Whether you consider yourself a prepper or not, having medical supplies, first aid kits and the skills to go along with those supplies is more important than ever in today’s world.
Having these medical supplies and skills is more important for preppers than the average person. This is because of the activities that interest us. Most of us are gun owners, hikers, campers etc..
A SHTF event aside, this makes us more prone to come across injuries than the average person sitting on the couch watching tv.
Learning basic first aid and bleeding control isn’t brain surgery (pun intended) and can be done by watching videos and taking classes. Unlike some things in preparedness, you probably won’t need to wait for disaster to strike for these medical supplies and skills to become useful.
SPP299 Prepper Medical Supplies & Trauma Kits
In this week’s show Lisa and I talked about the conference we put on in Las Vegas this year, and the Advanced Hemorrhage Control class we attended. In this class we learned about trauma supplies like tourniquet usage, wound packing, chest seals, and bleeding control in general.
Here is a short video recap of the Advanced Hemorrhage Control class put together by North American Rescue.
Basic EDC Trauma Kit
When it comes to bug out bag or everyday carry items, size and weight matter. The medical supplies we choose to add to our IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) or trauma kit should be supplies that will have the highest impact.
As far as trauma kits go, it means having the medical supplies for the most severe injuries. Tourniquets, compressed gauze, and pressure dressings are among the “must have” prepper medical supplies in trauma kits.
Below is a list of recommended medical supplies for preppers to have in their EDC trauma kits, and a few extras depending on the skills you have.
Compressed Gauze: Having a couple packs of compressed gauze is a staple for every trauma kit. These are compact and contain 4 yards of gauze. For smaller injuries these can be used as a pressure dressing.
Tourniquets: There is much debate on which is the best tourniquet, but you can’t go wrong with the CAT tourniquet. I like the CAT because it’s easy to use 1 handed if stored properly. Learn that technique here.
The SWAT-T is a good secondary option because it’s versatile, and can be used as a pressure dressing as well.
EMT Scissors: For the larger injuries that require a pressure dressing and a tourniquet, you probably won’t need scissors, but they will come in handy more than you think. Scissors may be useful when you need to cut tape, or cut someones clothes.
Combat Gauze: Celox and Quick-Clot are basically the same as compressed gauze with one major difference, their hemostatic properties. This type of gauze helps the clotting process with severe injuries.
Chest Seal: There are a few different types of chest seals. Some have breather valves, and some don’t. It’s important to note that in a true SHTF scenario, wounds that do internal damage may become fatal.
Because the principal of using a chest seal is simple…to stop air from getting into the chest cavity, there are some DIY alternatives that can work just as well. A couple are duct tape and Ziploc baggie, or even the foil packaging of xeroform gauze
Specialty Bandages: While the specialty dressings like the Israeli battle dressing or the OLAES dressing aren’t 100% necessary, they will make life much easier. I personally like the OLAES, but there are many options to choose from.
Nitrile Gloves: Wearing gloves is not for the patients safety, they are for your safety. If we need to treat ourselves, gloves are unnecessary, but they are a must when treating other people.
Sharpie: Including a sharpie in your medical supplies or trauma kit may not be the first thing you think about, but it”s important none the less. You’ll need to record the time when you put a tourniquet on, or write important information when you are in a first responder situation.
Other Medical Supplies
When it comes to a preppers medical supplies, what you have and need will be different than the next person. The items listed above are for a very basic trauma kit, but depending on your skill level and storage space, yours may be more extensive.
Kevin Reiter who’s been a guest a few times is a trained EMT, and the medical supplies in his trauma kit are much more extensive than mine. As a wound care nurse Lisa has just about every kind of dressing for wounds, but not much as far as trauma goes.
Because injuries have the potential to make a bad situation even worse, having first aid skills and supplies is a must for every prepper.
Packing a bullet wound or large laceration that cuts an artery is a fairly easy process, but it requires getting your hands dirty. This may make some people a little queasy, but it’s a life saving technique.
CAT Tourniquet One Handed Use
The CAT tourniquet (Combat Application Tourniquet) is my tourniquet of choice. This video explains how to use it, and I did a video below about CAT storage and one handed use.
I talked about the OLAES pressure dressing above, but this video shows 3 of the most popular pressure dressings out there.