First aid kits?

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  • #4639
    LindsayTroy
    Moderator

    I’m getting my packing list ready for the Liberty Ridge and trying to figure out what to pack in terms of fist aid. I tend to over pack my first aid kits, so I’m trying not to do that.

    I found this online: http://www.traditionalmountaineering.org/Firstaid.pdf but it seems like more than what I’d need.

    I was figuring I’d bring tape, drugs (advil, excedrine migraine, benadryl), maybe moleskin, gauze, alcohol swabs, and some various sized bandaids, and a tensor wrap.

    What do people bring?

Posted In: Alpinism

  • Keymaster
    Steve House on #4642

    I’m not in any way qualified to give advice here, but I can tell you what I do. The minimum I bring is good cloth tape (1000 purposes), steri-strips (light and effective), a few does of Naproxen (I prefer to ibuprofen and fewer tabs means less weight!) and a decent supply of the strongest pain killer I can get my hands on. On top of that I bring a emergency blanket (shock is very real) if I don’t have a sleeping bag. Benadryl is a good idea if there are known allergies or with people I don’t know. The rest is situational. Hope that helps. Hope you don’t need it!

    Moderator
    LindsayTroy on #4645

    Thanks Steve!

    To get your hands on a strong pain killer do you just go to the doctor and tell them you’re climbing a mountain and ask what they’ll give you? This is very concerning as someone who works in public health (re: opioid epidemic).

    Keymaster
    Steve House on #4650

    I usually have something left over from whatever my most recent injury was. I understand these drugs can create a problem, but treat them responsibly so I forget that other may not. The fact is that if you suffer a serious injury, an opiod may allow you to self-rescue but ibu, etc, doesn’t put a dent in serious pain. Hope that makes sense.

    Participant
    RPM on #4664

    As someone who’s recently completed WFR Training, it’s helpful to identify how many people in your party, what risks are most evident for the trip, any allergies or medical conditions for the people in your party and how far you are from medical support/evacuation.

    Having lived in the PNW for most of my life and having climbed Liberty Ridge, I’d say some of the biggest risks for injuries are: Crevasse Falls on the approach and descent, sunburn, dehydration, rockfall on most of the ridge, AMS from Thumb Rock over Lib Cap and until down to Camp Sherman, all kinds of cold injuries if the weather turns bad or if you get pinned down due to injury.

    Not knowing how many people in your party or their medical conditions, I’d leave out the Benadryl as the environment does not lend itself to allergic reactions (bee sting etc), just food allergies. I’d just add some butterfly strips to your current list (like Steve suggested) and I like a small container of petroleum jelly or ointment to put over wounds or blisters before applying the bandage. I know it adds some weight but you might consider bringing one shovel for the team in case you need to take shelter between Thumb Rock and Camp Sherman. If weather turns bad, there’s not much rescuers can do up there and climbers should be prepared to wait out the weather. Also, it may be helpful to review improvised splints in case someone takes a fall or is hit by the bastard rockfall that seems to be prevalent on that route.

    Moderator
    LindsayTroy on #4665

    Steve- I meant that you shouldn’t be able to walk into a doctors office and get opoiods. I fully understand the need to take them when awaiting rescue for a serious injury.

    RPM- Thank you! I added benadryl because I had a weird allergic reaction this past weekend hiking with no reasonable possible exposure? It raised some alarm bells. I will consider a shovel and review first aid/WFR.

    Steri strips + neosporin will make the cut.

    Hopefully I’ll have no need to use any of this!

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #4674

    Lindsay:
    Unless you have a special relationship with your doc you probably are not going to get a prescription for opioids.

    What Steve means is that when you have had multiple major orthopedic surgeries you tend to end up with a bathroom drawer of half used prescription pain killers. Both Steve and I fall into this category after a life time in the mountains and lots of scars to show for it. Having many times been involved in serious accidents and rescues of climbers we are saying that we’d rather have a left over, 5 year old, expired Oxycodone in the first aid kit than a few Ibuprofen tablets when dealing with serious trauma. We are talking about medical emergencies not recreational drug use.

    Scott

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