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Is your first aid kit up-to-date? When was it last checked?

Tuesday 09 August 11:05 AM

All over Australia, first aid kits are sitting in cupboards, on benches, in vehicles and numerous other handy (and some not so handy) locations. In many cases, people know there’s a first aid kit about the place somewhere, but it may be used only very occasionally.  Your first aid kit should be kept in a safe, dry and accessible place. If a first aid kit is out of sight in a cupboard, it is easy to overlook a regular check-up of the contents to ensure they are current, complete and undamaged.

First aid kits can contain a number of items that have expiry or use by dates. Items such as burn gel and first aid spray, which contain active ingredients, tend to have shorter expiry periods than items such as alcohol swabs and sterile saline tubes. Items containing active ingredient should be replaced before they expire if possible. The other items may be less critical but nevertheless, should be replaced once past their expiry date.

If your first aid kit contains an adrenaline autoinjector such as an EpiPen, it is important not to use it beyond its expiry date. The expiry date appears on the side of the EpiPen, towards the safety release end of the device. The expiry should be noted and set with an alert that will remind the responsible person to replace the EpiPen before it expires. Adrenaline autoinjectors usually remain current 1-2 years after the date of manufacture. An expired EpiPen must be replaced with a current EpiPen as soon as possible. The Australasian society of clinical immunology and allergy (ascia) recommends joining the Epiclub (www.epiclub.com.au) to use their Reminder Program, which helps keep track of adrenaline autoinjector expiry dates.

In addition to checking expiry dates, check for completeness – items may have been used and not replaced. Your first aid kit should contain a list of the contents so you can make sure the required items, and the correct quantity, are present.

Finally, check for damage. Any sealed item that is damaged, or has had its packaging punctured and its seal broken, should not be used, but should be disposed of and replaced as soon as possible.

Shop online at Allens Training Pty Ltd for a range of first aid supplies and first aid kits that can be shipped anywhere in Australia.

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