Our cycling club is in the process of acquiring a cycling specific medical kit. We have allocated up to $1,000 CDN ($730 USD / €670). For the races the club hosts, we sometimes have an ambulance on site and at other times we have first aid or higher level EMR trained personnel who volunteer. For the latter, we want to ensure they have a robust medical kit that surpasses a simple first aid kit.
If anyone has a supply source or an inventory list for a cycling specific medical kit, or if you have any personal insights into what should be included, it would be appreciated if you could add it to this chat.
Thanks in advance for whatever information you may be able to provide.
Perhaps just beyond your budget, but an absolutely critical item is an AED (automated external defibrillator). Scrapes, blood, broken bones and stuff all can ‘wait’ while a person is transported to hospital but an AED saves a life.
It would also be worth training a few people in your club for a Basic Life Support (BLS) class.
In terms of materials for the kit: full-strength (325 mg), non-enteric coated aspirin, epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen), liquid/semi-solid glucose (shouldn’t be an issue at a cycling event!), Narcan, combat tourniquet, a way to call 911.
ED doctor here, Definitely some good suggestions. Full heartedly agree with an AED, one of the few truly life saving interventions that can be performed in the community. I would also say that the people you have are much more important then what’s in your kit. Somebody with decent training will be much more helpful with a minimal kit then having the best possible kit but no one knowing how to use it.
Other then the AED I would agree aspirin and an epipen are important. a variety of wound dressings, if you know how to use them a pulse oximeter and blood pressure cuff are useful. One thing that is not useful are little 15 or 30ml wound irrigation solutions. wound irrigation is all about volume, if you can drink the water you can irrigate with it. You are better off with a full bike bottle of water then 30ml of sterile saline.
As an aside coming from a non American viewpoint I don’t see the need for narcan in an event first aid kit, if you aren’t giving opioids in your medical kit. It’s not like the athletes are taking fentanyl before the race.
Can’t comment on a specific list but a couple related suggestions based on some race organizing experience.
Have 2 kits. The “good” one that never gets touched except by specified folks and only for serious needs. That is important so that key people always know where it is and its actually there when its needed.
Then have a second “boo boo” kit that is mostly there as a courtesy for when someone who’s not seriously hurt and just wants something to cover up a little road rash so they don’t bleed all over their car. This kit is the one that’s going to go missing or turn up empty . . . That one just needs band aids, pads, tape and some spray cleaning/disinfectant stuff. (here in the US, the ambulance on site may bandage up your road rash but they might sent a bill for that).
Its important to have a WRITTEN plan on emergency response. It might only fill half a page but write it down. Who’s calling for help? Where are you? You’d be surprised how often at a race everyone knows how to get their but no one knows how to quickly give good location info when calling for help. It is very helpful to identify who in the club has first aid training and that the folks running the race know who’s there who can be helpful. At our local races just as part of the usual crowd there are several doctors and/or nurses around. But that doesn’t help if the folks in charge don’t know who’s who or where they are.
Finally, in addition to being ready to call in the big guns, most bike race crash injuries that need real treatment don’t warrant an expensive ambulance ride and the injured party or a buddy are going to drive themselves to an ER or ReadyMed to get some advanced first aid or x-rays. As a courtesy to non local racers, its nice to be able to give folks addresses and directions.
Spectators or on-lookers might be. If someone had an event, people would be turning to the (medical) staff for help. I agree it’s unlikely, but I’m just trying to think of cheap, easy-to-use life-saving items for a kit–Narcan fits the bill.
Second this. Our local club doesn’t have fancy timing gear and the trailer with all the race signage is old and heavy, but we DO have an AED - which as a 52yo with two stents I appreciate!
Also having just checked the expiry date on my assorted meds, maybe a few Nitroglycerin sprays (used for relieving angina episodes) - of course, check on the rules around purchasing or administering drugs that aren’t the patient’s own in your local area
Interesting that you can dispense medication in first aid. In the UK you can’t. I’ve often thought that an epipen would be a really important addition to a first aid kit, but they can only be had on prescription.
I’d find the people that are likely to administer first aid, and ask them what they’re comfortable using.
Maybe its different in Canada, but here in the UK, you shouldn’t hand out medication, so I wouldn’t put anything like that in the box, and leave it at stuff to stop bleeding and cover up road rash, plus water for washing.