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Saturday, February 21, 2009

First Aid and Trauma Kits

We keep a well-stocked first aid kit in both of our vehicles and a small one in each bathroom of our home. These little kits have bandages, gauze, antiseptics, medical tape - the things we are all familiar with for fixing little injuries and skinned knees.

In addition to those little kits, we keep a very large first aid bag and a "trauma" kit in the house. Why do we keep these larger kits? For several reasons ~ 1) We live in an area of the country that is very prone to tornadoes in the spring, summer and fall. 2) We live very near the New Madrid fault line. 3) Every few years we have a winter ice storm that knocks out power for several days, sometimes a week or more.

We like to have these well stocked kits on hand for any of these emergency situations that might arise when it could take an extended period of time for emergency services to arrive to help us.

We look at our first aid bag as a "boo-boo" bag - one that has all the helps we might need for minor injuries that are not life threatening. All of these items are stored in a large duffel bag and kept in a bedroom closet where we could access it immediately if needed.

Our "trauma" kit has items that are needed to save a life and nothing else. We keep these items in a backpack in the same place as our large first aid bag. We keep the trauma items separate from the first aid items so that we can find them quickly without having to sort through various and sundry items that aren't critical. We also keep smaller, portable trauma kits in our cars. More about this below.

Here's how we put ours together.


When we were initially putting together our large first aid bag, we had a small budget and couldn't afford to just go out and buy tons of medical supplies in one shopping trip. We made it a habit starting out to buy 2 of anything we keep around our house for general first aid or over the counter medications that we might rely on. For example, if I buy a box of bandages to put in one of our little kits, I automatically buy an extra box and it goes into the large first aid bag. If I buy a box of sudafed for our allergies, I buy an extra box and put it in our large first aid bag. This way, we don't have to try to buy everything for a bag at one time and over the course of several weeks we still end up with a great first aid bag.

Over the years, we have ended up with a fantastic bag. Our bag now has everything in it that our family could need for non-life threatening emergencies. We keep it sorted into sections of like items and we rotate items to make sure they don't expire. Now, when we buy a new box of sudafed, we take the one out of the first aid bag to use and put the new one in its place. This ensures we always have the newest items in our first aid bag just in case we need them.

We keep these items in a duffel bag so it is portable. If something like a tornado or earthquake were to happen, we could hopefully take this bag with us if we had to relocate to temporary housing.


We keep our trauma bag in a backpack instead of a duffel, because it doesn't have as many items in it as our large first aid bag. It only has those items that could be essential to save a life and nothing more. This bag we didn't put together entirely ourselves, as there is an excellent one available for purchase at a very inexpensive cost - $35 - from Tactical Response located here in TN. They put their kit together to address three primary areas that are life threatening - critical blood loss, obstructed airway and tension pneumothorax. The guys who put this kit together have been to both Iraq and Afghanistan and have actually used everything in this kit to save many lives.

While many of these kits are sold for those in harms way on the battlefield or in a local police or SWAT department, we determined that they are excellent kits to have on hand in our car and in our trauma bag for a variety of possible uses from car accidents onward.

I look at it this way - if I'm involved in something like a car accident, I'd like to know that should a first responder show up to help me out, I have some great tools on hand to help them provide top-notch assistance to me. And even better, the Tactical Response kit is set up so that many of the items could be used by yourself, on yourself, if no other assistance was immediately available. No, this is not a paid advertisement, but just a product that we feel very strongly about and use ourselves. You cannot go wrong having a few of these on hand.


Screen Left said...
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Kymber said...

Thanks for the awesome post, the tip and the link. I think word of mouth is important - and I think that when we find something that we believe is a good value and useful - then we should share that information! Off now to check out that Tactical Response kit! Thanks!

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