Expired OTC first aid supplies: keep or toss?

Inazone

Self-Determination or Death
Brass Subscriber
#1
I made a big push over the weekend to finish the medical supply reorganization that I mentioned in a previous thread, and came up with the following expired items, none of which have ever been opened:

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(Not shown are a couple of chest seals and some individual eyewash vials/applicators.)

Most of my experience and knowledge with these sorts of things ends after they've been purchased and stored away, hopefully never to be needed. I've used plenty of "expired" OTC stuff, from aspirin to toothpaste to Neosporin, but never anything of a more urgent nature. I do know I've run into a couple of old cold packs that didn't work, but everything else . . . I guess it was "good enough for who it's for."

If there's any reason to think these things would have considerably diminished effectiveness, I would throw them out, but I hate dumping stuff that's perhaps 75%+ of original potency. Some of the stuff (I forget which) is pushing 10 years old, though. Keep or toss?
 

AGreyMan

I'm gravely disappointed.
Brass Subscriber
#5
Only think I can think of is that sometimes the burn dressings and and the cold packs will get a little leak, and they will dry out. It's pretty easy to tell with the cold packs: see if the little amonium nitate prills are still loose, and if you can feel the little bag of water still has water in it. It can be tougher to tell with the burn dressings. Sometimes you can feel if they are not squishy.

Source: I worked as on-site medical for a manufacturing company, and was in charge of the first responders and the basic "infirmary" in each building. I went through lots of old/expired medical supplies: Old band-aids loose their stickiness, AED pads dry out, the glue holding the paper overwrap on sterile 4X4 pads dry out and the two halves fall apart, rubber on BP cuffs dry rot, etc.
 

Inazone

Self-Determination or Death
Brass Subscriber
#6
I've definitely seen Band-aids lose their stick, but unless something has an outwardly visible means of recognizing that it has ceased to work as advertised, I didn't have much to go by. The burn dressings still feel squishy, so I'll hold on to them. A few of the things came from the dollar store, so if I have to replace them, it's no big deal.

I was talking to a buddy of mine about this, and he accused me of being cheap. He's not wrong. :D
 

GOBLIN X

INVOLUNTARY full time LAB-RAT for MUSC
Brass Subscriber
#7
the only thing i have ever go bad , and it wasnt bad it just took a while to flash dry, is the liquid skin. seems after a few years it loses it ability to evaporate and dry once its exposed to air. the only cremes ive had go bad are compounded special mix cremes, they tend to separate after a few years. only thing i really watch dates on is injectables such as Imitrex
 

Bacash

Just a guy
#8
@Entropyfx or @AGreyMan

Does 0.9 nacl go bad in the bags? I have several left from when dad was under hospice care here at the house, and kept them as I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have them should someone get ultra dehydrated.

Yes, have the IV start kits, and yes, wife has RN clinicals to have the skills to properly start.

On that same note, is there a way for the average guy to get more, or is it RX only?
 
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AGreyMan

I'm gravely disappointed.
Brass Subscriber
#16
It will let you order anyway.

Not so much without oxygen, but that it is sterile. Sterile = no bacteria to multiply. Plus there are no nutrients in Normal Saline. Just sodium, chloride, and water.
It's been brought to my attention that BP Medical supplies no longer allows the purchase of IV solutions without a prescription. Sorry if I steered anybody wrong.