First Aid: is the initial response performed by non-expert in time of emergency until professional help can be accessed.
“’Take some time to learn first aid and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). It saves lives, and it works “–Bobby Sherman
History: The Earliest known & documented evidence of first aid was in 1099 by religious knights organized by the order of St John – Kinght Hospitallar who extended care to pilgrims and knights for soldiers injured in battle, the four nation meet in Geneva in 1863 led to Red Cross, but it was the Mid 19 th Century the First International Geneva Conference that created Red Cross where soldiers were trained to provide aid till medics arrived.
A Motorcycle rider is more exposed to elements hence the following need to be considered
- Burns – Burns from Exhaust pipes, Sun burn and Heat burns
- Eye Injury – Dust from roads and particles that fly in to the eyes
- Cuts – Abrasions and Scrapes from hitting the road, or while handling the motorcycle from movement to stationary position or vice versa, during motorcycle maintenance
- Altitude sickness: Dehydration and lack of oxygen at high altitudes lead to difficulty in breathing while riding a motorcycle
It’s especially relevant to consider the above factors while choosing your first aid pack.
One of the most overlooked items in majority of the rider’s arsenal i have seen is the basic or the most essential first aid kit. I might sound a bit biased but the need for first aid as part of the payload is almost ignored & I have even seen cases wherein the entire group or couple of riders are entirely dependent on that one individual who usually carries the first aid kit! I believe that Medical Kit should be one of the first items you procure & pack as part of your itinerary no matter how short or long the ride is.
When I started touring, I too was part of the group which believed that it’s ok not to have a first aid kit; all that was important to be christened as a biker was a riding gear, a crash helmet, a set of bungee cords, a tank bag so on. You go on a breakfast ride or those long rides, come back post it on social media & get a await likes and comments.
Witnessing horrific incidents involving myself & fellow riders and situations when on the road, Is what made me realize that the topic of discussion in those forums should also encompass first aid as a primary aspect than gear alone!
Over the last few years, i have tried a combination of First aid kits & have finally put together a list of what I believe is a comprehensive kit irrespective of the nature or distance of the ride. Since its an evolving topic & has scope for improvement I am happy to take feedback and expert advice to improve the Contents of the first aid kit
- Antiseptic – 100ml plastic bottles of Dettol or Savlon(The individual will already be in pain ,an antiseptic which won’t cause burning sensation would be ideal in this situation else it will hinder first aid protocol)
- Adhesive Tape – Leukoplast
- Absorbent cotton wool
- Sterile Gauze Pads – 2 large rolls
- Band-aids – 5 or more
- Belladonna Plaster – Pain relief patch
- Pain Reliving Spray – Moov or Volini – For sprains or Muscle catch
- Sanitary Pad – To arrest bleeding swiftly this would be prove the best
- Mosquito repellent – Spray , Cream , Coil or cards – (Ensure test for allergy is done prior to use of mosquito repellent cream)
- Inhalers – Vicks Vapour rub or Vicks inhaler
- Surgical Gloves
- Collapsible scissors
- Crepe Bandage
- Water Tablets to purify water
- Wet Wipes or even better Sunscreen wipes
- Calpol or Crocin: Fever & Body pain
- Domstal or Avomine: Vomiting
- Eldopar or Lomotil: loose motion
- Dart or Colgin: For Headache
- D-Cold Total or Sinarest: Cold or Nose Blockage or Sinusitis
- Rantac or Eno: acidity or Stomach ache
- Strepsils: For sore throat
- Ointments or Lotions:
- Beta dine – To apply on cuts
- Nebasulf Powder – If you prefer dusting powder on cuts than beta dine
- Normal Saline 0.9g x 100mL – multipurpose med – can aid in cleaning wounds, cleanse contact lenses & can even double as eye drops
- Eye Drops(if you don’t want to rely on saline)
- Hand Sanitiser
For High Altitude Rides:
A check on ferritin levels is a must. Low ferritin levels may or almost certainly spell disaster and might probably result in ALS or altitude Level Sickness.
The Normal ferritin levels range from 12 to 300 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng or mL) for Men and 12 to 150 ng or mL for Women.
The preferred tablets are Ibuprofen or Naproxen or dexamethasone or diamox or acetazolamide.
My recommendation is vetazolamide. Administer this 8-10 hours before the day of high altitude riding as this would reduce the susceptibility of Headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness & nausea.
A Hydration Pack is a must irrespective of the weather. I generally add Oral Rehydration Salt, a combination of electrolyte powder and carbohydrates and is commonly know as ORS.
If you have a female rider accompanying you or if you are a female rider then:
- Visit a Gynaecologist or a Physician for advice
- Sanitary Pads and Tampons as required
Where or how to store the First aid kit?
- Ensure you to store it at an easily accessible location safe from elements
- Do not stuff them or pack them tightly because this may damage the content of your kit
- Choose plastic over glass ware
- Segregate and Organise medicines in the order of their necessity and type
- Choose a good quality carrying case or pouch, preferably a soft pouch
My 5 Top Tips:
- Choose Travel size packets over full size
- Only carry essentials and do not carry surplus
- Most of all verify the expiration dates prior packing or while buying medicines
- Store tablets inside a ziplock pouch to organise it better & keep it safe from accidental water damage
- Do carry a pouch to dispose clinical waste
- Do take time to go through the First aid Guide
Here’s my First Aid Kit:
Disclaimer provides that such medical information is merely information – not advice. If users need medical advice, they should consult a doctor or other appropriate medical professional. The disclaimer enumerates that no warranties are give in relation to the medical information supplied on the website and that no liability will accrue to the owner of Touragrapher in the event that a user suffers loss as a result of reliance upon the information.