Additions and “Nice to Haves” for Med Kits

I’m often asked during our Direct Action Response Training courses what items should be added-to and/or carried along with a good medical kit. While our focus is to keep med kits small, easily carried, and accessible, there are some items that are not necessarily medical in nature but are just as useful. These are the things that I add to my kits:

Extra Gloves: Especially if one may come in contact with multiple patients, along with protecting themselves they must also protect from cross-contamination between patients. Buy Now

Indelible Marker or Pencil: I prefer markers with black ink; they’re great for writing information without worrying about running ink and are useful on many surfaces.

Safety Pin: A safety pin can be used to “shorten” a nasal airway, pin a sling in place, etc.

Tape: I prefer duct or gorilla-type tapes; the stickier the better. An easy way to carry tape is to wrap it on the lengthwise axis of an old credit card or hotel key card; you’ll be surprised how much tape you can wrap around without it being bulky!

Flashlight: There isn’t ideal lighting in stressful situations. If you have to patch someone up, it would be helpful if you could see what you're working with!

Extra Batteries: batteries always seem to go bad at the most inconvenient times. Thyrm offers a great option to carrying batteries with their Cell Vault, which also great for carrying any items that you want to keep dry

Splints and Elastic Wraps: For those carrying larger kits or for stationary kits (vehicles, ranges, offices, etc.) having materials to immobilize broken bones is a great idea, reducing the need to improvise should a situation arise. There are many types of rigid and semi-rigid splints of all shapes and sizes; I prefer SAM Splints. Elastic wraps are just that; great to hold the splint or hold gauze in place, etc. They’re incredibly multi-use and are inexpensive. Buy Now

This list is certainly not all-inclusive and you may find other items that work better for you! Being prepared BEFORE an incident is the key, so think about what you’ll absolutely need (or are most likely to need/use) and carry those things! Stay safe out there!