When was the last time you had a look at your motorcycle’s under-seat first aid kit?
If yes, do you know what all things do your kit has and how to use them?
You may be tempted to ignore these questions now, however, in a terrible situation, even a single roller gauge and antibacterial salve may help you big time.
Underseat motorcycle kits (tool kit, first aid) are one of the most ignored items. No doubt their usability is questionable. Most of the two-wheeler manufacturers are bound by law to provide these kits as a part of deliverable during sales.
To keep the cost and space in check manufacturers fill the checkboxes rather than providing a tool and first-aid kit with value. For example, the length of cotton gauzes provided in the first aid kit just makes it useless in accident situations.
First aid kit of Bajaj bikes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6BteIGrCNw
If you happen to open your under-seat first aid kit you will notice that almost all of the materials have expiry range of 2-3 years.
This means you should rebuild your under-seat kit every 2-3 years. That’s not a big deal considering the value it provides during emergencies.
Note that an under seat kit is under seat kit and is not an alternative to a full-fledged first aid medical kit. Motorcyclists and particularly tourers are recommended to have a secondary medical kit with additional items. And make sure you keep these kits reachable and not stacked in the bottom of your luggage.
Having a kit is good but knowing how to use it is useful. This post has two sections one building up a kit and some videos on how to use them.
In case of a mishap like slip, collision and fall, motorcyclists tend to have the following conditions: 1. Small cuts and abrasions 2. Cut wounds. Trauma dressings (large, thick, absorbent). Our first aid should address these things at least at a very basic level.
Let’s see what all things we should consider in rebuilding our first aid kit
- Antiseptic wipe
- Antiseptic cream for minor burns and abrasions
- Sterile lint-free dressing swab
- cotton gauges for wrapping the wound
- Crepe bandage
- Adhesive bandage
- Medical adhesive tape
- Pain reliever tablet (Acetaminophen, ibuprofen)
- Small cutter knife/scissor
Download pdf copy of the first aid guide for motorcyclists.
How would you get these
Easiest and cheapest option is to approach the nearest pharmacy. Looking online will take time and not be as cheap.
What should you do in case of an accident
- Important thing first, ask for help from a passerby. Call an ambulance (102 in India). In case of bad luck with this number, dial national emergency number (112 in India)
- Subsequently, if the accident is major, which means, rider or pillion has suffered deep wounds, fractures, unconsciousness, not able to get up. First thing is to apply direct pressure using fingers or palm on the bleeding part till the time blood flow slows down or stops.
- If the accident is minor, which means, small cut or abrasions, apply direct pressure using fingers or palm on the bleeding part till the time blood flow slows down or stops. Use the wipe from the first aid to clean the cut. If the bleeding is slow or burn is not severe, apply antiseptic cream and leave it open, try to reach a clinic or hospital for treatment.
- In case the wound is bleeding and you need to dress it up, apply the wound dressing pad and then cotton roller gauge to tie it. Avoid cotton pad (loose cotton strands) directly on the wound, it gets sticky to remove once the wound dries.
- Remember, half knowledge can be dangerous. Accident situations are panicking. In case of heavy blood loss due to open blood vessel, tourniquet seems a quick fix but there are side effects of it too. In case of a very tight tourniquet, another side of the tourniquet may be damaged due to stopped oxygen supply and may result in amputation. So having a good knowledge of when to use is recommended.
Some first aid kits from motorcycle manufacturers
Harley Davidson – https://www.harley-davidson.com/store/bikers-compact-first-aid-kit
KTM – https://www.ktm.com/in/powerparts/tools-amp-transportation/tools/first-aid-kit/
BMW(3rd party) – https://www.bobsbmw.com/store/product/bmw-motorrad-touring-first-aid-kit
Some first aid videos to watch
Bandaging and dressing