Trauma Kit List - Essential Contents

Trauma Kit List – 5 Lifesaving Essential Contents Not To Forget

Going beyond an ordinary First Aid Kit, a Trauma Kit list should include (in my opinion) the following five lifesaving essential contents:

1. Trauma Scissors

2. Israeli type Trauma Dressing

3. Hemostatic Dressing

4. Open Chest Seal

5. Tourniquet

We hope to never have to use such emergency treatment. However the reality is that there are times when you, I, or others may be at risk of traumatic injury.

  • Anywhere that firearms are being used
  • Ever operate a chainsaw?
  • Lots of jobs, careers, entail some risk of traumatic injury!
  • Automobile accident

Don’t ignore the possibilities. It could happen. And if it does, will you have a Trauma Kit nearby? By the time a 911 call brings first responders, a traumatic injury may have already taken a life…

Trauma Scissors

Trauma Scissors
Trauma Scissors

Any trauma kit list should include trauma scissors. They are unique in their shape. The form-factor is designed for cutting clothing in order to quickly access the wound area. Will cut bandages and tape too.

Pick one:
(view on amzn)

Trauma Pressure Dressing

(view on amzn)

How to use Israeli Bandage Pressure Dressing
Israeli Bandage Pressure Dressing

A pressure bandage with elasticity to help stop the bleeding.

The Israeli Bandage is one of the most effective trauma kit contents to facilitate a major bleeding wound (along with proper wound packing). This should definitely be part of your trauma kit list.

Basically it incorporates a sterile non-adherent pad surface to cover the wound, and is attached to a length of elasticized material. It wraps with a built-in pressure applicator to help stop the bleeding.

[ Read: How To Use Israeli Bandage To Stop Traumatic Bleeding ]

Hemostatic Dressing For Your Kit

QuikClot Gauze

Hemostatic Gauze

hemostatic dressing QuikClot Gauze or Sponge
Hemostatic Dressing – QuikClot Gauze / Sponge

There’s a wide variety of gauze products on the market specifically designed to stop bleeding. They work by accelerating the natural clotting process at the wound area.

For ordinary (less severe) bleeding, simply applying pressure for a time will stop the bleeding. A major traumatic wound however may require more than that. A hemostatic dressing is another critical content of one’s Trauma Kit.

A few examples include Clotting Gauze Strips or Rolls, or specific size Clotting Gauze Pad Sponge. One well known brand for this type of dressing is QuikClot. Another is CELOX.

[ Read: How To Stop The Bleeding With QuikClot ]

Open Chest Seal

Hyfin Vent Chest Seal

HyFin Vent Chest Seal
HyFin Vent Chest Seal

Nobody wants to think about this. But if you’re in any environment where firearms are being used, there is a risk (however slight or great – depending).

An entry (and exit) wound in the chest area may puncture a lung, creating a ‘sucking chest wound’ which may lead to a tension pneumothorax. This will likely lead to death if not treated on site.

A Chest Seal prevents airflow into the chest cavity during inspiration while allowing air to escape through the vent channels during exhalation. The purpose is to re-inflate the lung so that breathing may occur. Look for bubbles on the wound hole for indications of lung puncture.

Tourniquet – Must Have on your Trauma Kit List

Recon Medical Tourniquet
(view on amzn)

Tourniquet by Recon Medical
Tourniquet by Recon Medical

Did you know that limbs make up about half of your body surface area? One might say that there’s a 50% probability that a major traumatic injury might occur on a limb.

Note: Military personnel, LEO’s, may typically carry a tourniquet on their battle belt or body armor (as opposed to buried in a kit or IFAK). This may save valuable seconds in an emergency.

A purpose designed tourniquet will perform much better than an improvised stick and rag (although you gotta do what you gotta do). No trauma kit list should be without a good tourniquet.

[ Read: Best First Aid Kit for General Purpose (Updated Each Year) ]


  1. Just my opinion, but I think it’s a good idea to practice applying some different dressings yourself too, JIC cause shid happens,

  2. Safety and avoiding injuries is job one. This is not new for anyone in the trades, outdoors people like hunters, farmers, kitchen workers, … generally, most productive people. I’m sure many in here have these items in there kits, but for all the others, please get them by Tuesday.

    1. Forgot one important comfort item we can provide to snowflakes on Wednesday – soothers.

      1. I was gonna pack some diapers and Vaseline for the snow flakes on Tuesday.

        1. I’m gonna pack something for them but they wont like it if I have to use them, but yea, it’ll be soothing, dead quiet when all is done.

    2. Standard issue IFAK, enhanced stocking,
      Good stuff, fits nicely right next to the dump pouch on the ole plate carrier

  3. You also should have some advanced first aid or better yet first responder skills and education. Learn from the people who know what to look for so u don’t do more damage. Also remember if u use a tourniquet u MUST keep accurate time on when inflated and when deflated and the time in between deflation and another inflation if needed. 2 hours MAX in first inflation!!!

    1. You are right but it is difficult for people with little medical experience to evaluate a critical situation that may dictate “life over limb” . Hope never to have to face that for myself or others.

  4. Guess I should put my money where my mouth is. 25 years surgical nurse, retired.😷😷🤣🤣 Also u do not need as much pressure on the upper arm for a brachial artery as u do for femoral artery. U will crush the total neurovascular bundles in the arm. Also never use a tourniquet on a joint!! Above or below, but still above the injury.

  5. I have first aid kits in every bag and vehicle. I put them together myself. I do have pressure bandages but do not have a tourniquet any of them. I do have the StopsBleeding product recommended by Lou Ferrigno. Does any one have any experience with this?
    Two very common drugs that are often overlooked are Benadryl and aspirin. They are life saving drugs if you need them. I keep both of these in every kit.

    1. Cayenne Pepper is also frequently overlooked. It will stop internal and external bleeding and a heart attack.. Benadryl should be a liquid, with dose cup… to get down easily, and you should have the bottle labeled IN BIG letters how much to use for each sized person that you may need to treat in a hurry….In severe allergic reaction holding a portion of that dose under the tongue, for a minute or two can be another lifesaver. since it is sweetened it will absorb effectively and quickly there. .Powdered ,or encapsulated benadryl can be opened and mixed with a little honey or jelly and put under the tongue for a similar effect..
      Tourniquet could be your belt, or suspenders.. If you go get your blood drawn for any reason ask for the tourniquet they use to draw your blood. Most of the time they throw them away. Mosst first aide kits that are pre packed are light on sterile supplies like 4×4’s and ABD or containment pads. These can be augmented with individually wrapped feminie supplies. they come in many weights and sizes.and are sterile when unopened.. I keep a small , medium and a large and long one.. a roll of vet wrap will hold in place and maintain pressure..

  6. We have two OSHA mandated job-site complete first aid/trauma kits gifted us by a natural gas drilling company. Each is in it’s own red canvas pocketed case with the red cross emblem. These are large, well stocked kits designed for company medics. I’ve added 2 surgical suture kits provided by a former weekender neighbor I befriended, who is a veterinarian. I just casually mentioned to him one day that I was looking to purchase such a kit (suture kits). He told me that salesmen were always coming by his office and leaving sample kits trying to entice him to use their company for his supplier. He said he had dozens of them built up. Each have high quality surgical scissors, two locking forceps, and 5-6 packaged sutures with needles, all enclosed in sealed packets, each in their designated pockets in a canvas pouch. If you have a vet friend or even a vet you frequent with your business, you might ask and be pleasantly surprised with a gift.

    1. Dennis
      Thanks for the heads up, will check with our local vet. We are preferred customers, bills paid in cash each & every, they love us!!

    2. I got a set of “practice” needles, since apparently the sterile needles are illegal to be purchased by the public. I strung them, added a pair of tweezers, a needle threader and extra thread and pressure cooked the whole thing.

      1. You can buy sterile prestrung sutures from amazon. 12 for $7.97.

        1. I wanted the eye needles rather than prestrung. Not single use, they can be sterilized and reused, and also restrung if necessary.

  7. One other thing, if you have a “tribe” or “group” or whatever else you want to call it, please standardize the contents and where you are going to carry it. Your blow out kit is for use on you, if you can save precious seconds for your buddy by all of you carrying the same thing in the same place, it may save a life.

  8. Great comments and food for thought. I think the vet is an excellent source for some instruments and suture kits. Just remember if u r stitching some one up with a deeper wound, use the smallest number suture deeper as u come out go for next biggest. 0 deeper and 4-0 on the skin. Hope that makes sense,🤣

    1. Mad Fab
      Good to know on the suture levels, hope I never have to use this procedure.

  9. I just updated our first aid kits last week (more Quik clot, etc.), tho do not have any Israeli bandages. Might get that also. In fact, just got home from updating a LOT of items before next week……

  10. Our trauma kit is rather lacking after this article. I have two kits made up for each vehicle, but they are lacking the surgical scissors, tourniquet, and one will have the Israeli bandage unit.
    Other wise our supplies are in a 5 gallon food grade bucket(1) & (2) is in a kitty litter bucket, every thing in these buckets are sealed inside of vacuum seal bags for extra protection from contamination. With a list of what is inside each bucket for a JIC and a good pair of scissors for opening up the packages.

  11. Any one know if you can use the blood clotting product for livestock(horses)on a human?

    We have the horse clotting material here, the horse is semi-blind an she cuts herself every so often when she forgets how far she travel in her pasture.

    1. Ask a vet?
      I dont know why it wouldnt work, my bet is its the same stuff…
      whats it called? Ill ask my sis, shes a vet

  12. – Army Medic 8 years. ER 8 Years, 6 years in Super Seg. Texas prison. 4 years ground ambulance, 2 years Air ambulance. I’ve always had a tourniquet at hand, I’ve never been unable to control bleeding even with a traumatic upper thighs (plural) amputation (caught on train tracks). Ace wraps, Coban or Vet wrap and gauze has always managed to do the job. Sometimes lots of gauze. I do keep an Israeli tourniquet for when I do run into one I can’t manage. 2 to 4 would probably be a good idea, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with this kind of stuff. Remember you can have both multiple injuries to one person and multiple persons injured from the same event.

    – Papa S.

  13. @Calirefugee, Feel free to write one up and email it to me. I’ll get it posted!

  14. – Calirefugee –
    I split the tail on a roll of Kerlix for a dressing on an inmate in the Super Seg. so as not to let any more tape than absolutely necessary out into the population. (Medical tape is one of the most common ingredients in contraband tools and weapons) The staff working with me literally had me reapply the dressing so they could see how I did it. It was almost standard when i was in the Army, as tape was difficult to keep clean in the field.
    – Papa S.

  15. – Calirefugee –
    For OPSEC sake, can’t repeat the story I’d like to tell. I have used a roll of kitchen plastic wrap for an individual with multiple stab wounds, including trans-aortic (twice), half-a-dozen stomach and liver punctures and at least ten ‘sucking chest’ wounds. (gangbangers). It did involve air evac, but upshot is, he lived! Moral of the story – Get Glad (wrap)!
    – Papa S.

  16. I remember when seat belts were not required equipment in vehicles…

  17. After looking at all the items in this blog I would like to mention a few things that I have in my trama kit.
    Tampons and maxi pads. Tampons are perfect for plugging bullet holes and other puncture wounds while the maxi pads are great for cuts and laceration wounds as they soak up blood.
    Bleedstop in the powder form helps by quickly closing the blood flow. Most Israel Bandages have there one clotting powder in the bandage but it doesn’t hurt to have the powder.
    I also have a small bottle of peroxide and alcohol to clean quickly around the wound.
    I have several wraps for sprains but they hold a bandage good and are cheap enough.
    I also have several sizes of cloth stitches but to tell you the truth will probably use my staple gun because it doesn’t get infection like cloth, easy to use and disposable, not to mention faster and less painful.
    I also have a small roll of duct tape just because it sticks even in blood but not to pleasant to take off especially around a trama wound.
    Super glue. If all else fails or you don’t have cloth stitches or staple gun super glue will seal a wound quickly but be for warned… Using super glue is VERY painful and leaves a bad scar but in an emergency it will stop the bleeding and seal the laceration, puncture wounds and cuts.
    I also have a Mylar blanket. Shock will kill you and if you’re patient goes into shock the Mylar blanket will help.
    I have several types of pain management. Some people can’t have Aspirin or Tylenol so I have an assortment of different types.

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