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How To Build Your Own “Real” First Aid Kit

How To Build Your Own “Real” First Aid Kit

Banner First Aid Kit uwvwaj

Most commercial first aid kits cannot save lives nor aid any life threatening emergencies. A typical first aid kit is made up of just band-aids and wipes. Even more frustrating, is that most kits have first aid supplies that are no longer part of current first aid protocols.

As a former fire fighter with over 33 years experience responding to more than 50,000 emergencies, I got used to using a professional first aid bag. When I started training Disaster Survival Skills workshops, I was frustrated when it came to recommending a first aid kit to my students. So in 1995, out of necessity, I had to create a “real” first aid kit.

The ‘REAL’ First Aid Kit For real-life emergencies

First Aid Infographic hqpi3d
We have included a first aid checklist with the best supplies that can make a difference in a real emergency.

With a real first aid kit you should be able to manage CPR, Severe Bleeding, and Shock as well as other serious injuries, like burns and broken bones. That means the best first aid kit must have contents that are professional high-quality American made. Like our double one-way valve mouth barrier for CPR.  Most CPR masks on the market are imported into the United States and licensed as novelty items (toys). These cheap masks have paper filters that offer little if any viral protection.  Trauma dressings are a necessity for the control of Severe Bleeding and serious wound care.

For burns, nothing works better than a burn gel dressingIt helps to stop the pain, stop the burn progression, stop infection, prevent hypothermia and best of all, it won’t stick to the burn.  For fractured limbs, be sure and include a real splint to stabilize the injury. These are just a few of the important items that should be on every first aid list.

First Aid Kit Content List:

  • CPR Face Mask/Mouth barrier
  • Thermal Blanket
  • Burn Gel
  • Cardboard Splint
  • Cold Pack
  • Trauma Dressings
  • Triangular Bandages
  • Sterile Water
  • Gauze Rolls
  • First Aid Tape
  • Trauma Shears/Scissors
  • Tweezer
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Vinyl Gloves
  • Antimicrobial Wipes
  • Band-Aids

Real First Aid Kit jmr0rh

Items that shouldn’t be in your first aid kit

Just as important are the items that should be left out of the first aid kit. Items such as hydrogen peroxide and alcohol wipes have been shown to damage tissue and capillaries. These contents also slow the healing of wounds.  Also butterfly bandages- can lead to trapping in a septic infection, aspirin- can lead to internal bleeding and thin the blood, and bite sticks for seizures are also items that should definitely be left out of kits.

Also, a common myth is that feminine napkins make great trauma dressings. Since feminine hygiene pads have no clotting ability. They should never be used in the place of trauma dressings which will aid in the clotting of blood.

How to use your real first aid kit

Many people do not have first aid kits in their home, car or office because they just don’t know how to use them. So along with this post, I want to share with you how to use a real first aid kit in case of life-threating emergency.

  1. For CPR (Download the CPR poster here)CPR POSTER
    • Check for breathing and unconsciousness. If not breathing yell for help and CALL 911 Immediately then Perform CAB.
    • Compressions. Place the heel of your hand in the middle of the victim’s chest. Put your other hand on top of the first with your fingers interlaced. Compress the chest at least 2 inches. Perform 30 compressions at a rate of 100-120 pushes per minute.
    • Airway. After 30 compressions, open the victim’s airway using the head tilt, chin lift method. Use the CPR mask and place to the victim’s mouth. Pinch the victim’s nose and make a seal over the victim’s mouth with yours.
    • Breathing. Give the victim a breath, blow for 1 second, just enough to make the chest rise. Remove your mouth, let the chest fall and then deliver the second breath.
    • REPEAT CYCLE 30 Compressions: 2 Breaths Continue this CPR cycle til help arrives.
  2. For Bleeding
    • For Severe bleeding cover with 5×9 trauma dressing and hold firm direct pressure. Never remove the dressing. Call 9-1-1.
    • For minor to moderate bleeding use 4×4 gauze pads again applying firm direct pressure (no peeking)
  3. For Shock. Anyone breathing but unconscious elevate feet 6-12 inches, cover with Thermal Blanket, Call 9-1-1.
  4. For Burn. Apply burn gel dressing to the burned area. Secure in place with gauze roll. Leave on 2-3 hrs. and seek medical attention. Do Not Use: Ice, Butter, Mustard, etc. Only water for 10-20 min. or burn gel.
  5. For Bone Fracture.
    • Check for deformity, pain, swelling, check for pulse below the fracture before applying splint. Pad splint with gauzeand secure with gauze roll.
    • Place gauze over swelling prior to applying ice pack. Leave on for maximum 20 min.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wayne Bennett Captain Wayne Bennett (Ret.) is the founder of Disaster Survival Skills, LLC. and is also a retired professional firefighter and disaster preparedness coordinator who recognized a need for a one-day training on how everyone should respond to a disaster. From that moment forward the commitment has been to develop, refine and perfect techniques and strategies that everyone can use. In addition to training, Disaster Survival Skills, LLC. provides practical and realistic supplies that support their training. There is no fluff or waste in their kits, but rather items that can and will be used by your employees in an emergency.

February 14, 2018 @ 14:39


Good and Outstanding items shown

Ramesh Jena

May 4, 2018 @ 18:39


Thank you

Jyoti s gulghane

June 23, 2018 @ 05:29


verry good first aid kit and material. and verry good effect.

mr obiora

November 3, 2018 @ 12:25


thanks for the information provided. many here dont know about this


November 11, 2018 @ 00:18


Thank you very much for the helpful information! I liked a lot about how practical for real emergency situation the items you included!

Thanks again!

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Steph Leigh
Steph Leigh
Wayne was awesome!!! The cpr training was so helpful!! Learned a lot!!!
Miriam Johnson Brady
Miriam Johnson Brady
Elizabeth Majeske-Lozada
Elizabeth Majeske-Lozada
Robynne Chatten
Robynne Chatten
Kim Pearson
Kim Pearson
You gave alot of information more people need to know CPR and first aid
Thai Vu Park
Thai Vu Park
Laurie Stapert-Sharp
Laurie Stapert-Sharp
Desi Lu
Desi Lu
In all my years as a registered nurse, this is the best CPR & First Aid class ever! Thank you
Rhys Vargas
Rhys Vargas
Wayne is such a nice guy. Really funny and the course is supper easy to understand and it's worth the money .
Cyndi Leier
Cyndi Leier
Wayne is THE best trainer and I've taken his CPR/1st aid course many times. He explains everything so well that I actaully felt he was with me when I had to perform CPR for the first more

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