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Even though I've spent time working as an EMT I've never had to forage for my own supplies. Is there a great source for putting together a trauma kit? I want one for the car so that in case I ever come upon anything I'll be prepared. Something that includes stethoscope/sphygmomanomater/C-collar/etc.

I would also be interested in a package kit (bag, supplies etc), and it seems like from my searching online you can often just buy refill kits when you're through.

Any ideas of where to look? What about suggestions for the best things to have in a trauma kit in the car?


asked Nov 06 '11 at 12:43

oliver's gravatar image


answered Nov 06 '11 at 14:33

Curtis%20Garner's gravatar image

Curtis Garner

I'm a member of edcforums.com, and highly recommend it. There is a first aid kit subforum there with EMTs, emergency room docs, austere/wilderness medicine folks, etc. There are also existing threads there about making car FAKs and other special-purpose FAKs.

Take a look at USNERDOC on Youtube. He's got good advice for kits big and small.

Re: sourcing, I've had good experiences before with http://www.rescue-essentials.com/ and http://narescue.com/.

Lastly, I'd suggest a grain of salt. This stuff shouldn't be taken lightly, but you've got the training and experience to hopefully wade through the armchair commandos and similar stuff you see online. I'm one of those untrained yahoos I'm warning you about, which is why I'd refer you to the folks on EDCF and USNERDOC, who know more about what you should carry and where to best procure it.


answered Nov 06 '11 at 17:48

curby's gravatar image


What about suggestions for the best things to have in a trauma kit in the car?

I suggest NOT buying a pre-packaged kit. My car kit contains

  • metallic emergency blanket x 4 *
  • large gauze pressure dressing x 4 *
  • SAM splint x 2
  • roll of plastic food wrap (Saran wrap)
  • a few band aids
  • a few steri strips *
  • two rolls of gauze
  • duct tape *
  • some glow sticks
  • fire extinguisher
  • flashlight/headlamp *
  • some webbing or static cord *
  • leatherman Wave multitool *

The items with a * are what I carry in my pack all the time - my car kit would be just fine with only those items.

The whole kit, less the fire extinguisher, is very small. No need for things like BP cuffs, stethoscope, c-collar. Those are things needed for ongoing care and treatment. You're doing first aid at a roadside trauma. Performing a proper physical assessment and vital signs (pulse, respiration, pupils) will guide treatment better than scope/cuff will. Improvising a c-collar from a coat/pair of boots/SAM splint is quite easy and applicable to more patients than a real collar.

I guess I'm getting at the benefit of the knowledge over the tools. Don't bring a ton of gauze - only the layer in contact with the wound needs to be sterile. After the gauze goes on put anything else (sweater, shirts, jackets) on the gauze to get the pressure directed properly.


answered Nov 06 '11 at 17:51

Botha's gravatar image


Moore Medical has a number of kits for various purposes. They will be worth a look depending on the competition. mooremedical.com


answered Nov 06 '11 at 19:06

Thomas%20Meacham's gravatar image

Thomas Meacham

A lot depends on what you plan to do with it. For occasional use, the Red Cross sells a decent starter kit for about $20. It zips into a red pouch, easy to see and grab, and has room to add several items of your own choice. Botha's list above has good stuff. Add a handful of nitrile GLOVES and a CPR mask/barrier. I carry a wool army blanket in a tent bag (good too if I get stranded in cold weather), a jug of water. If you want to get into more involved stuff, check www.countycomm.com for interesting surplus bargains and gadgets.


answered Nov 06 '11 at 20:14

maraiah's gravatar image


Thanks for this question; I've appreciated some of the other links. I am also an EMT who was looking for an "off-duty" kit. I agree with an earlier poster that if you are looking to be able to assist as first on scene at e.g., a road accident, you do not need nor necessarily want a full set of diagnostic equipment, immobilization, etc.

I was looking for for equipment to allow me to provide some care independently in the event of an earthquake or other longer-term emergency. I've been very happy with a kit I put together starting with the Dixie EMS (http://www.dixieems.com) First Responder Kit, and adding a variety of other medical and non-medical supplies. They also sell the same bag empty for $24; I've found this bag reasonably high quality and a fantastic value. It's certainly not duty-quality, but it's also not $100+.


answered Nov 07 '11 at 12:23

lukestein's gravatar image


IAMA skipper of a fairly large commercial fishing boat that spends a good amount of time at sea. Our first aid kit is pretty good. It is not cheap, but contains what you need. They can make up different kits for different applications. I get it and the refills from Lafferty's Pharmacy in Ballard, in the Seattle area. As far as I can tell Lafferty's does not have a website, but here is a link to the brick & mortar: http://seattle.citysearch.com/profile/10783843/seattle_wa/lafferty_s_pharmacy.html


answered Nov 12 '11 at 10:40

wildsalmon's gravatar image


edited Nov 12 '11 at 10:43

I have three meical kits in my car at all times, they were purchased kits which I have greatly expanded to include Celox 35 gramm hemostat to control blood loss, I have a chest seal with an Israeli battle bandage close buy within reach of my seated position. Too often many of these purchased kits are what I like to call Boo Boo kits, treatments for rash, snake bite, poison ivy, things like that, I want close to me the ability to have the right tools for the worse possible scenario. For example I have a scalpel with sutures tied to needles all ready to go in case of an extreme life threatening emergency. Especially in a car is the most needed place for things like this simply due to the unlimited possible scenarios that could happen at a minutes notice. Trust me, you dont want to have a "Boo Boo" kit in front of you when you are facing major truama . . You just dont. It is for this reason that I start out with a Boo Boo Kit and upgrade it from there for the more serious situations. Also duct tape is a very handy thing to carry in first aid kits now, it can be cut up to be used as sutures, or stop the bleeding of a really big wound all by itself. Be creative, think what could really happen then ask yourself if you have a serious medical kit or a Boo Boo kit!! You decide!!


answered May 26 '12 at 10:49

Jim%20Bodeen's gravatar image

Jim Bodeen

@ lukestein...wouldn't opening your suture dry it out, or are you using silk suture?


answered Jun 03 '12 at 21:35

bamagal08's gravatar image


In addition to the sources mentioned above I'd suggest http://www.chinookmed.com/ , http://www.bpmedicalsupplies.com/ (bpmed has an Amazon storefront as well- the others may also), and http://www.rescue-essentials.com/ , and for advice on what to include I would suggest the first aid forum section at http://zombiehunters.org/, and for the best sources for each individual item the "Where to Buy Medical Products: The Definitive Thread" at the same URL. I'm a SCUBA instructor and I have a much, much better and simultaneously much less expensive kit thanks to these guys, compared to if I had gotten a pre-made one such as a DAN kit or a coast-guard approved kit etc.


answered Nov 24 '12 at 01:46

chunk's gravatar image


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Asked: Nov 06 '11 at 12:43

Seen: 19,625 times

Last updated: Nov 24 '12 at 01:46

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