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346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my pc is freaking out over links and won't play videos right here is what I need...

What kinds of items do I need in a more-than-basic first aid kit. I have one of those ready-mades, but am looking into getting more extensive training (mainly by reading as budget is SUPER limited)

What can I get from a Drugstore in the meantime? I am an avid coupon-user, so any items that go on sale would be good too....

Maybe i'm asking too much? but I love reading y'alls opinions, faster than scouring books at the library....

So, what do you have in your kits?

Garbage Collector
11,363 Posts
Depends on your skill level, what I carry and can use as opposed to the majority is radically different.

Don't waste money on gear you don't know how to use, instead get extra of things you can use.

I survive on Hate.
1,009 Posts
My kit is pretty extensieve, ranging from band-aids and whiny bitch cream, to emergency bandages, hemostatics, tourniquets, etc.

I suggest band-aids in varying sizes, whiny bitch cream, 3M steri-strips, ace bandages, at-least 1-2 emergency bandages, LOTS of gauze, both rolls and pads, bandage scissors, CPR mask, this is all good for a starter kit.

I survive on Hate.
1,009 Posts
So, here is my inventory. It's pretty extensive, and you may not be comfortable, or trained to use some, so go with your comfort level. Give or take a few items, this is most of what I carry everyday.

Gauze Pad, Individually Wrapped, 4x4 double ply x25
Foam Self-adhesive wound Dressing, 4x4 x2
Scalpel, #11 and #14
N.P.A. Kit, includes NPA 28g, surgi-lube, gauze
H&H Compressed Gauze x1
Oral Thermometer x1
Durapore Tape x2
Emergency Trauma Bandage x1
C.A.T. Tourniquet x1
Write in the Rain Notepad x1
FBO Guide x1
Knot Guide x1
P.O.W. Instruction guide(has commands in 11 different languages)
Combat Gauze x1
Muslin Bandage x2
Kerlix Roll Lrg x1
Kerlix Roll Sml x9
Conforming Gauze pad Sml x1
Nitrile Gloves x10 Pair
Cotton Balls x100 (compressed)
Ace Bandage 4in x3
Hydro-cortisone Tube x1
Advil PM
Sudafed PE
Allergy Relief
Mucus/sinus relief
Benchmade 7 Hook
Trauma Shears
Bandage Shears
Suture Scissors
Needle Hemostats
Sharpie x2
Alcohol Pads x50
Burn-Aid Dressing x1
LED Headlamp
AMBU Rescue Mask
Gorilla Glue Tape
Various assortment of small med items.

Fenced In
3,400 Posts
I suggest band-aids in varying sizes, whiny bitch cream, 3M steri-strips, ace bandages, at-least 1-2 emergency bandages, LOTS of gauze, both rolls and pads, bandage scissors, CPR mask, this is all good for a starter kit.
I was out running errands last weekend and stopped at a Dollar General store that had Rexall "assorted adhesive bandage" boxes that included a few butterfly bandages very similar to the 3M Steri-Strips, so I bought a couple. I hadn't seen those included in Band-Aid (brand) boxes or any of the other usual brands. The same store also had cotton ball/pad/swab combo packs.

My FAK is nowhere near as elaborate as The Heathen's, but here are some of the items I included that are in line with my limited skill set:

- Burn cream & burn dressing pads
- Gauze rolls & pads
- Antiseptic wash (look for the kind that states "for use in place of soap and water")
- Nexcare (or similar) elbow, knee and knuckle bandages
- Orajel or similar for mouth pain
- Small- and medium-sized splints

I have some other things as well, but those are some of the essentials. If you look on Amazon, you can often get good prices on used first aid guides; I recommend one larger, more comprehensive book for "reading up" and a small pocket guide to include in your kit.

346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys! keep the ideas coming!

I got all excited over some johnson and johnson red cross coupons that just came out...looks like I can pick up some gauze pads for about .50 a pack at walmart this week. how many gauze pads? They keep pretty well, right?

90/10 headed for 95/5
7,665 Posts
You want a list? Just wait until JDY gets here, then you'll see a list!

Seriously though, I agree with Doc Shane. We've had this question asked before...and you should be able to build the list based on your own level of fist aid training. If you're considering items, or asking for a list of items, for which you've had no formal training, you're likely headed for trouble.
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Lux in Tenebris
6,971 Posts
Syringes, 12 and 25 cc, 1 ½ inch, 10 each size

Needles, 18 gauge and 21 gauge, 20 each size

I.V. Starter Kit w/ Tourniquet, 7 each

Sodium Chloride 500ml IV Solution 4 each

2% Dextrose 500ml IV Solution 4 each

Irrigation Sterile Water 500ml, 1 each

Provodine Iodine Solution, 2 bottles

Hydrogen Pyroxide, 2 bottles

Alcohol, 2 bottles

Alcohol Preps, two boxes

Provodine Iodine Prep Pads, two boxes

Non - Powdered Surgical Gloves #9, one box

Pocket Mask w Gloves, 6 sets

Neosporin Packets, two boxes

Neosporin, tubes, 2 each

Hydrocortisone Cream, tube, one each

Ace Wrap Self Adherent 2"x 5 yds, 10 rolls

Bandages Adhesive, assorted sizes, two boxes

Cotton Gauze pads, package of 100, 4 packages

Gauze rolls, six rolls

Mole Skin, three packets

Medical Tape, 2 inch by 10 yards, 4 rolls

13mm 6-0 Monofil Nylon Suture, 2 packs

13mm 5-0 Monofil Nylon Suture, 2 packs

Skin Closure Strips, 2 boxes

Ammonia Inhalants, one box

Quick Clot, 25 gram packets, 4 packets

Aspirin, 325 mg, Large Bottle, one each

Ibuprofen, 200 mg, Large Bottle, one each

Penicillin, Inj solution, 25 ml bottle

Acetaminophen, 500 mg, Large Bottle, one each

Kwik-Cold Instant Cold Packs, 4 each

Hemostats, 2 each

Sphygometer, Blood Pressure Cuffs one set

Stethoscope, 2 each

Bandage Scissors, 2 pair

Flashlights, small exam, 2 each

Tweezers, two each

Thermometer, two each digital and two analog

Special Forces Medical Handbook

Items on my short list to procure:

Couple more IV bags, 500 ml or one liter each

Dramamine tablets, one packet

Benedryl Capsules, two packets

Tylenol, Cold and Flu Capsules

Another big bottle of Aspirin

Dental Tools,

Dental Cement

Asherman Chest Seal Bandages

Ophthalmic (Eye) Anti-biotic Cream and Bandages

Don't forget the various books/manuals:

When is there is no doctor or dentist series

available here FREE

Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook

Prov 3:18
2,235 Posts
From drug store/WM
ABD dressings
Ace wrap 3or4"
OTC meds
cold packs
second skin burn pads
blister bandages
small rolls duct tape

Tons of use with little investment,just a matter of learning the best ways to use them.

6 Posts
I am (really) new here, but would like to make some suggestions about different types of kits that you could put together fairly rapidly. I originally wrote this a couple of years ago for another, somewhat troubled survival prep forum, so if you think you've seen it before, that's why.

I was an EMS paramedic for some years, as well as a firefighter/paramedic and instructor for a few more years, and base all these suggestions on what I found useful on the street some years ago. Things change rapidly in the EMS world, but basic human physiology hasn't changed since Eden, and while there are some new tools, the old ones work just as well as they always did (and tend to be far cheaper). I was also used to having a variety of different bags and kits, oriented towards different scenarios I might have to deal with. I still like this idea of not having and "all in one" kit, even if it is more efficient to have everything in one place, if you lose it or don't have access to it, well, you might as well have not spend the time and money to put it together! That said, here are some suggestions for a trauma kit. "Trauma" in this sense means any kind of acute (immediate or sudden) injury that requires some sort of treatment to prevent the victim from getting into a worse condition over time. These break down into one of three major categories - bleeders, breaks, or burns. Left untreated, a serious injury of any of these sorts can cause a person to go into what is called "shock," the inability of the body's cardiovascular system (heart, lungs, and blood vessels) to supply needed oxygen to all the tissues and organs, especially immediately vital ones like the heart and brain, causing them to fail, and ultimately causing the patient to die. In the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) there is a concept called the "golden hour," which means you have one hour from the time of injury to stop blood loss and stabilize blood pressure (as well as do a few other things), otherwise the patient will die at some point later of any of a host of secondary shock problems.

Warning: Rabbit Trail: It's really interesting how this "golden hour" concept was discovered, and unsurprisingly it happened as the result of a war. Since the beginning of the modern era of medicine (think 1900 on), better and better methods of treating battlefield wounds meant that more and more soldiers were living long enough to get to a rear area hospital. Believe it or not, WWII was the first war in human history where more people died of combat wounds than from disease, including later complications of wounds. Remember the TV show, M*A*S*H? It was based on a true story, the beginnings of real front line emergency medical care, and this concept was expanded even more in Vietnam. Problem was, there always was a certain percentage of wounded who later died, no matter what treatments or modalities were done for them. Even if they were successfully brought through the initial injuries, and subsequent heart complications, they would die of kidney shock, liver shock, or even a condition that had rarely been seen before, lung shock. All the advances in battlefield medicine meant to that point was that the wounded were dying progressively later. Dr. R Adams Cowley, an Army combat surgeon just after WWII did the pioneering work in treating post-traumatic injury hypovolemic shock (a fancy way of saying what we're talking about here), and perfected his treatment theories in the 1960s and 70s at a Maryland hospital, that later became the world's first shock-trauma center. He was also the first to call for the use of civilian helicopter ambulances to speed trauma victims to appropriately equipped trauma centers, leading directly to the EMS we have today.

Okay back to the trauma kit. Here's what you need and why:

1. A bag. You need some way of carrying the things you need to where the injured person is located, it is rare that they are considerate enough to do whatever they did right next to your ambulance or medical equipment stash. We called these small bags "jump kits," here's a typical commercial one:

You can use literally anything, including a trash bag, but in a non-survival situation, there is always the coolness factor to consider.

2. Sterile gauze. In a deep survival situation sterility of items becomes far more important than in ordinary times; without the ability to properly clean out wounds shortly afterward in a clean environment, and without modern antibiotics, anything you place on an open wound becomes a conduit for bacteria, which can result in death from septic shock. They usually come individually wrapped, get the 4x4 size, and buy at least a box of 10 or 20. You only have to use one next to the wound, you can use non-sterile dressings on top of it.

3. Non-sterile gauze. These usually come most cost-efficiently in a 200-count package, get as many as you can easily store; again, just go with the 4x4 size, it is the most versatile. When a wound bleeds through your initial layer of sterile gauze, do not remove it, instead, pile on more non-sterile gauze on top and put pressure on the wound. I've treated some significant bleeders with a 1-inch think stack of gauze and some serious pressure before they would stop the heavy flow.

4. Roller gauze, aka Kling. This stuff is worth its weight in gold, and greater than sliced bread! Again, get the 4-inch size, maybe a couple of 6-inch and 2-inch if you're feeling swell. You put this over your sterile and non-sterile gauze stack, to provide protection and hold everything in place. It can also help to put some light pressure on the wound, to help stem minor blood loss. Honestly, just get the brand-name of this stuff, too, some of the other manufacturers make good rolls, but many of them do not. The real stuff will withstand a nice tight wrap when you need to, and will "cling" to itself (hence the name), nice if you are in a hurry and don't have the time to tape it down right away. You can also stuff the whole roll into bigger wounds to help slow down the blood loss; yes, I've done this.

5. Multi-Trauma Dressing, aka 12x20 gauze dressing (sometimes called abdominal pads). You should get a couple of these (a case of ten would be nice, but they are a bit on the expensive size), they are used to cover larger areas of injury, and can be folded up and wrapped around injuries on the extremities (arms and legs, head). I used these most often on head injuries, which bleed at a truly unbelievable rate, and where you cannot use direct pressure to stop the flow. (you must always assume there is skull fractures present with traumatic head injuries, and unless you are well trained in anatomy and familiar with what you can and cannot get away with, you may end up poking skull fragments into the brain, which is a Bad Thing)

6. Tape. Get several rolls of 1-inch. The paper tape that comes in most consumer first aid kits is pretty much useless - I preferred 3M Duapore, it sticks pretty well even when wet (trauma patients tend to sweat, and it is always raining when you have the most taping to do. Always). Duct tape and electrical tape work really well, too, but tend to cause skin tears when removing after a few days. Those do help waterproof the dressing really well, though.

7. Ace bandages. Get several 4-inch (again), maybe a couple of 6-inch, you do not need the expensive sterile versions. These are primarily used for wrapping injured joints, but are really spiffy for putting moderate pressure over bandaged stubborn bleeders. Forget using those little metal clips to close them (they will fall off and you'll never find them until you walk across one barefoot in the middle of the night), tape it closed.

They are also useful for shutting up talkative children:

8. SAM splints. Get two or three 4-inch, and a few of the "finger" versions. These are really cool, and the only thing you need to treat most simple fractures. You can cut them with Paramedic shears (see below) and bend them into pretty much any shape you need (you make the splint match the break, not the other way around), and by pinching the middle you make it stiff. You'll learn in your first aid, First Responder or EMT class how to use other household objects to splint more extensive or complicated fractures.

The real thing© comes with a nice little instruction sheet, get an extra one to play with because there is a short learning curve, but it is fairly intuitive after you mess around with one for awhile.

9. Paramedic shears. Get the 7.25-inch version. These are the de facto symbol of EMTs and Paramedics, and are one of the most useful tools you can have. When I first started in civilian EMS, I carried all sorts of tools in a big holster, after a few years, I stuck one of these on my belt and left it at that. They are amazingly cheap, can cut through nearly anything (we often amused children, chronological and otherwise, by cutting pennies in half with them), including clothing, belts and shoes, and are sharp enough to use for cutting bandages and tape as well. They also never need sharpening for some reason. They come in a huge range of fashion colors to match your inclinations and moods, too.

10. A box of bandaids. Get the kind with an assortment of sizes, you'll use these more than anything else. Those little owies need lovin' too, especially if the owie belongs to the wifie.

Believe it or not, this is really all you need to have available for pretty much any bleeder, burn or break that a non-professionally trained layman could reasonably be expected to treat. You do need to take a first aid class of some sort to properly learn how to use these items. If you want to add some "niceties," here's a few suggestions:

11. Non-Sterile Gloves. Gen. Patton once said that when you put your hand in a pile of goo that was your friends face the moment before, then you'll know what to do. It's nice to not have to clean all that stuff from under your fingernails later. Get sterile only if you really have money to burn, and have lost my address. Get the purple (or black) nitrile kind instead of the latex, they are less prone to puncture, and cause less in the way of skin reactions.

12. Celox or Quick-Clot. Both of these are new-ish products that you sprinkle in (or come infused in gauze dressings) to help blood to quickly clot in wounds, stopping major bleeding pretty quickly. Celox is better but more expensive, Quick-Clot uses another formula that heats up as it clots, which can cause minor burns as a side effect.

13. Water-Jel Burn Dressings. These are "wet" dressings for burns, which help stop further damage (yes, fatty tissues sometimes keep burning even after you get away from the heat source!), provide some limited pain relief, and help keep the damaged tissues hydrated, which helps speed healing.

14. C-A-T (Combat Application Tourniquet). Our experiences with IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan has led to some rapid advances in treatment of traumatic amputations, and this is one of the results. While you can use pretty much anything for an expedient tourniquet, this is a new type that you can apply to yourself, with one hand if necessary. A version of this is in every combat medic's pack these days, and the Army (and Marines, too, I believe) are starting to make it part of every soldier's individual equipment. When an arm or leg is ripped off, you have less than 3 minutes to get all the bleeding stopped (in some cases far less than that), or that person will die.

15. Folding or fixed blade knives, EMT holsters, other medical instruments, "Army field surgery kits," air splints, specially made trauma kit bags, C-collars, KEDs, other extrication gear, folding stretchers, haz-mat and other personal protective gear, etc. You don't need any of it. At least for this purpose. When I was a combat medic, I carried far too heavy a load, more than I was assigned & supposed to because I thought I might need something sometime, for the most part I didn't, and paid a price for it; I looked sort of like a mid-70s version of this:

Three knee surgeries and a lot of grunt candy (over the counter pain medication, aka Advil) every day for thirty plus years later, I wish I had carried around a lot less!

I'm here to tell you, all you need to deal with the vast and overwhelming amount of traumatic injuries is what I've listed above. If you have a credit card that is too lonely or have just come into a major inheritance, though, and just have to have everything you can lay your hands on, here's your candy store, the Emergency Medical Products catalog: I have purchased from them, they are reliable and have pretty decent prices. Knock yourself out!

173 Posts
my pc is freaking out over links and won't play videos right here is what I need...

What kinds of items do I need in a more-than-basic first aid kit. I have one of those ready-mades, but am looking into getting more extensive training (mainly by reading as budget is SUPER limited)

What can I get from a Drugstore in the meantime? I am an avid coupon-user, so any items that go on sale would be good too....

Maybe i'm asking too much? but I love reading y'alls opinions, faster than scouring books at the library....

So, what do you have in your kits?
assortment of bandages, wraps, ointments, medicine, ice packs, syringes, latex gloves, safety pins, pill bottles, tape, cotton tips, hemostats, sponges, airways, wipes, inhalants and suture sets. a CPR mask, tongue depressor, thermometer, first aid book, arm splint, blood stopper kit, pen light, EMT shears, tweezers, skin probe and scalpel. IV kits with empty bags. Over 1000 items in all for me...
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