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Old 03-08-2009, 09:24 PM
bbayliss bbayliss is offline
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Default Expired First Aid Supplies



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I was wondering how you all handle your First Aid Supplies in regards to expiration. I know that all medications should be kept current but what about other items? Do gauze pads or gauze rolls ever really go bad. What about iodine solution or alcohol. I have tubs full of medical supplies that I bought off of Ebay and the majority of them are passed the expiration date. Should I be looking to replace all of them or when hell breaks loose are they going to be just fine.
Thanks for your opinions and advice.
Brian
Old 03-08-2009, 09:28 PM
Picard Picard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbayliss View Post
I was wondering how you all handle your First Aid Supplies in regards to expiration. I know that all medications should be kept current but what about other items? Do gauze pads or gauze rolls ever really go bad. What about iodine solution or alcohol. I have tubs full of medical supplies that I bought off of Ebay and the majority of them are passed the expiration date. Should I be looking to replace all of them or when hell breaks loose are they going to be just fine.
Thanks for your opinions and advice.
Brian
Gauze and bandages never go bad, unless they're the kind with antibiotics already applied to them. Just get the sterile kind.

There are anti-biotics (tetracycline for example) that actually become toxic after a period of time. So check your expirables and make sure they've got a long shelf life ahead.
Old 03-08-2009, 09:32 PM
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oh, btw, here's how to make your own iodine:

Old 03-08-2009, 11:31 PM
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There are anti-biotics (tetracycline for example) that actually become toxic after a period of time

Actually, most pills, capsules and dry antibiotics do keep 2 to 5 years after their out date. Tetracycline was reformulated back in the 70s, they removed Citric acid from the formula and now they last like most antibiotics now. They do get weaker with time after that point. Military had the pharmacies do a study on the tons of meds they had stored in the Middle East that proved this. Does not apply to liquid meds, most especially injectables, that go bad quickly.
I replace mine and keep them seperate
Old 03-10-2009, 06:56 PM
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Ditto what 230gr said about the meds. With the supplies like alcohol and hydrogen peroxide as long at the container doesn't leak they'll last indefinately stored like the rest of your supplies (cool, dry place).

The problem with hydrogen peroxide is it is an unstable molecule (H2O2) and over time the molecules will lose their extra Oxygen atoms and become regular water. Heat and light speed up this process, which is why it comes in brown bottles. With the bottle sealed the process will be retarded furthur. Alcohol will evaporate, so needs to remained sealed as well.

I've never heard of Iodine going bad, but you can make your own with iodine crystals, if you can find them and afford them. Not trying to derail the thread but if anyone knows of a place to order then for a decent price PM me please. I have some OLD bottles of Iodine at home, I'll open one up and check it out.

Your bandages and the like will keep practically forever as long as they are dry. The only other concern they would pose is the packages becoming damaged and then no longer being sterile.
Old 03-10-2009, 07:03 PM
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I now wish I had watched the video before posting.
Old 03-10-2009, 07:26 PM
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i would rather have them than a old rag and im a retired emt.
Old 03-11-2009, 03:01 PM
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I would suggest speaking to your pharmacist for any specifics on meds, whether otc or prescribed. I was pleasantly surprised at what ours revealed to us!
Old 03-11-2009, 03:47 PM
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Hi, Brian -

The FDA has done a number of studies on drug expiration dates for the U.S. military. Here are some excerpts from article which reviewed the FDAs findings. (The original link is apparently inactive; Im just including it for copyright requirements.)

http://www.timestriponline.com/shelf...expiration.htm

The U.S. military conducted one of the largest potency studies ever in the 1980s. It found that 90% of the drugs it tested (they were actually tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) were safe and effective 15 years after their expiration dates.

In the area of consumer protection, there are drugs which may have a detrimental effect if taken after the expiration date. These are generally nitroglycerin, insulin, tetracycline, liquid antibiotics and oil capsules (such as fish oil). Never take these drugs after the expiration date.

Joel Davis, a former FDA expiration-date compliance chief, says that with a handful of exceptions -- notably nitroglycerin, insulin and some liquid antibiotics -- most drugs are probably as durable as those the agency has tested for the military. Most drugs degrade very slowly, he says. In all likelihood, you can take a product you have at home and keep it for many years, especially if it's in the refrigerator.

A very few drugs aren't retested. The military has found that water-purification tablets and mefloquine hydrochloride, for malaria, routinely fail stability testing beyond their expiration dates, so it has removed them from the program.


Thats a start. If you do a web search using terms like drugs, expiration date, and extend, youll come up with all sorts of useful information on the matter.

Keep in mind that there are some medications that definitely cannot be used beyond their expiration dates, so do your research.
Old 03-13-2009, 07:23 PM
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The bandages will never expire within our lifetimes. If they are regular bandages, the expiration date usually applies to how long the glue used to seal the package will guarantee the sterility of the contents.

Nice vid on the Iodine!
Old 03-13-2009, 11:08 PM
bbayliss bbayliss is offline
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Thanks to all for the great input.

I seal all of my bandages with either my food sealer or I put them in heat shrinking bags so that the paper package does not get ripped. I gave a ton of 4x6 J&J Topper bandages I orderd a couple boxes of them off of Ebay and instead I got a couple cases. My meds I always rotate out but does anyone know about petrolium covered guaze pads or Wet Gel burn treatment. I have a lot of both of those items, I seal them the same as above. I have several different size medical bags.

Brian

Last edited by bbayliss; 03-13-2009 at 11:13 PM..
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