Nowadays, you can never be too careful, as accidents and injuries could just happen everywhere and for any reason, and that’s where a trauma kit list would come in handy!
These kits are usually referred to as “Individual First Aid Kits”, and they’re usually full of essential items that are necessary to help you tend immediately to most injuries and emergency situations.
Since there are tons of items that can go into your trauma kit list, you might be confused over the difference between “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves”. In today’s guide, we’ll walk you through all the items that you should include in your trauma kit. Let’s jump right in!
- 1 1. Trauma Kit List – Tourniquets
- 2 2. Wound Packings – Trauma Kit List
- 3 3. Chest Seals
- 4 4. Dressing and Bandages
- 5 5. Trauma Blankets
- 6 6. Additional Items That Are Good to Have in Your Trauma Kit
- 7 The Bottom Line – Trauma Kit List
1. Trauma Kit List – Tourniquets
A tourniquet is any device that is used to apply pressure on any limb in order to limit the flow of blood to this extremity.
It’s one of the oldest trauma devices that has ever been created by humans and has been proven to be quite effective in the case of emergency and survival situations, especially when the blood loss rate is life-threatening.
Today, tourniquets are found among all military and law personnel because they can save lives until professional medical help is reached.
- Official Tourniquet of the U.S. Army
- Proven to be 100% effective in occluding blood flow in both upper and lower extremities by the U.S. Army's Institute of Surgical Research
- Featuring NAR's Red Tip Technology with a red elliptical tip to assist user in locating and threading during application
Essential Tips About Tourniquets
- Tourniquets used to be made out of ropes, rags, and sticks in the past. However, most makeshift and DIY tourniquets fail to get the job done, so you should always keep a professionally designed tool on you.
- You can have as many tourniquets as you want in your bag as long as you have enough space for other essential tools and items. However, if you’re tight on space, you’ll need to have at least two to three tourniquets per individual.
- It’s always worthwhile to know how to properly use a tourniquet and practice your model before heading out. This can save you some extremely valuable time in the case of an emergency.
Best Tourniquets Available on the Market
There are plenty of great models when it comes to tourniquets. Here’s a list of the best options that you can find on the market:
- North American Rescue C-A-T Combat Application Tourniquet – Best overall option
- Recon Gen 4B Medical Tourniquet – Easy to use
- Soft ‘N Style Disposable Tourniquet – Highly portable and affordable option (but not as reliable)
- CAT GEN 7 Combat Application Tourniquet – The official U.S. Army tourniquet
- Combat Tourniquet Medical with Windlass – Excellent value for money
2. Wound Packings – Trauma Kit List
Wound packing is any type of gauze that is meant to plug any wounds or holes in the body where blood is being lost.
These wound packings are usually sterile, but they also include specific chemicals that speed up the natural clotting process to help the wound to heal.
These advanced gauzes are quite pricey but it always pays off to have them in your trauma bag when fate calls for their presence.
Essential Tips About Wound Packing
- Since these wound packings are extremely valuable, you must always know when to use them and when to use a regular dressing or a gauze. Ideally, wound packing is stuffed inside a wound that is so noticeably deep that blood pools in it, especially when pressure and standard gauze don’t stop the bleeding.
- The best way to use wound packing is by placing it directly on top and inside of the source of bleeding while applying a moderate amount of sustained pressure, so you shouldn’t wrap it around the lacerations
- If you don’t have wound packing, you can use sterile cotton that is dipping inside a homeostatic agent, although its efficiency isn’t as high as wound packing.
Best Wound Packings Available on the Market
As previously mentioned, wound packing is usually more expensive than standard gauze because it’s sterile and contains a homeostatic agent.
Among the best options on the market is Celox Z-Fold Gauze. However, this brand is quite expensive and some people claim that more affordable options like QuikClot Advanced Clotting Gauze will also do the trick.
- Includes 1 piece of sterile Z-fold blood clotting gauze that easily fits in any trauma kit
- Nonallergenic first aid gauze accelerates natural blood clotting and stops bleeding within minutes
- Used by hospitals, EMS/first responders, military, law enforcement, general public & outdoorsman
3. Chest Seals
A center seal is a special trauma kit list necessity that serves only one purpose but is extremely essential in the case of an emergency, which is treating a sucking wound at the chest.
As we’ll know, the chest of a human being is the most valuable part of the body, and it usually gets most of the gunshot wounds.
Not only that, but it also catches the majority of the projectiles that fly into the body as a secondary injury due to missed shots.
For that reason, having a special item that is specifically designed to seal any wounds by preventing air from leaving or entering the chest is always a must.
Essential Tips About Chest Seals
- To use a chest seal, you must first bare the victim’s chest and wipe away any liquid or blood so that you can find the location of the injury and seal it with the chest seal
- Make sure that you check out the entire torso, so you don’t miss out on any holes, this should also include rolling the victim to check for an exit wound as well as the sides and armpits
- Monitor the victim’s breathing while applying the chest seal
- While you can use just about any seal or tape to get the job done, a chest seal is recommended because it’s sterile and designed to stick to the body even if there are liquids
Best Chest Seals Available on the Market – Trauma Kit List
Chest seals come in a wide range of sizes and designs, here’s a quick look at some of the most popular options on the market:
- North American Rescue Hyfin Vent Chest Seal
- Halo High-Performance Chest Seal Occlusive Dressing
- Chest Seal Vented and Unvented Twin-Pack
- The set contains 6 count RHINO RESCUE vent chest seals. This product sets the standard for the treatment of penetrating injuries to the chest.
- 3-Vent Channels that prevent airflow into the chest cavity during inspiration while allowing air to escape through the vent Channels during exhalation.
- Advanced adhesive technology for a superior seal in the most adverse conditions, including sweaty or hairy casualties.
4. Dressing and Bandages
When anyone thinks of first aid or trauma kit list, they always think of bandages and dressings before anything, and that’s the easiest way to imagine how essential these items are.
A bandage is typically made of fabrics and is used for a wide range of purposes. For starters, you may use it to cover all kinds of wounds, especially small wounds.
Additionally, you can use bandages to keep non-sticky dressings in place. Also, you can use a special type of elastic bandage, called “pressure bandage” to apply pressure in a specific area in order to stop bleeding.
In addition to all that, you can use the bandage itself as a supporting splint or support the body, especially if you want to restrict motion in some parts of the body.
You can also use them together with most other items on the list in order to give you better control of the wound.
Dressings, on the other hand, are used to cover the wounds directly and promote wound healing. Unlike bandages, dressings are usually sterile and have a more specific use.
Essential Tips About Bandages and Dressings
- You should make sure that you apply the bandage firmly but not too tight that it cuts off circulation unless you’re using them to stop bleeding.
- Always apply any form of antiseptic before using dressings to avoid septic shocks.
- While applying a dressing, always keep in mind that it should be larger than the entire wound, so that it covers the edges of the wound itself.
Best Bandages and Dressings Available on the Market – Trauma Kit List
Just about any wound dressings and bandages will get the job done, such as:
- Dimora Absorbent Wound Dressing
- RECON MEDICAL Trauma Bandage
- MediTac Emergency Trauma Pressure Bandage
- Medpride Sterile Non-Adherent Pads
- Highly effective absorbent - Dimora superabsorbent dressing with 20 times absorption is perfect for heavily draining wounds accelerate the wound healing
- Locks fluid away from skin - The SAP polymer core can lock the wound exudate inside the dressing, keep dry to reduce the infection risk of wound and peri-wound skin
- Ideal for post surgical - High absorption and retention capacity for post surgical incisions, diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers with large exudate,burns with massive blisters
5. Trauma Blankets
One of the biggest problems that follow a significant loss of blood is hypothermia, which is the huge decrease of temperature because not enough oxygen is reaching the cells to maintain their temperature.
The best solution to prevent hypothermia effects from setting in is the trauma blanket, also known as the “emergency first aid blanket”.
These are usually impermeable plastic sheets that are wrapped around the body to prevent the heat from escaping the body.
Essential Tips About Emergency Blankets
- Always remove any wet clothing from a drowning victim before applying a trauma blanket.
- After wrapping a patient with a blanket, always remove them from cold surfaces to prevent any heat loss through conduction.
- Always combine the trauma blanket with some heat packs or hand warmers to induce thermal retention inside the blanket and keep the body warmer for longer.
Best Emergency Blankets Available on the Market
There are plenty of excellent thermal blankets that are reliable and effective. For example, you can go for the Swiss Safe Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets or the Grizzly Gear Emergency Thermal Blanket
- BULK MYLAR EMERGENCY BLANKETS - Advanced dual-sided aluminized mylar blankets in Silver color.
- BULK SAVINGS - Our same top-performing individually wrapped blankets, in bulk savings quantities.
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND DURABLE - Military-grade 12-micron aluminized polyethylene mylar, 52"x82" & 2 oz.
6. Additional Items That Are Good to Have in Your Trauma Kit
Now that you have a better idea about the “must-haves” here’s a quick list of all the items that you can also include in the trauma kit list if you have enough space:
- Sterile gloves
- Tweezers and scissors
- Sticky tape
- Digital thermometer
- Over the counter painkillers
- Antihistamine and an EpiPen shot
- Distilled water
The Bottom Line – Trauma Kit List
This wraps it up for today’s guide about the most essential items to include in your trauma kit list.
In the end, you should know that what’s more important than having all these items is to know how to use them properly, make sure that you have proper first aid training and instructions about using each of these items before heading off to your adventure.