Boy's Life Article on First Aid kits,
Amick Robert (amick@SPOT.COLORADO.EDU)
Fri, 21 Nov 1997 00:59:55 -0700
In an otherwise very helpful and well-written article about first aid
kits for Scouts, Patrols and troops (Boy's Life, Nov. 1997, page 22,
entitled "A Real Lifesaver") there is an error that should be noted
concerning the use of aspirin versus acetominophen (tylenol).
While the graphics show a bottle of acetominophen, the text suggests that
"aspirin will help reduce pain and fever." The authors undoubtedly meant
to say acetominophen, since aspirin is associated with causing Reye's
Syndrome (paralysis) in children and teenagers who have viral infections.
It would be good to remind Scouts and Scouters who assemble first aid kits
that aspirin is contraindicated for children and teenagers with
fever/viral infections, and that only acetominophen (tylenol) or ibuprofen
(advil,motrin) are appropriate analgesics. Some physicians have
recommended using the two in combination to reduce fever and control pain
during such illnesses so long as recommended dosages are followed
carefully. As always, consultation with personal physicians on such
therapy is always essential.
Related articles in this edition depict a Scout troop's mass casualty
exercise and a Scout recognized with the heroism medal for first aid.
One important point on the heroism award story: Scouts and Scouters
should be cautioned to NEVER attempt to move or remove someone from a
wrecked vehicle unless the vehicle is on fire or other immediately life
threatening condition is present requiring rapid evacuation.
EMS/Fire/rescue personnel are trained to properly stabilize victims of
auto accidents with spinal immobilization (backboards, cervical collars,
etc.), and to safely extricate them with minimal risk of aggravating
existing injury or causing new injury. Failing to take spinal precautions
can permanently damage the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis or death.
Bob Amick, EMT-B, Explorer Advisor, High Adventure Explorer Post 72,
Boulder, CO; Longs Peak Council Exploring Training Chair
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City