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First Aid Kit In A Can
Farmers often don't give safety precautions the time they deserve and no one knows that better than farm wives, who do most of the worrying. One farm wife in Wisconsin decided to do something about it.
Kim Maurer and her husband Dale farm near Madison. She's volunteer safety coordinator for her county's Farm Bureau and has become a champion of farm safety efforts, speaking to groups all over the state to promote what she calls a "First Aid Kit In A Can" - a basic, inexpensive safety kit that she says fits in a 5-lb. coffee can and should be carried on every tractor and combine.
The kit includes: A heavy-duty medical scissors; one 4-in. Ace bandage; one 2-in. stack of 4 by 4-in. gauze; one Kendall Kerlex roll; one roll adhesive tape; one box of bandaids; four 3-in. gauze rolls; four 4 by 10-in. Suripad dressing; one triangle bandage; a permanent marker, and a pad of paper.
Maurer says the most important (and expensive) component of the kit is the scissors. Medical scissors can cut through virtually anything and have blunt ends so they won't poke the victim. They can be used to quickly cut through clothing to free a victim or get at a wound.
The Ace bandage and big pieces of gauze are designed to protect big wounds. Maurer suggests that for adhesive tape you simply use plain duct tape because it's strong yet tears easily, works good under moist conditions, and is easy to remove.
The Suripad dressing soaks up more blood than gauze and won't stick to the wound or leave lint in it. The Kerlex roll is sterile cotton that can be wrapped around a difficult wound, like an elbow or knee, or can be bunched up and laid on top of a wound. For the triangle bandage, Maurer simply used a yard of high-grade muslin material. It can be torn up for strip bandages or made into a sling. A yard of this material will fit into a plastic sandwich bag.
The pen and paper are for writing down information about the victim while you wait for the ambulance, such as name, address, and phone number as well as your doctor's name and any special medical conditions the victim may have.
It's helpful if materials in the kit can be kept sterile but Maurer says it's not really necessary since most farm accident wounds are full of grime, grease or manure anyway.
One other hint Maurer gives in her talks is to take a close look at the wound because the ambulance drivers may not want to take your bandage off and will ask you what it looked like. Is the wound clean or dirty? Was bone sticking out?
Most kit supplies can be bought at local drugstores (total cost about $35) but may be cheaper if purchased directly from a medical supply house. You can reduce the cost further by buying in bulk with neighbors.
Another good piece of emergency equipment to have available is a high-quality whistle or air horn to use to attract attention.
Maurer suggests that selling first aid kits in a can might be a good fund raiser for 4-H and FFA youth groups.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kim Maurer, 3231 Maple Grove Dr., Mison, W 53719 (ph 608 845.8053).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #2