Medical Kit Bleg

BY Herschel Smith
3 years ago

I’ve sent questions around about med kit issues and haven’t gotten any responses.

Frankly, I don’t like what I see out there for complete kits.  For tourniquets, I’d rather have the ratchet design.  Quikclot is very pricey.  Here is a vacuum packed gauge kit from the same company.

I know about medicines, general issues of gauze and bandages, scissors, etc., but I’d also like to have Lydocaine.  I know there are patches and creams, but I’d rather have injectable Lydocaine.  I’ll probably not be able to get that because I’m not a medical professional.

I think I need to make my own kit, but I can’t even really locate good, compact kit bags like I want.  I know I need something waterproof, or very nearly so.

At SurvivalBlog there is this recent post on medical emergency sheets.

What have you chosen to do, and why, and how did you accomplish the logistics to make it happen?  From whom did you order what, how many did you get, and what are your experiences to be emulated or avoided?


  1. On April 15, 2021 at 11:33 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    @ Herschel

    There’s a considerable amount of medical/healthcare content over at WRSA, if you haven’t yet seen it – much of it provided by highly-qualified people. Check it out…

  2. On April 16, 2021 at 7:09 am, Wes said:

    Am convinced making one’s own kit is best path.

    Separate from a worn IFAK, I have a vehicle kit contained in one of those small semi-rigid bags one would take their elaborate lunch in to their white-collar gig. I also have a larger bag, found in the fishing tackle area that is about 2x that size; flexible, soft-sided, but with some pockets & decent zippers.

    I also prefer TQ’s with a windlass but have a SWAT around which is an xlnt pressure source for wrapping some initial gauze, etc., or to use on REALLY small limbs. Crank type I like the Gen7 CAT.

    Lidocaine is not illegal to own, it just requires Rx to dispense. If your doc or veterinarian will not write for you or order some for you, there is a formula you can use to make some, available here:

    The consumables mentioned are available on the Amazon for the saline and here for Lidocaine powder:

    I have not personally used it, but acquired supplies; sources are solid. You’re an In-gah-neer, so you know the devil is in the details. :)

    If your doc will help you, go ahead & also ask for some 8.4% sodium bicarb for buffering the Lidocaine; helps mitigate the burning sensation. There is a formula to learn RE the ratio, typically 10:1 lidocaine to buffer. It is buffered for each use, not mixed & stored that way.

    Learn about considerations in closing lacerations: Lots of short articles & videos from someone who’s BTDT in the ER. Suturing is a perishable skill; practice.

    Supplies for many purposes (including practice suture kits & supplies):

    Also from SkinnyMedic, chest seals, TQ’s, & a host of stuff:

    * Not a doctor or paid spokesperson. Do not use this information for navigation or stage wardrobe choices. Remember that bacon & peanut butter are high on the periodic table. Your mileage may vary.

  3. On April 16, 2021 at 10:24 am, whynot said:

    Re: lidocaine. I’m assuming your wanting it for local anesthesia for laceration repair or I&D (Incision and debridement). There’s some pretty good literature that NS (normal Saline) will work just as well since it appears that the majority of local numbing comes from pressure on the superficial nerves. I’ve used NS without problems for years.

    Check for TC3-approved TQs (I’m partial to the SOFTT-W)

    There had also been on Deployed Medicine an article re: Combat Gauze with a variety treated….against plain Kerlix (roller gauze). Plain Kerlix came in pretty close since even the Combat Gauze has to be tightly packed and pressure held for 3 minutes. So same concept…….but pennies versus dollars.

    I get a LOT of my stuff from Chinook medical.

    * NOT to be construed as medical advice ;)

  4. On April 16, 2021 at 10:42 am, Bill Sullivan said:

    Check out Solatac. He is an oil platform medic that didn’t like what was commercially available, so he decided to make and market his own. Solid reputation. It’s just him and his wife, not some big company.

  5. On April 16, 2021 at 11:26 am, NOG said:

    “Lidocaine is not illegal to own, it just requires Rx to dispense.”

    The rest of the story. Some forms of lidocaine are OK without a script. That is topical (absorbed through the skin). Inject-able forms are script only and possession without a Rx is illegal. Injection through the skin is not without risk, those being nerve damage, infection and injection into a vein. Too much can cause heart problems. Into a nerve can kill the nerve, not from the lidocaine but the preservative in the most common inject-able form. Preservative free forms are for nerve blocks and don’t last long on the shelf. Also lidocaine is a lot like taking two aspirin. Higher strength does not make it “better” or provide better pain relief. 2% usually does fine for local anesthesia. Also in the injection form, if you have a syringe and needle without a script you can be charged with drug paraphernalia. The med part is from the Missus’ and the DP charge from me former Reserve LEO. Per the Missus’ you best have someone that knows how to use medical stuff like a Doc, ER RN or trained Mil. medic.

  6. On April 16, 2021 at 12:37 pm, MTHead said:

    Not much help. But I carry a bottle of Bactine spray in my kit. It has lidocaine in it.
    As for longer term pain. A dentist told me a combination of ibprofen and tylenol will generally yield good over the counter results. And it did. I like it better than the hydrocodone he gave me.

  7. On April 16, 2021 at 1:19 pm, billrla said:

    I recommend Dark Angel Medical. Experienced combat medics and EMTs, focused on real world, hands-on training and IFAKs (individual first aid kits) for worst-case scenarios–i.e., life-threatening bleed-out or chest puncture.

  8. On April 16, 2021 at 4:41 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    Even the most-highly trained physician, PA or APN is going to be pretty limited in what he/she can do without access to all of the 21st century high-tech diagnostic and treatment equipment, gear and therapeutics contained in a modern hospital, clinic or even a mobile ICU of the kind firefighter-paramedics use.

    If you already possess some medical/healthcare training, good on you. Go get some more, if you can. And if you do not, get some ASAP. Even the best gear, supplies and equipment will mean little in the absence of the knowledge and experience required to use them effectively. One can become certified as an EMT-B in a single semester of school, at most community colleges, and often the courses are at night. If that’s even too much of a commitment, then at least get CPR and first aid training.

    “First do no harm” – If a professional healthcare provider is legit, he/she is going to live by those words, whether a full-blown doctor or supportive personnel. And if you are a lay person, i.e., an amateur, someone who isn’t a pro – those words grow even more important. Don’t make matters worse with whatever it is you are trying to do, with whatever intervention you plan on doing!

    Spending a few hours reading medical and nursing textbooks on austere medicine or whatnot isn’t going to be near-enough to close the knowledge gap. There is a reason that training medical professionals take such a long time. Know your limits! This is not to say that one should do nothing at all; it is to remind you to stay in your lane, as the military folks say. Stick with what you know, and leave the rest to someone who knows what you don’t. The only exception to that rule is if you are the only possible salvation that injured/ill person has, and there is no better option available.

    The foregoing has bearing on how you build your home medical kit or bag, as well as your automotive/truck first aid kit and whatever it is you keep on your person close-at-hand.

    An acquaintance of mine, a former army medic with lots of time in the sandbox “making house calls under fire,” once specified for me what he carried with him in the field, and it was a surprisingly short list, especially if the squad or platoon wasn’t getting far outside the wire.

    Basically, he wanted to be able to take care of the ABCDs – airway, breathing, circulation, disability. He had a couple of IV bags, plus the necessary sterile prepackaged tubing and saline lock; some Quick-Clot, hemostats (as part of a small field surgical kit), Kerlex for packing wounds, elastic bandages and medical tape, a few tourniquets ready-to-use, some disposable prepackaged oropharyngeal airways, some occlusive dressings or petrolatum gauze (for sealing penetrating chest wounds), and a decompression needle. Plus analgesics for pain.

    If you want to get fancier, then the necessary gear & equipment for treating, stabilizing and transporting litter cases, including fractures. Some stuff for treating burns and thermal injuries. Antibiotics if you have access to them and have the skill/training/certs for administering them safely and effectively.

    Once you get the acute care/trauma side of your medical house constructed, get to work on your routine stuff, i.e., the supplies you keep on hand for routine, non-emergency types of things. If you are lucky, that’s most of what you’ll have to deal with – upset stomach, allergy symptoms, cuts-and-bruises, and so forth. Bear in mind, too, that if the medical/HC system is down, a lot “routine” things can get out of hand quickly. A simple laceration or impacted tooth which goes septic is big trouble, if you don’t have access to the right kind of care.

    Don’t neglect items for foot care, and treatment of blisters, hot-spots, and the like. If you and yours are doing a lot of walking, you’ll run into these for sure.

    Another must-have is something for oral rehydration, electrolyte replacement and fluid resuscitation (fluid replacement). Pedialyte is good, Gatorade works well, and both are compact for carrying in powder form. Don’t forget water treatment supplies for purifying water, either. Oral rehydration therapy is life-saving in certain kinds of conditions, and will be especially critical if cholera, dysentery and similar water-born infections again become common.

    What the troops call “snivel gear” is good, too, i.e., comfort items such as tissue paper, baby wipes, foot powder, dry skin cream, etc. – per your needs and those around you. They do much to keep spirits – and chins -up if things get tough.

    Thus, you divide your first aid and medical bag into two parts: one for acute care, stabilizing that serious casualty until you can get him to someplace equipped to deal with such cases, and one part for the routine stuff you deal with most of the time. When you need to travel light, you leave as much of the routine care items behind as you can, taking only the gear & equipment which is vital for those all-important ABCDs.

    I once read someplace in a history of medical care during WWII, the following words: “Rule number one is that young men die in wars. Rule number two is that doctors and medics can’t change rule number one.”

    It bears repeating that if things go badly-sideways (major war, major natural disaster, prolonged economic depression or other crisis), in the absence of a well-staffed, well-equipped hospital, clinic or aid station, you aren’t going to be able to save everyone. Best deal with that unpleasant fact now.

  9. On April 16, 2021 at 4:54 pm, Wes said:

    @NOG I believe you’ll find that the lidocaine info, as well as possession of needles & syringes being drug para, is state-specific. In my state the stuff is behind the counter at brick & mortar Rx, but you can ask for it. Also, mail-order they will ship into my state with zero issues.

    I would love for a reference to someone’s results using simply saline infusion as a local for laceration repair.

  10. On April 16, 2021 at 5:32 pm, Halfwolf said:

    You need the things that keep small wounds from becoming bigger wounds. Bacteria, alcohol wipes, iodine, etc etc. Chest seals can be made from tin foil, cellophane and tape. In my experience 2% lidocaine sucks, does nothing for me but then again neither does morphine but that’s just me. Tourniquet, I have 1 fancy one, the rest are the rubber straps they use during blood draws. Carrying around several liters of saline will get heavy. I bought my kit from GALLS when I finished Paramedic 3. 15 years ago. They have various kits to choose from. They also have police and fire gear. DISCLAIMER I have no financial interest in GALLS.

  11. On April 17, 2021 at 6:34 am, TexasMedic said:

    I’m a paramedic educator with critical care and tactical medicine training/experience—and I’ve treated more than enough gunshot wounds, stab wounds, and other serious trauma to get a sense of what works and doesn’t. As far as commercial kits go, I think North American Rescue has the best options out there. That said, I’ve built all of my own, sourcing supplies from different places and choosing the right pouches for each application.

    The ratcheting tourniquet you linked to is not a great option. Anecdotally, I’ve heard cases of the ratchet mechanism failing. More objectively, I find that manipulating knobs like that becomes a lot more challenging with bloody hands or under pressure. I’d recommend looking at the RMT tourniquet ( Out of all the tourniquets I’ve tried, it’s the easiest to self-apply and generate considerable pressure one-handed.

    Quikclot is pricey but very worth it, in my experience. You can achieve at least 2/3 of the benefits with good wound packing techniques using regular gauze, but the hemostatic gauze really does make a difference with significant scalp bleeding and with major hemorrhage in the hips/groin and shoulders where you can’t get a tourniquet. I’ve seen several lives saved that would have bled out without hemostatic gauze.

    Injectable lidocaine is only available from a physician, and carries some additional challenges. There’s an art to using it well; there’s the potential for serious heart problems if too much is injected or if done wrong; the lidocaine does expire, and if not stored properly will degrade faster than that expiration date indicated. It’s good to have for procedures or suturing, but doesn’t have much of a place for emergency medical care. A better option might be something like the military combat wound medication pack—1 g of oral acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 8 hours and 15mg Meloxicam oral antibiotics once a day. There’s strong evidence that the sooner antibiotics are taken after a penetrating injury, the lower the risk of infection and death.

    I’d recommend looking at a medical-grade stapler. Requires a physician to purchase, but pretty straightforward to use—much like a Stanley staple gun. Also hurts a lot less than suturing.

    You mention wanting something waterproof. I can think of three options here: a) Get a well-made kit with quality nylon and zippers, and ensure everything inside is in waterproof packaging. That was my route for most of my kits. b) Vacuum seal your kit before placing in a bag. I’ve done that with some kits, particularly for backpacking as it also saves space. I include a large zip-loc bag inside and I use scissors to cut a “tear-here” notch in the vacuum seal. c) Get a small pelican case like this:

    What I have in my kits vary based on whether its in my vehicle, my backpack (hiking), my daily-care bag, my house, etc. For my daily-care kit, I have a tourniquet, nasopharyngeal airway, chest decompression needle (requires physician license to purchase and training to use), a chest seal, an OLAES compression bandage (similar to an “Israeli bandage”, QuikClot gauze, and a reflective blanket. Hypothermia is an under-appreciated major contributor to traumatic deaths. I also have a smaller pouch with a variety of bandaids and OTC meds (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, Immodium, Benadryl, etc.).

    My vehicle kit has more advanced airway management options, more bandaging supplies, a bag-valve-mask (BVM) to ventilate, and SAM splints. Backpacking, I carry a slimmed down kit but do include a SAM splint and ace wrap. At home, I have more of the same supplies but have added a dental emergencies kit, sutures, medical-grade stapler, and more meds.

    Medical sheets are a good idea, and medical training even more so. I think most of your readers probably would strongly benefit from taking an EMT Basic course (typically a one-semester class available at most technical/community colleges and many fire departments as well) along with the NAEMT Tactical Emergency Casualty Care class (a civilian version of the US military combat casualty care course). I took my EMT course simply to be better prepared to handle medical emergencies, and it ended up turning into a very fulfilling career!

    The Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) guidelines are available free here: and are continually updated based on the latest evidence for what works and what doesn’t. Trauma medicine, especially in the military setting, is one of the best examples of constant research and practice evolving to follow what is found, not sticking to tradition or conventional wisdom.

  12. On April 17, 2021 at 11:36 am, Big Country said: Lots of ‘stuff’…

    Occasionally have Injectable Lidocaine… bought mine when it was in stock
    Bags of Saline and all ephemera needed to run an IV

  13. On April 17, 2021 at 3:17 pm, 41mag said:

    Bear Independent dot com.

    He sells complete kits and says he gets business from special forces.

  14. On April 17, 2021 at 3:45 pm, Alex said:

    Physician here.

    As mentioned above, even a physician is fairly limited in what they can do without access to all the equipment and resources 21st century healthcare and the wonders of JIT inventory offer. Stopping a bleeding gunshot wound or emergently rescuing an airway are one thing, but it’s what happens down the road that gets a little bit more complicated. I would recommend building your own kit and while it should be comprehensive, it should also be simple.

    My 2 cents:

    Consider forgetting about the sutures and lidocaine and instead get a few disposable, sterile-packaged, pre-loaded skin staplers. These can be found a number of places online, including Amazon. Get a few with narrow staples and a few wide wide staples, and don’t forget some staple removers. Lidocaine, particularly with certain formulations, does not last forever and has certain storage requirements. Suturing also takes lots of practice. A skin stapler is fast, easy to use, and doesn’t care what temperature or environment it is stored or used in.

    With regard to pain – suturing is painful because the distance the needle has to travel through the skin, followed by the tugging of suture material through the skin, all of which is even worse if someone doing it is not proficient – hence why lidocaine is used. Staples hurt too, but it’s quick and done and over with. There have been several times when I have opted to put staples in a skin wound on a child’s scalp rather than going through the trouble of numbing it up (which is pretty painful in itself) for that reason. They cry for a bit and then are my friend again. Numbing up and suturing is a different story.

  15. On April 17, 2021 at 8:46 pm, GomeznSA said:

    2 questions – 1) how much are you willing to spend? 2) how much are you willing/able to tote around on your belt/pack etc. Or do you have a designated Sherpa to haul it all around.
    FWIW, when I was an EMT back in the dark ages, I carried a full blown trauma bag in my car. Those days are long gone, I carry a small trauma kit in my motorcycle – basic stuff sealed in a waterproof pouch. If you are going to make your own kit, you can make that pouch with one of the meal sealing devices. It all goes back to question #1…………………

  16. On April 17, 2021 at 11:21 pm, SemperFi, 0321 said:

    re; MTHead’s comment.
    I too prefer the home grown pain remedy vs hydrocodone.
    My dentist wrote this up for me on my backpacking trips;

    Ibuprofen-600 mg (3x 200 mg tablets) +
    Acetominophen-500 mg = every 4 hours for pain.

    Works very well, and I get some awful severe headaches which hydrocodone doesn’t touch.

    I keep trauma kits on all my backpacks, a larger kit in my vehicle and a large tackle box at home. Used to have a USN Corpsman’s Unit one filled to the gills in my vehicle until we had a medical incident at work and it walked away in the confusion. Guard your shit!
    Been taking first aid classes all my life, last one was NOLS Wilderness First Aid 3 yrs ago.

  17. On April 18, 2021 at 2:44 am, Nosmo said:

    Lots of very good info in the comments; I’ll put in a vote for North American Rescue (NAR). Sharp people selling good stuff; a bit pricey but worth it, and life saving gear is not the place to pinch pennies.

    A thought: Given the complexity of the subject, have you done a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) on it? That might help narrow down what you need, where, and how it’s managed. EX: on-body gear will necessarily be more limited than in-vehicle or in-house (or in-office), some – quite limited – gear inadequacies can be overcome or partially mitigated with knowledge and training. Some of it comes down to “what is the mission support function this gear/education/training/skill development will be expected to perform?”

  18. On April 18, 2021 at 8:03 am, Berglander said:

    Here’s what I use-I’ve been out for a while so I hope it’s not out of date. If it is, please let me know.

    I like the ratcheting TQs from RevMedX, but I am getting away from them. Most folks are familiar with the CAT-style, and if I’m bleeding out I don’t want someone to waste time trying to figure something else out. It would be fucking gay to bleed out because someone doesn’t even recognize it as a tourniquet.

    On gear-I use the HSGI bleeder pouch. Each kit has trauma shears, a pair of micro chest seals, a pressure bandage, compressed gauze, a pair of nitrile gloves, a small packet of Quik-Clot and a nasopharyngeal airway. TQ and Sharpies adjacent and elsewhere.

    In cars-each car has a TT general purpose pouch (picked them up for $5 ea at 907 Surplus in Anchorage years ago.) Each car kit has trauma shears, two CATs, a Sharpie, a pair of larger chest seals, two pressure bandages, two compressed gauze, a roll of Vet Wrap, a roll of tape, a space blanket, a nasopharyngeal airway, two packs of Quik-Clot, and two pair nitrile gloves.

    I only use North American Rescue CATs, though I did buy the orange Recon ones for training purposes.

    Additionally there are secondary first aid packs with bandaids and similar supplies.

  19. On April 18, 2021 at 9:47 am, Garand69 said:

    Tons of great info already posted. I purchased suture kits with lidocane many moons ago from an ebay seller long since gone. The kit looked legit, yes I know it’s ebay and how can you trust it, but regardless it is all very much expired.

    As mentioned earlier, the staple gun route is probably the best route for a novice, they can be purchased via pet/vet supply sources, as can antibiotics and many other items that could be handy in a SHTF situation.

  20. On April 18, 2021 at 9:58 am, RPL said:

    I have a couple of IFAKs, and have customized them with individual additions. As others have noted, this would be an individually assembled kit. One of my kits comes from Dark Angel. They also run seminars where they take you through the first aid process. Expensive, but worth the time and cost. Quick clot is worth the cost, as is the ITB (also known as an ETB). That’s Israeli Tactical Bandage or Emergency Trauma Bandage. Two tourniquets are a must, as are rubber gloves. Wish I could help you out with the anasthetic, but I just go with OTC meds. Survival Blog is a good resource. Hope this helps.

  21. On April 18, 2021 at 11:07 am, Baddog said:

    US Issue kit.

    Add your favorite tq.

    As for lidocaine you’re on your own.

  22. On April 18, 2021 at 12:07 pm, Aesop said:

    1) How long have you got?

    2)Lidocaine is available at vet supply stores for use on livestock, OTC.
    As a rule, though, not by mail order, just in-person.

    3) The biggest prob with Lidocaine is knowing when – and where on the body – not to use it. Again, how long have you got?

    4) Ditto for suture material and surgical kits. Most of them are a waste of time, unless you’re going to invest P.A. levels (4 years post-grad) of time to learn the trade.

    5) I’ve posted kit lists on my blog, from jump bag-sized to disaster/zombpocalypse levels. If you do a shallow dive into any twenty lists (ranger/SF/SEAL/Survivalist/backpacking/ship’s medicine chest, etc.) around the ‘net, and note what keeps coming up on any baker’s dozen of them over and over, it comes down mostly to stuff you can get in the band-aid aisle at WalMart or Target, about 90% of the time. The other 10% is things like tourniquets, chest seals, Israeli bandages, NP airways, and the rest of what you’d use in a TCCC class.

    6) Unless you are, or have ready access to, a Physician’s Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, or board-certified MD in Emergency, Trauma, Intensive Care, or general surgery, almost anything you can’t get is going to be something you don’t really need anyways. If you want to make a go-to-hell apocalypse kit to stash in case a starving surgeon washes up on your island of survivalist sanity after the worldwide meltdown, go ahead on, but you’d be better served with stocking common stuff deep enough for multiple needs by multiple people. A single axe or chainsaw wound will need dressing changes at least daily for a couple of weeks, and a full course of antibiotics. Just for that one incident. Start thinking dressings, gauze rolls, and medicine in case lots and bottles of 100 or 500, not dozens. Most of that stuff also keeps for decades, stored well.

    Focusing on available medicines and ordinary sterile and non-sterile wound treatment material, plus lots of OTC meds, will serve you best for the long haul, and you can rotate through your stock on yourself, family, and friends, without watching time make it obsolete in most cases.

    If that’s not enough, books by the Altons, Forgey, etc., are the best places to start for making up kit lists.

  23. On April 18, 2021 at 1:22 pm, Flight-ER-Doc said:

    Full disclosure: I am a board certified emergency physician, with experience in both urban trauma centers and combat hospitals, as well as training paramedics and military combat medics. I’ve also been an active ‘prepper’ since the early 1960’s, when I grew up on various SAC bases that were not especially well prepared to take care of military, or dependent civilians.

    Having said all that, you need to think about what you are preparing for. Duplicating what goes on in combat is all well and good – if you are planning on being in combat, and have the entire efforts of the US military medical system to supply you up front, and transport your wounded to definitive medical care at Landstuhl and Walter Reed. Will that be a big part of your health maintenance needs? Maybe not. Tourniquets? Tourniquets are great, for dealing with life-saving needs following a blast injury (mostly). Gunshot injuries? Well, packing the wound, applying a chest seal, and stopping the bleed is probably the appropriate treatment.

    Illnesses, sickness, their treatment and mostly their prevention, are likely more important to most outside of active combat in the military. Even in a ‘Red Dawn’ scenario, where patriots are fighting inside of Conus against an organized military force (foreign, or domestic) are going to kill more people than combat injuries. What are your plans to prevent those kinds of illnesses? Treating them? Got soap, and the ability to clean vast quantities of water? Places for people to recover? The ability to clean linens, feed them with appropriate nourishment to aid in their recovery?

    Even for combat injuries, today we in the military have a great system in place to take the injured from the front line to the best hospitals in the world in 48 hours or so… Where are your wounded going? How are they going to get there?

    And if you are planning on having a Prepper Hospital, what supplies have you put up for it? Common illnesses, and treating even non-surgical injuries, require HUGE quantities of medical supplies: Bandages, tape, fluids, IV starter sets, IV tubing sets, diagnostic tools (even without high tech equipment)…lab equipment, etc. The small regional hospital I now work in, in an area with a population of fewer than 100,000 people, has about as much space dedicated to supplies, as to patients – and that’s based on JIT ordering from regional warehouses.

    As far as suturing, there are few good reasons to suture a wound in the field. Such wounds need exquisite and thorough irrigation and debridement, leaving anything that is not a living part of the body in a wound is a great way to kill a patient. That sort of debridement and irrigation requires very good lighting, very sharp surgical instruments, and time. Put a bandage on it, and get to some place with someone with the training and experience to clean the wound out and close it. And it is possible to close a laceration without sutures. For deep sutures, each layer of the body needs to be closed individually, muscle layers, fascia, skin….and knowing what can be sutured and what cannot (driving a needle into a nerve is a bad thing).

    As far as my logistics, I associate with some medical professionals in my area with similar ideas, and we have committed to keeping some supplies available for emergencies….including some higher-end diagnostics, the ability to do some lab work both automated and old-style wet lab, pharmaceuticals, orthopedic and anesthesiology capability. But we are likely unique in our efforts. It’s not like medical conferences have breakout sessions for preppers, or that preppers would attend such.

  24. On April 18, 2021 at 2:23 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Thanks for all the comments. So if I get them right, a good field kit should focus on things like:

    a. acetaminophen
    b. NSAID (such as sodium naproxyn)
    c. tourniquets (perhaps multiple types).
    d. butterfly bandages
    e. steri-strips
    f. gauze
    g. medical tape
    h. shears
    i. something to irrigate wounds
    j. chest seal
    k. quikclot

    A former PCP of mine told me one time that there was only one true antibiotic / antibacterial dressing, i.e., something with silver. Everything else is an impostor.

    Avoid trying to suture in the field. My daughter (a surgical NP) won’t always be with me. Use steri-strips and field dressings and quikclot instead. If I’m really enterprising, staples.

    I still need suggestions for good carry kits (field pouch, carrying case, etc.).

  25. On April 18, 2021 at 6:21 pm, Steve said:

    Any kit i see that contains Items most don’t have the right training to use I call “John Wayne” kits. The number one item that has me looking sideways at them is Tension Pneumothorax needles. You can kill somebody if you have no training. I just ignore those kits directed at average consumers as un-serious and pointless added expense.

    I note that Mike Lindell (the my pillow guy) has added a hemostatic agent to his store under his own brand. It appears similar to the more modern versions of quick-clot that produce no heat.

    Antibiotics are easy, even if you don’t want to use veterinary types. There ar many online pharmacies that ship from overseas that will sell you a variety of non-narcotic pharmaceuticals at good prices. Because they are not narcotics, they come through customs just fine. This is how I have a supply of Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin ready should anyone here come down with the coof.

    I tend to make my own kits. But I do buy the small, minimalist bleed out kits from to always have one to stuff in my pockets as part of my EDC.

  26. On April 18, 2021 at 9:45 pm, Ozark Redneck said:

    Some bags I like, bigger than an IFAK but smaller than a ruck, “North American Rescue Products” Combat Casualty Response Kit, Squad-Coy, PN: 80-0039 NSN.
    Also the Military, probably Army “Squad Casualty Bag” 8415-01-529-2118, W911QY-06-F-0043. Both allow the medic sheers to be on the outside, the North American is slightly bigger with a waist belt, both have mollee. I would drop the butterfly bandages, they are easily replaced by the steri-strips, carry both sizes, cut to fit, I have used many times instead of stitches. I have also used the stapler on head lacerations, as steri-strips won’t work. They make a ‘peri-anal plastic bottle that will work for irrigating wounds, they also make a sterile saline wound cleanser in a metal bottle, both are pretty bulky for your kit. I would probably throw in some snivel gear, chapstick, new skin, bandaids, duck tape & the like.

  27. On April 19, 2021 at 12:04 am, Flight-ER-Doc said:

    In terms of cases, get all the stuff you plan on carrying, then get something that fits it. If you buy the case first, it will either be too small, or too big and you’ll fill it with junk.

    Most of the military medic bags are quite good, with one exception – two totally different bags each designated the M17…I cannot stand them. The old one doesn’t secure anything, and the new one is a shapeless blob that doesn’t organize anything. if you’re planning on being in combat, get a military bag, if not there are lots of choices in the EMS world – I am very partial to products…

  28. On April 19, 2021 at 2:53 pm, Aesop said:

    Specific Small/Medium/Large options, for examples:

    Those are three possibilities for kits.
    If you’re stocking for the long haul, what Flight-ER-Doc said re: supplies.
    I.e., deep, wide, and a lot more than you thik you’ll ever need, if getting more at the store isn’t likely to be an option.

  29. On December 6, 2023 at 9:20 pm, Taylor said:

    Absolutely, I think it’s best not to go for those pre-made first aid kits. It’s all about customizing based on your own situation and what you actually need. My go-to first aid kit usually has some wound healing stuff, a variety of bandages, gauze, disinfectant, and some Senvok skin closure strips. The needless wound closure kits from are really a game-changer. They’re super practical, especially when you don’t want to deal with needles and stitches.

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You are currently reading "Medical Kit Bleg", entry #27307 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Medical and was published April 15th, 2021 by Herschel Smith.

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