Unimportant Until Needed

In the last few weeks at work, there has been a flurry to update things, like the “first aid” kits.  Awhile back I refilled my own at work at my own expense – I’d ordered what I thought was a “first aid” kit, only to find out it was an empty box with the word “first aid” written on it.  Cost $4.00 or so.  Now that there is a mandate to make sure it is not filled with expired stuff, I rummaged through the “official” one, and these are some of what I found:

  • eyewash from 2004
  • finger splints so brittle they split when flexed
  • leaking iodine and alcohol preps
  • “sterile” pads without expiration dates, but with yellowed wrappings
  • yellowing adhesive tape that looked totally gross
  • something else which expired in 2005

Needless to say, this stuff got tossed.  My own kit is minimal – bandaids and antibiotic ointment – but at least it is not 6 or 7 years old!

I’ve worked in healthcare for years.  I’ve worked as a temp in offices and found outdated medications.  I’ve worked in large medical facilities where people are careless and lazy, moving crash carts to the wrong area and failing to restock them as necessary.

Most of us don’t think about our first aid kits, nor the need for earthquake kits, or being prepared for hurricanes or other natural disasters, or being stranded in a blizzard without a backup set-up in the trunk of the car.  This first aid kit was a travesty – the result of true negligence until compliance and potential inspection came onboard.  Most of us think of our computers as outdated when more than a year old (I do!), but don’t give too much thought to more vital elements which are unimportant until needed.


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