September 11, 2021 – Trauma Bag Recommended Contents – Part 1

Net Control: K0STR

K0STR – This is a very long subject and a lot of things that need to be put in the trauma bad, so we probably won’t be able to cover everything this week. What we are talking about the worst situation with no emergency services that can come to the rescue and no hospitals you can go to.

We need to be ready to take care of any emergencies ourselves. Here are my recommendations for a well equipped medical bad based on my experience as an Army medic.

I do not recommend purchasing a pre-made trauma kit, they will not have everything you need.
Make a list of everything you need and then make purchased separately, it will save you a lot of money.


  • At least one or more aluminum splits – Can be bent to apply to limbs. You can also make a splint from just about any object like a tree limb, yard stick, even popsicle sticks for finger splints for broken or dislocated fingers. Not that uncommon..
  • Tourniquets – An assortment of sizes. 3 or 4 of various sizes. Now that we talk about active shooters it is necessary. A tourniquet is better when you stop the bleeding. Losing a limb is better than bleeding to death.
  • Airways – Little plastic devices that you can use to open airways. Various sizes for infant to adult. Can get people breathing again. Have a large supply, they are dirt cheap and you can get them in various sizes. You’d be amazed at how many lives have been saved with this single simple device.
  • Latex gloves – Very inexpensive, 2 or 3 boxes
  • Masks – We should have enough masks on hand now. Regular facemasks, have a stockpile.
  • Bandage shears – Large scissor type object to cut through bandages. A couple of sizes is a good idea.
  • Metzenbaum scissors – These are small surgical scissors designed for meticulous surgical cutting. Help do things in an emergency situation to cut away something or the wound itself.
    Surgical clamps – For clos surgical work. Have about a dozen of them in various sizes. Are available off mail order, haven’t seen them in stores though.
  • Towel Clamps – Larger than surgical clamps. The name states the usage.
  • Forceps – Locking tweezer-like tools of various sizes and shapes. Kelly forceps is just one style. Should consider various sizes.
  • Hemostats – Also a locking clamp-like tool that come in various sizes and shapes. Honestly, you can’t have too many of these.
  • Eye protection – For both you and your patients. Should have a couple of sets.
  • Professional stethoscope – Don’t buy something expensive, but not a toy either. Should spend about $20
  • Good blood pressure cuff
  • Thermometer – Both a good digital and some old style oral thermometers is a good idea.
  • Nail trimming kit – (Manicure/pedicure kit) available in any department store, and contain usually a large and small nail trimmer, tweezers and other tools for personal toenail and fingernail care.
  • Scalpel set – This is seriously sharp cutting tools which is absolutely necessary in a trauma bag. May have to work on wound or injury and cut away object that caused a wound, etc.
    Tweezers – A few sets, take our splinters, particles of dirt etc.
  • Eyeglass repair kit – Small screwdriver and set of small screws.
  • Film sunglasses – The kind your eye doctor gives you to wear home.
  • Dental tool kit – Not very expensive and you’ll be glad you have it in your bag.
  • Safety pins – A large number of various sizes. You’ll be amazed at the uses you will find for these.
  • Suction device – Some type of serious suction device is also essential. There are some that are designed for snake bite kits, but these are usually very small and very useless. Look for something substantial that could suck-start your Harley Davidson on a cold morning. The rest of the tools we’ve already included can make up a good snakebite treatment kit.
  • Magnifying glass – Use a real glass magnifying glass, not some plastic piece of junk. A couple of these, one or two handheld and one on a stand with lighting is a good idea. Not only good for close-up medical work, but will start a fire in a pinch.
  • Penlights – A couple of small battery operated lights.
  • Headlamp – A really good headlamp is an essential. You need your hands free when doing some of the work.
  • Sutures – Very important is a set of surgical sutures, of various sizes and thread content. You will need to close some wounds and there is no other way to do it other than with sutures. Painful, yes, but essential. Think of ways to lessen the pain to your patient.
  • Space blanket – These are the old aluminum blankets that reflect your body heat back into your body. Helps keep your patient from going into shock. Still very inexpensive and you should have at least one for each of the people in your group.
  • Small set of hobby tools – Plyers, nippers, cutters and screwdrivers (Philips & flat).

KE0CBT – Rocky mountain rescue offers training. Anyone know if they’re doing it?
N0KMO – According to their site for Rocky mountain rescue, I don’t see anything for this fall.
Unknown station – Put a basic EMT training manual in your bag.
K0STR – A lot of my training is old because I got it in the Navy in the 60’s, so I need to update. We all need training and renew knowledge consistently.


  • Disinfectant Soap – A large supply of a recognized effective soap that is antibacterial and antimicrobial.
  • Eye Wash – Some type of eye cleanser, like Murine or similar liquid.
  • Anapestic Aerosol Wound Cleanser – You can find these cans in the pharmacy department of most grocery stores and they are not expensive at all. For use in cleansing large areas of the limbs or torso of the body. Very essential.

K0STR – Any other suggestions on things we’ve talked about?
KL7GLK – Betadine solution is a good thing. Don’t want to put rubbing alcohol into the wound.
K0STR – When I was building this list, I was looking at disinfectant wound sprays. Is Bactine any good?
KL7GLK – It’s better than nothing. But I would rather just see people using soap and water. Hesitant to put anything into the wound.
K0STR – I did have peroxide on the list. Is that a bad idea.?
KL7GLK – Not necessarily, it depends on the wound. Peroxide ddoes break down over time.
K0STR – Aspirin and other pain killers. Be careful, other OTC pain remedies can cause problems.
KL7GLK – Be very careful aspirin. Has anti-coagulant properties. You could cause a bleeding problem.
K0STR – Any OTC items you suggest for pain, but ok for children?
KL7GLD – Motrin and Ibuprofen, wonderful drug and pretty safe. This should be the one people carry.
K0STR – Running out of time, next week I will be continuing this. Will be talking about other medicine type of things.

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