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What needs to be in your First Aid Box

This is a question I get asked quite a few times a month.

What needs to be in your First Aid Box

Each business will have different requirements for their First Aid Supplies.

For example, if you work in a catering establishment then you will require a supply of blue/green plasters this is to protect the staff and also the food/drink as the plasters are easily identifiable to the consumer or staff member. Some of these plasters also contain metal and will set off any  metal detector alarms during the packing or manufacturing process.

The items that are commonly found in First Aid boxes are:

Mixed sized plasters to cover any cuts or scrapes. When you cover a cut it can stop the bleed but also protects the cut from any dirty elements in the atmosphere that could cause a possible infection.

Mixed sized sterile bandages/dressings to help support any heavy bleeds or possible broken bones.

Eye pads – these are to protect the eyes for a couple of reasons, and they are to stop the person from rubbing their eyes and to protect the eye/s from any damage.

Sterile water – this is an optional item, you can use water out of the tap or bottles water to wash out any splashes to the eye/s.

Foil blanket – this is to keep the casualty warm in case of shock etc.

Sterile wipe – these are to clean any areas to prevent infection.

Face Shield – this is to prevent any sharing of bodily fluids if you are going to carry out mouth to mouth procedures on a casualty.

Gloves – these are to protect from patient’s blood or any bodily fluids.

Scissors – not always needed but recommended in case any clothing needs to be cut in an emergency.

Guidance leaflet – always important to have so that people can follow the guidance in case of emergency.

Safety Pins – always a good thing to have in a First Aid box.

Microporous Tape – needed to keep bandages or dressings in place.

Finger dressing – can be a good addition to your kit.

There should not be any sprays, lotions, tablets or medication in the First Aid Box as you do not know what peoples’ allergies may be.

Asthma pumps and epi-pens are patient specific so they should always be on the person and should not be shared. Also check the dates on these medications as they do expire very quickly.

First Aid Kits should be checked and documented on a regular basis and again please check the expiry date for all products in your kit.

First Aid Training should also be carried out on a regular basis so that your staff are aware of what to do in case of emergency.

Signage is also required to be on display to show who the First Aiders are and the location of the nearest First Aid box. I also recommend adding these boxes onto your Fire Plan.