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One of the most underrated tools in an EMT’s first aid kit is the blanket. There are numerous high tech gadgets and pieces of equipment at their disposal, so the importance of the lowly blanket may get overlooked. However, the blanket is important, and it serves its purpose beautifully for those who need it in an emergency situation. Most of us realize the emotional turmoil many people face when going through an emergency situation. During these traumatic experiences the blanket can be used for many reasons, such as :
Comforting patients during a stressful time.
Reducing wound complications and hypothermia risks.
Aiding in deterring shock and providing rapid cooling.
Providing protection from outside factors, such as rain and snow.
Assisting with the positioning of the patient through extra padding or rolling up to provide extra support.
Offering privacy for patients by creating a barrier during transport and treatment.
As you can see, there are many different uses for a blanket. You should also be aware that there are many different types of blankets, which feature different weights and consist of different types of material. Remember each and every blanket is individually packaged for a single use. This ensures that every patient receives a new and clean blanket during their treatment. Here is a list of the most popular blankets.
Fleece blankets. Fleece blankets are made from a nice fuzzy polyester mix. They are highly durable and give patients a sense of comfort, especially if your patients are wanting the familiarity and security of a blanket similar to the ones found in their home. These blankets also work well for those who may be in colder climates.
Mylar blankets. These blankets are extremely lightweight and compact, which makes it easy for EMTs to transport. They are ideal in providing significant warmth and offer protection from hypothermia and precipitation. This blanket’s big plus is that it comes in such a small, compact package and yet offers so much.
Tissue blankets. These blankets are disposable, compact and lightweight. They are ideal to use for creating privacy during an examination or for use in warmer weather. These blankets can be combined with a highly visible poly layer to help with triage prioritization.
EMS workers are usually stocked with a variety of different types of blankets to ensure that they can meet every need of each patient they encounter. The lightweight and compact blankets, such as the mylar and tissue blankets, can easily fit into mobile treatment first aid kits, and the larger, heavier fleece blankets can be stored in the ambulance or other transport vehicles. Remember that climate and location will play a major role in which blankets are given top priority. It is hard to imagine that something as simple as a blanket can play such a big role in an EMT’s medical kit, but as you can see, the blanket is a great tool to have in their arsenal.