sake of a few quid you might reduce your infection risks.

    And Craig H - why do you think it acceptable to use out of date stuff that you wouldn't use on humans as 'pet first aid'?

  16. #16
    Ultra King Mole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    9,445
    Quote Originally Posted by cathyjc View Post

    What ever caused the damage/hit you/you hit probably wasn't sterile in the first place. So as long as you are not actively putting muck and bugs into the wound, a just 'clean' dressing will be OK. Once the wound is cleaned up in a clean/sterile environment/hospital, then a sterile dressing might be appropriate. -All a generality of course.
    +1

    Infection nearly always comes from the cause - a dirty wound won't be stopped going infectious by an 'in-date dressing' To me common snse applies - A sealed clean dressing must be free of most bacteria (except maybe a type that would thrive on sealed clean dressings - which probably don't thrive in human wounds!)

    Obviously, if the dressing has physically deteriorated it oughtn't be used. I have checked some out of date dressings I had duplicates of and they looked physically fine and were well sealed, so I am happy to keep similar dated ones in my work FAK.

    some discussions on same subject here:

    http://www.firstaidcafe.co.uk/tabid/...s/t/2635/.aspx

    http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/arc...p/t-82934.html

    As someone who works outside, with a variety of very sharp tools (manual and mechanical) over the years, I have had/seen lots of (often self inflicted ) open wounds, and have needed several hospital visits, stitches and even microsurgery once. My 'small wound' dressings are nearly always in date due to turnover rate.

    Nowadays unless say, I can see anything of my interior other than 'meat' in the wound or 5mm deep, I usually sort it out myself. Cleaning with clean water, antisceptic wipes and Lavender oil all help for cleaning/antisceptic IMO. Once a day or so has passed with no 'throbbing', I know my wound isn't infected...

    Just this wednesday I cut my hand with a japanese pullsaw (straight through a glove) not tooo deep but bloody and open flesh wound. Cleaned and patched it up from my work FAK and added duct tape over the top to protect the dressing in the rain/dirt. It was knitted together well. When younger might have taken it to casualty for inspection/dressing.


  17. #17
    Widdler
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    8
    I work in a rural a&e in Cumbria ....the stuff farmers chuck on wounds is mental..oily rags, snotty hankies etc....most dressings should be fine up to about 12 months past expiry but the sterility starts to become compromised as the packaging becomes perished with time.

  18. #18
    Mini Goon Peter Masson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    192
    interesting stuff. Thanks again for comments and advice

Similar Threads

  1. Repair kits
    By EvanDaviesOutdoors in forum Gear
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 01-01-2014, 08:18 PM
  2. Talkback: Monday Tip - First Aid Kits
    By Peter Clinch in forum Article talkback
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 20-06-2012, 06:07 PM
  3. Peak District Day walk - Tissington Well Dressings
    By Milly. in forum Meets and Partners
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 20-05-2012, 10:50 PM
  4. First Aid Kits
    By Old Enough To Know Better in forum Gear
    Replies: 101
    Last Post: 24-03-2011, 03:10 PM
  5. Thermarest seat kits
    By Guy... in forum Gear
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 19-09-2002, 02:14 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •