Every Day First Aid/Trauma Kit
I would like to get everyone’s input on what they carry in their Med/Trauma kits. This following is a list of the kit I put together and put one in my car and one in my wife’s car. This is not my GOOD bag or full Storage list of Med supplies, just a Med/Trauma kit. I have tried to keep it small so that it is easly portable for any situation. My pack is a North Face bag a little bigger than a football. It has two main compartments with dividers and a waist belt to carry as a fanny pack. I can easily stuff it into any other pack or bag. I am not a medical professional. I have taken every class I can find that is available to a layman and have become somewhat knowledgeable. I know we have several Medical Professionals here at CM and I would greatly appreciate any input
2 emergency blankets
1 tourniquet (this is a VERY large rubber band from a camo kit)
2 ace bandanges
1 skin stapler (comes with 35 staples)
2 2-0 PGA absorable sutures
2 4-0 PGA absorable sutures
1 scalpel with 4 blades
2 dynastopper dressing (these will help with clotting)
1 gauze dressing
3 pair latex gloves
1 pair EMT shears
2 pair tweezers
1 curved and 1 straight hemostats
1 disposable razor
KIO3 (nuclear tablets)
1 tube bacitracin
ear plugs (not quite sure how they got in here but why take them out LOL)
Cortaid (Cortisone cream)
1 roll sports tape
1 roll waterproof tape
6 packets Burn Gel
10 packets alcohol wipes
6 butterfly closures
Band Aids (I carry 4-5 of various sizes and shape)
8 finger band aids
4 each Anti stick pads 3″x3″ 4″x4″ (great for larger wounds)
2 eye patches
1 tracheotomy tube
1 tube DenTemp (lost fillings, loose crowns)
1 aluminum core splint
I purchased most of this list from my local drugstore, Amazon, Med-Vet international and Bright Source.
The treacheotomy tube is a good idea, provided you know what you’re doing.
Bacitracin is only effective against Gram positive bacteria. Throw it in the trash and buy the triple combination bacitracin / neomycin / polymyxin B ointment instead (sold also under various trade names, such as “Neosporin”).
Don’t use antibiotic ointment for every-day lacerations, or you will promote colonization of your skin with antibiotic resistant bacteria. Reserve the antibiotic ointment for burns and large abrasions. For normal lacerations, use iodine tincture or providone iodine.
Sutures and a skin stapler might be a good idea in a home disaster kit, (along with a several bottles of Lactated Ringer’s IV solution with an IV setup, D5W solution, local anaesthetic or even a can of ether, a cylinder of oxygen, etc.). But in a car 1st aid/trauma kit sutures are probably worthless. No wound can be sutured until it is very thoroughly cleaned (unless you want gangrene). No matter how bad the wound is, if you’re on the side of the road you’ll want to irrigate it, pack it and securely tape it until it can be properly treated. Ditch the sutures and invest in additional gauze dressings, bandages, and a big bottle of isotonic saline with a large syringe for irrigation.
Assorted needles? First of all, the needles won’t do you any good without syringes to go along with them. You’ll want one long large bore (10-12-ish guage) needle for aspirating air from the chest cavity in traumatic pneumothorax (a real possibility after a car accident). You’d want some 20-24 guage for administering injectible Sub.Q or IM drugs. But you don’t need to administer any injectible medicine, so why have the small guage needles?
Small guage needles are a pain if you’re taking a long trip: Many states allow their purchase and possession without a prescription (including yours, clearly), but remember that some other states consider them to be drug paraphernalia. It would be a shame to be jailed in a distant state for the sake of needles that you didn’t even need.
Diphenhydramine pills would be a good idea.
Also, consider buying a large waterproof dressing. This would be literally a life-saver in the case of a sucking chest wound (you can also use the emergency blanket for that).
Thanks for the take on the bacitracin, I will definately look into that.
The skin stapler is in there because I put this kit in my back county and hunting packs when I go out. Sometimes I am a 5 day hike from anywhere.
I should have clairified the “needles”. The needles I have are more like sewing type needles for removing splinters etc.
You are absolutely correct about how far a person should go when attempting first aid. If medical help is nearby stabilize as best you can and seek professional help ASAP.
Anyone familiar with these? They get good press, not cheap. I am debating whether to keep a few around.
My farm kit is short and sweet-
Small bottle- peroxide and colloidal mix (used to wash wounds)
Super Glue & duct tape (used to keep from bleeding to death on way into a doctors office . . .)
Butterfly bandages for smaller cuts
Honey (for burns) works great if you get good quality and get it on the burn with a cold wet pack as fast as possible. It reduces blistering and stops the pain while enroute to doctor. You’ll know when it needs refreshing.
Alergy Meds, Aspirn
Note, it used to have duct tape in it but it took up too much space.
I’m familiar with Quikclot – I think Jager and perhaps Rich will be as well.
Commonly used by the military. It’s a very powerful coagulant and needs to be used with a high degree of caution.
It can not be used to treat axial wounds – that’s to say, it can only be used on the limbs.
If used improperly, it can cut circulation and create larger problems.
Quikclot is essentially a “tourniquet” for all applicative purposes – it’s used when all other necessary steps have failed to stop blood loss, or in a situation in which rapid blood loss is occurring.
Always try to:
1. Apply Pressure
2. Raise the extremity above the heart
3. Bandage or pack the wound
Before using QuikClot.
Another consideration – because of the nature of the wounds QuikClot addresses, it’s imperative that you are cautious when opening it.
There has been a tendency for troops to tear it open using their teeth – this releases the coagulant into the maxillofacial orifices; which will dry them out, and can cause swelling of the throat, nasal passages and eyes.
In short – think of QuikClot like you would a tourniquet. Get proper training on it, because using it improperly can be very hazardous to both the attendee and the attendant medic.
Thanks for heads up;as usual, no free lunches.
My trauma kit consists of the following.
Protective barrier for CPR
(1) 0.5oz Triple Antibiotic Ointment
(2) 0.9% NaCl syringe
(3) 4″x4″ Gauze Sponge dressings
(3) 5″x9″ Combine Abdominal Pads
(3) 2″x2″ Sterile Gauze pads for wound packing
(1) Occlusive dressing (Repara transparent thing film dressing)
(2) Combat Applications Tourniquets
(25) Bandaids – various sizes
(2) Bacitracin antibacterial Ointments
(2) antiseptic wipes with Aloe
(1) Extra Strength Excedrine
(1) Suture kit
(3) Safety Pins
(5) Sheets of Moleskin
I need to restock my excedrine, get another suture kit and get some Dremamine. I get terribly air sick in Helicopters, and large vehicles.
Also, I need some Nasopharangyl Airways and some water soluable lubrication for them. Wouldn’t hurt to have a few more occlusive dressings as well, considering the threat for tension-pheumothorax that comes along with any perforating wounds of the chest (the dreaded sucking chest wound).
One thing I notice isn’t in anyone’s list (correct me if I’ve missed it) is a good old fashioned plastic shopping bag. Or five gallon ziplock, or trash bag, or whatever. Granted, my trauma kits are generally geared towards things that can go wrong when combat firearm training, but a sucking chest wound can happen elsewhere. You can get specialized (and probably sterile) versions of this, but it’s too easy to not at least stuff a plastic shopping bag in there. Yes, it’ll be dirty and they’ll need antibiotics (and yes, it therefore presumes no catastrophic societal breakdown) but could save someone’s life while you’re trying to get them to better equipped help.
I have a surgical kit that I bought intact (private me if you want links) for quite a reasonable price which my mother (former ER nurse, former prison nurse, currently nurse instructor) remarked was pretty damn good. I’ve packed it up with extra needles, thread and scalpel blades from the same source and done a bit of practice.
Seems to me, also, you can never have too many hemostats. They’re really cheap and useful even outside of the trauma kit. Yes, I keep my armorer hemostats separate from the med kit ones.
Saline solution and nitrile gloves are also very cheap and very useful. If you pack nitrile gloves (or latex) with your other stuff, replace them once a year. Maybe on the same date you replace your critical batteries or something. If they’re in a protective pouch, you’re probably good.
I’ve got two kits in arms reach but am working and feeling a bit under the weather so I’m too lazy to inventory them. I can’t think off hand of anything I’m packing that hasn’t already been addressed in one way or another, though.
Regarding the quickclot stuff – you can get that impregnated in bandages from various sources. I have yet to break one open, but I believe this will solve most of the danger of it blowing in eyes/nose/mouth.