Our First Aid Information Recording advice offer some ideas for recording details at a casualty incident. We really hope you find it useful.
Why Carry Items For First Aid Information Recording?
We have previously shared some advice on what to pack in an everyday outdoor first aid kit here. The list isn’t especially long and focuses on simple and multi-use items. It also emphasises the overall importance of having the skills to manage first aid emergencies. We teach the principle of the more you know, the less you need. One of the items mentioned is a means to record information. This is essential and there are several reasons why.
Firstly, in an emergency there are many things stacked up against you. Having a guide to inform your decision making is very reassuring. Having a way to detail any casualty monitoring is essential too. Vital signs observations might indicate something that needs attention or reassure you the casualty is stable.
It also forms a medical record. This might be essential for arriving emergency services or a record of actions taken that could feed into an accident book. Finally, it can be reassuring to a casualty to see that the first aider managing them is organised and efficient.
So, we think a means of recording is essential. But the focus of this advice article is all about what you might carry. We’ll offer some ideas on what you might write on and what you might carry to write with.
What To Write On?
A Casualty Card is a great option for recording details at an accident site. A well designed one will have reminders about the accident procedure and space to record sets of vital signs. It should also the facility to record information that could be taken by another party member to seek help. Our custom designed Tor Lea Training version has everything you could need and is printed onto waterproof paper. These are given to participants on our Tor Lea Training ITC Outdoor First Aid and Advanced Outdoor First Aid courses.
Rite In The Rain Notepad
Alongside that we consider it very useful to have another way to record information. This should be compact and be able to be used in all weathers. A great option is a tiny Rite In The Rain notepad. Perfect for making additional notes, writing a note to leave at the casualty site or a host of other uses. This is well worth the small extra weight and bulk.
It is also worth mentioning that a smartphone is another useful way to record information. Most have the facility to make notes.
What To Write With?
The key consideration for First Aid Information Recording is having something to write in any weather conditions and on a variety of surfaces. Here are our top choices and we always have a selection of options in our kits.
Sharpie Twin Tip
Sharpie pens are great. Simple, reliable, efficient. They can be used for writing on paper but can just as easily be used The only problem is that they tend to be quite thick. You may want this is you are writing, for example, onto duct tape. We discussed this in our blog post on first aid kit tapes here.
Sometimes, however, you might want a Sharpie that writes with a thinner line. That’s where our recommendation for the Sharpie Twin Tip comes in. These are simply Sharpies with a different size tip at each end. Two options in one Sharpie gives lots of versatility.
Fisher Space Pen
Another useful choice is the Fisher Space Pen. These are a more costly option, but in our experience they work extremely well. They were developed for space travel by Paul Fisher in 1967. The key to the versatility of these pens is the sealed and pressurised ink chamber and special ink. They can work in a wide range of temperatures and at any angle. Crucially, they can also write on wet or greasy paper. The classic Fisher Space Pen is the bullet pen shown in the photo above. These are robust and compact and can easily live in a corner of your kit.
The pens are relatively expensive and also fairly bulky for storage in a lightweight first aid kit. However, one cheaper and lighter option is to just carry a Fisher Space Pen refill. They are easily obtainable online and make a great option. You can see them in the photo above.
A final option is a simple pencil. They won’t work on every surface, but will work on the waterproof paper of our Casualty Cards. We carry a trimmed pencil with the tip stored in a ballpoint pen lid. We’d suggest a selection of options is better than just having one choice available.
We hope you have found our First Aid Information Recording post useful. Please also check out our article on Gloves For First Aid. We also explain about the waterproof paper detailed in this article here.