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“Ask the Doc” Mailbag Round-Up for April 2010

Q:  used the heatsheets emergency bivvy (3.8 oz). next morning discovered a lot of moisture in the bivvy. this gave rise to an extra cold and damp start to the day. is this a common with the bivvy? many thanks for a small but important bit of kit. it may not seem like the back country but when i am here in northern ireland events can turn bad.

A:  Condensation inside the bivvy is par for the course with this product – since the material itself is not breathable, moisture accumulates fairly rapidly.  This is why we classify the Heatsheets Bivvy as an emergency product – since, in an emergency, it is necessary to preserve heat and get warm at all costs, even if condensation results.

Q: I have to prepare a medical kit for 40 people in a wilderness setting and being “waterproof” is a must so we don’t lose supplies.  What Adventure Medical Kit do I need?  My wife is a retired R.N., so we would also like something that has a stapler as well as sutures in it.

A: A kit for 40 people is going to need to be pretty large – I would recommend either our Guide I or Expedition kits from our Professional Series.  These kits have enough supplies to treat a wide range of ailments and injuries over a large group of people, and they are designed for professionals or individuals with advanced wilderness first aid training.  (For a more user friendly option, I highly recommend our Comprehensive kit, which features Easy Care organization so even someone without any first aid training can administer medical care.)  All of our kits in the Professional series use water-resistant fabrics, although they aren’t 100% waterproof – for a kit as large as what you’re looking for, I would recommend keeping it in a waterproof container such as a Pelican case, Otter box, or even a very large size Aloksak; alternatively, you can pack the inner components into zip-lock bags to keep them dry in the event that the kit is submerged.

As for sutures/surgical supplies, I recommend picking up a Deluxe Wound Cleaning and Closure module from our refills page – this module is for professionals only, and it contains sutures as well as a skin stapler and staple remover.

Q: Would it be safe to put the Quikclot sport silver after I’ve use neosporin on a gauze?

A: QuikClot (and QuikClot Silver) are designed to be used in an emergency situation when bleeding is heavy or life-threatening.  If the amount of bleeding has slowed enough for you to dress the wound properly (with gauze and antibiotic ointment), it probably isn’t necessary to use QuikClot.  In answer to your question, it is safe to use QuikClot or QuikClot Silver in this situation, but my advice would be to use QuikClot directly on the wound immediately, hold it in place using direct pressure for as long as is necessary to stop the bleeding, and then to use antibiotic ointment, non-adherent dressings, and gauze to dress the wound once bleeding has stopped.

Q: What is the best kit for horseback riding? We ride in the mountains often, and sometimes get far from camp.

A: I suggest either our Comprehensive or Outfitter, since these kits both have detachable inner bags that you can take with you on excursions from your base camp.  Both of the kits have enough supplies for large groups or extended trips, so if you’re venturing out with smaller groups on shorter trips, you may want to consider the Weekender or Sportsman kits instead.  The Comprehensive and Weekender kits are from our Mountain series, which will suit your needs if you just ride horses to get out into the wilderness, while the Outfitter and Sportsman kits are specifically designed for hunting/fishing trips.

Q: I will be directing an archaeological project in the lower Andean mountains of Peru (ca. 1000m).  We will have a crew of four people and will be working for about a month.  It is five hours by horse to the nearest road and then four hours by truck to the nearest town. We will have supplies brought in once a week and each crew member is expected to bring in their own basic supplies.  We can get most basic supplies in Peru (boxes of gauze, bandages, eye flush, antiseptic wipes, etc,) but I am concerned with a major machete cut.  Snake bites and burns are second and third on my list.  Any suggestions for kits.

A: I would recommend the Comprehensive kit from our Mountain Series for your needs (four people in a remote location for 30 days).  Although you can obtain basic supplies, it really is preferable to have everything contained in one kit, especially one like the Comprehensive in which the contents are organized by injury.  If you are particularly worried about major cuts/bleeding, pick up a Wound Closure Medic, which as everything you need to clean and close a wound, as well as some QuikClot Sport, which will stop bleeding within minutes.

-Jordan Hurder, AMK Product Specialist



One Response to ““Ask the Doc” Mailbag Round-Up for April 2010”

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