The First Aid Supplies Checklist You Can’t Live Without

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It is appalling how few people in the United States (and beyond) have a fully stocked first aid kit or nevertheless know how to use the items in it! According to a survey from Adelphi University, 44% of Americans don’t have a first aid kit.

The checklist is divided up by how the items are used.  You may need to adjust the content lists of  each category to fit your needs.  However, make sure that you have all core items from each category so you are prepared for all types of injuries. More detail on the items is provided after the checklist.

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Types of First Aid Supplies

Before giving you the checklist of first aid supplies, I want to make sure you understand the types of first aid supplies you need. This will help you when stocking your first aid kit. It will also help you organize the first aid supplies so they are easy to access based on emergency type.

The main types of first aid supplies you will need are:

  • Trauma first aid supplies
  • Wound care and cleaning first aid supplies
  • Bone and ligament injury first aid supplies
  • Airway and breathing first aid supplies
  • Personal protection first aid supplies
  • Medications

Trauma First Aid Supplies

These are the supplies you use to treat wounds, such as cuts, scrapes, and burns. Items for cleaning wounds are listed in the next section.

Wound Care and Cleaning Supplies

Bone and Ligament Injury First Aid Supplies

If a bone breaks, you will be heading to the emergency room. But you still need to have some first aid supplies to make sure the injury doesn’t move around while in route. Also stock your first aid kit with supplies for ligament injuries like sprained ankles.

Airway and Breathing First Aid Supplies

Personal Protective First Aid Supplies

Medications, Ointments, and Creams

Other First Aid Supplies

Don’t Forget Emergency Documents and Contacts

In addition to having a well-stocked first aid kit, you also must have certain information readily available for a medical emergency.

You need:

  • Emergency contacts list
  • Contact information for all health care providers
  • Copies of medical records
  • Copies of health insurance documents
  • List of all drugs/medications you are taking

Do NOT store this information in your phone or computer. What if the power goes out? What if your phone breaks? You must have a paper copy as a backup.

In my article about vital survival documents, I talk about which documents you need to have ready for an emergency. The article also talks about how and where to store these documents.

Learn How to Use Your First Aid Supplies!

Having these first aid supplies on hand aren’t going to help you if you don’t know how to use them properly.

I highly recommend signing up for a first aid course. And (this is important!) you should re-take the first aid course every few years. Otherwise, you will probably forget how to do basic first aid like CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. By regularly brushing up on your first aid skills, you will feel comfortable when an emergency occurs.

Check out my post – How to take your medical skills to the next level

These are the first aid skills you MUST know how to do:

  • How to stop heavy bleeding
  • How to dress a wound
  • How to treat a fever
  • Heimlich maneuver
  • CPR
  • How to treat shock
  • How to treat dehydration

Please don’t rely on someone else (like the paramedics) to administer first aid during an emergency.

A study performed by USA Today found that many EMS systems (paramedics) don’t arrive on scene for more than 25 minutes after the 9/11 call. They looked at just cases of cardiac arrest and estimated that more than 1,000 “saveable” lives are lost each year simply because paramedics aren’t able to arrive on time.

If the family members or friends of those having a sudden cardiac arrest knew CPR, then the survival rate would drastically increase. Consider that 88% of cardiac arrests occur at home, but 70% of people “feel helpless” during a cardiac arrest because they don’t know how to perform CPR.

And this is just for CPR. If we calculate the percentage of people who feel ready to administer all types of first aid like trauma treatment, then the numbers dwindle. You don’t want to lose a family member simply because you didn’t prepare!

Sign up for a first aid course now!

You can find a first aid course here through the Red Cross. There also may be many free first aid courses in your local area.

Have you taken a first aid course?  Let us know in the comments or join the discussion on Facebook.

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Disclaimer: This website and the material covered is for informational purposes only. We take no responsibility for what you do with this knowledge. By taking and/or using any informational resources from this website you agree that you will use this information in a safe and legal manner, consistent with all applicable laws, safety rules, and good common sense. Full disclaimers here.

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Essential First Aid For Bleeding

 
  • First Aid
  • Tourniquets
  • Dressing Wounds
  • Closing Wounds
  • Special Situations
  • Supplies Checklist
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Leave a comment

  1. Great guide, only thing I would say is tourniquets can be VERY dangerous in the untrained hands, and even those trained in their use are very careful (reluctant) to use them as although they are useful for stopping blood flow, they can cause lack of circulation which causes damage to tissues and in extreme cases can induce plasmotoxosis…

  2. I don’t see a suture kit on here. Why? I’m curious because the tourniquet is on the list but an injury requiring stitches is far more likely. Thanks!

    • I thought about that. But, realistically, most people don’t know how to suture and would probably cause more harm than good. If someone was actually trained in suturing, I’d say to bring a kit. Otherwise, butterfly bandages can work as alternatives to sutures in many cases. We’ve got a post on closing wounds with butterfly bandages here – https://www.primalsurvivor.net/butterfly-bandages/ Thanks for your great question!

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