Office First Aid

August 30, 2012

Last week, our office was visited by a bunch of bees that somehow managed to gain entrance to the building. No one had an up close or otherwise painful encounter with them prior to their being escorted (well, something like that) from the premises, but we were prepared in the event that someone might have. We have a first aid kit on board, something that should be an integral part of the supplies in any office setting.

Of course, for any true medical emergency, a team member should immediately call 911 but more garden variety complaints and injuries can readily be treated by having the following items on hand.

Bandages – A variety of shapes and sizes can come in handy. It’s also advisable to stock brands that are latex-free for those who have sensitivity issues. Gauze pads can also be useful as bandages or to stanch bleeding.

Cleansing Agents – Most minor cuts and scrapes can be readily treated without medical intervention. Run clear water over the area to flush out any germs or residual material that can invade the opening. Use mild soap to clean the area or, alternatively, wipe gently with an alcohol pad, being careful not to cause irritation. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to clean a wound.

Ointments – Antibiotic ointments can be applied to an injury that causes a skin opening. Include medicated creams e.g. Benadryl that can be used to treat insect bites or stings as well as a cream or ointment that’s formulated to treat burns, especially if your office has a kitchen where team members can prepare food.

Cotton Balls – Use cotton balls to apply ointments and creams or moisten with clear water to clean an affected area.

Medications and Analgesics – Stock over the counter medications and painkillers to treat headaches, muscles aches, common stomach complaints, and other mild annoyances.

Cold and Heat Packs – Both are commercially available and can be used to relieve discomfort. Alternatively, stock basic long-cooking white rice and a pack of new white cotton socks. Fill the sock with rice, microwave for a few seconds, then use as a heat pack.

Miscellaneous Implements – Other items that might prove useful are medical scissors and tweezers. An eyeglass repair kit  and scaled-down sewing kit can come in handy, too, as can safety pins, disposable nail files, and protective gloves.

Assign someone to periodically check expiration dates and to replenish supplies when necessary.