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Householders First Aid Case, Nottingham, England, 1939-1941

This first aid kit was intended for civilians facing air raids during the Second World War. It was recommended by the Home Office as part of the larger kit needed for Air Raid Precautions (ARP). The kit contained cotton wool, bandages, a tourniquet, safety pins, smelling salts, solution of iodine and a triangular arm bandage. It was purchased at Boots the Chemist. The kit was intended for a family of six or seven people, to treat shock and minor injuries until professional medical help could be given. The smelling salts would have been used to bring around those who had fainted or been knocked unconscious.

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Glossary: first aid kit

A kit designed to give help to an injured person until proper medical treatment is available

Glossary: bandage

A strip of material such as gauze used to protect, immobilize, compress, or support a wound or injured body part

Glossary: first aid

Treatment that is rendered initially for the care of an emergent condition. It is usually performed by a lay person to a sick or injured patient until definitive medical treatment can be accessed

Glossary: tourniquet

Designed to compress the blood vessels of a limb. It consists of a bandage, pad and screw. By varying the tightness of the tourniquet, it is possible to control the circulation of blood for a short time.

Glossary: smelling salts

Used to arouse consciousness. The salts release a small amount of ammonia, which triggers the nasal passage's inhalation reflex.