The medicine chest or first-aid kit should be kept well stocked and should be checked every 3 to 6 months, replacing any used or expired items. The following basic supplies are useful to have on hand:
Activated charcoal (call the poison control center before using)
Antihistamine for allergic reactions
Antibiotic ointment (such as bacitracin or neomycin)
Antiseptic solution or towelettes (disinfecting wipes)
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen
Bandages in various sizes and shapes
Aspirin, 325 mg, nonenteric coated, to be chewed in case of symptoms of a heart attack Acute Coronary Syndromes (Heart Attack; Myocardial Infarction; Unstable Angina) Acute coronary syndromes result from a sudden blockage in a coronary artery. This blockage causes unstable angina or a heart attack (myocardial infarction), depending on the location and amount... read more (call a doctor before taking)
Cold pack (instant) or ice bag
Compression (elastic) bandage for sprains and strains
Cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs
Gauze pads in various sizes to stop bleeding and cover wounds
Gloves (latex or nitrile)
Hydrocortisone cream for stings and itchy, inflamed rashes
Pen light or flashlight with extra batteries
Plastic bags for the disposal of potentially contaminated material
Safety pins in different sizes
Warm pack (instant)
The following can be given by lay (nonprofessional) rescuers and may be appropriate for some first aid kits:
Epinephrine injection (for example, EpiPen) for life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis Overview of Allergic Reactions Allergic reactions (hypersensitivity reactions) are inappropriate responses of the immune system to a normally harmless substance. Usually, allergies cause sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, a... read more )
Naloxone (Narcan) nasal spray or injection for overdoses of opioid drugs Emergency treatment Opioids, a class of drugs derived from the opium poppy (including synthetic variations), are pain relievers with a high potential for misuse. Opioids are used to relieve pain, but they also... read more (for example, heroin, oxycodone [including Oxycontin], fentanyl)
Additionally, have the following readily available:
Phone numbers and contact information for your family doctor and/or pediatrician, emergency services, and regional poison control center (1-800-222-1222 in the United States)
List of drugs (both prescription and over-the-counter) that each family member takes
Medical history forms for each family member
Many people consider taking a first-aid course through the American Red Cross or some other agency. See the American Red Cross web site for more information. People may also need to prepare children for medical emergencies in age-appropriate ways and know when to call 911 or the local emergency service.
The following are some English-language resources that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of the resources.
American Association of Poison Control Centers: Represents the US-based poison centers that provide free, confidential services (24/7) through the Poison Help Line (1-800-222-1222).
American Red Cross: Provides training opportunities and certification programs that help people to prepare for and prevent emergencies as well as respond to them when they do occur.
Stop the Bleed.org: An American College of Surgeons program that has trained over 1.9 million people worldwide to stop bleeding in the severely injured.
Drugs Mentioned In This Article
|Generic Name||Select Brand Names|
|AK-Tracin, Baciguent, BaciiM, Baci-Rx, Ocu-Tracin|
|7T Gummy ES, Acephen, Aceta, Actamin, Adult Pain Relief, Anacin Aspirin Free, Apra, Children's Acetaminophen, Children's Pain & Fever , Comtrex Sore Throat Relief, ED-APAP, ElixSure Fever/Pain, Feverall, Genapap, Genebs, Goody's Back & Body Pain, Infantaire, Infants' Acetaminophen, LIQUID PAIN RELIEF, Little Fevers, Little Remedies Infant Fever + Pain Reliever, Mapap, Mapap Arthritis Pain, Mapap Infants, Mapap Junior, M-PAP, Nortemp, Ofirmev, Pain & Fever , Pain and Fever , PAIN RELIEF , PAIN RELIEF Extra Strength, Panadol, PediaCare Children's Fever Reducer/Pain Reliever, PediaCare Children's Smooth Metls Fever Reducer/Pain Reliever, PediaCare Infant's Fever Reducer/Pain Reliever, Pediaphen, PHARBETOL, Plus PHARMA, Q-Pap, Q-Pap Extra Strength, Silapap, Triaminic Fever Reducer and Pain Reliever, Triaminic Infant Fever Reducer and Pain Reliever, Tylenol, Tylenol 8 Hour, Tylenol 8 Hour Arthritis Pain, Tylenol 8 Hour Muscle Aches & Pain, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Children's, Tylenol Children's Pain+Fever, Tylenol CrushableTablet, Tylenol Extra Strength, Tylenol Infants', Tylenol Infants Pain + Fever, Tylenol Junior Strength, Tylenol Pain + Fever, Tylenol Regular Strength, Tylenol Sore Throat, XS No Aspirin, XS Pain Reliever|
|Advil, Advil Children's, Advil Children's Fever, Advil Infants', Advil Junior Strength, Advil Migraine, Caldolor, Children's Ibuprofen, ElixSure IB, Genpril , Ibren , IBU, Midol, Midol Cramps and Body Aches, Motrin, Motrin Children's, Motrin IB, Motrin Infants', Motrin Junior Strength, Motrin Migraine Pain, PediaCare Children's Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer IB, PediaCare Infants' Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer IB, Samson-8|
|Anacin Adult Low Strength, Aspergum, Aspir-Low, Aspirtab , Aspir-Trin , Bayer Advanced Aspirin, Bayer Aspirin, Bayer Aspirin Extra Strength, Bayer Aspirin Plus, Bayer Aspirin Regimen, Bayer Children's Aspirin, Bayer Extra Strength, Bayer Extra Strength Plus, Bayer Genuine Aspirin, Bayer Low Dose Aspirin Regimen, Bayer Womens Aspirin , BeneHealth Aspirin, Bufferin, Bufferin Extra Strength, Bufferin Low Dose, DURLAZA, Easprin , Ecotrin, Ecotrin Low Strength, Genacote, Halfprin, MiniPrin, St. Joseph Adult Low Strength, St. Joseph Aspirin, VAZALORE, Zero Order Release Aspirin, ZORprin|
|A-Hydrocort, Ala-Cort, Ala-Scalp, Alkindi, Anucort-HC, Anumed-HC, Anusol HC, Aquaphor Children's Itch Relief, Aquaphor Itch Relief, Balneol for Her, Caldecort , Cetacort, Colocort , Cortaid, Cortaid Advanced, Cortaid Intensive Therapy, Cortaid Sensitive Skin, CortAlo, Cortef, Cortenema, Corticaine, Corticool, Cortifoam, Cortizone, Cortizone-10, Cortizone-10 Cooling Relief, Cortizone-10 Intensive Healing, Cortizone-10 Plus, Cortizone-5 , Dermarest Dricort, Dermarest Eczema, Dermarest Itch Relief, Encort, First - Hydrocortisone, Gly-Cort , GRx HiCort, Hemmorex-HC, Hemorrhoidal-HC, Hemril , Hycort, Hydro Skin, Hydrocortisone in Absorbase, Hydrocortone, Hydroskin , Hytone, Instacort, Lacticare HC, Locoid, Locoid Lipocream, MiCort-HC , Monistat Complete Care Instant Itch Relief Cream, Neosporin Eczema, NuCort , Nutracort, NuZon, Pandel, Penecort, Preparation H Hydrocortisone, Proctocort, Proctocream-HC, Procto-Kit, Procto-Med HC , Procto-Pak, Proctosert HC , Proctosol-HC, Proctozone-HC, Rectacort HC, Rectasol-HC, Rederm, Sarnol-HC, Scalacort, Scalpicin Anti-Itch, Solu-Cortef, Texacort, Tucks HC, Vagisil Anti-Itch, Walgreens Intensive Healing, Westcort|
|Adrenaclick, Adrenalin, Auvi-Q, Epifrin, EpiPen, Epipen Jr , Primatene Mist, SYMJEPI, Twinject|
|EVZIO, Kloxxado, Narcan, ZIMHI|
|Dazidox , Endocodone , ETH-Oxydose, Oxaydo, OXECTA, OxyContin, Oxydose , OxyFast, OxyIR, Percolone, Roxicodone, Roxybond, XTAMPZA|
|ABSTRAL, Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, IONSYS, Lazanda, Onsolis, Sublimaze, SUBSYS|