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Don’t Reinvent The Wheel: Modeling Medical Kits After The Military

January 20, 2014 by  

Don’t Reinvent The Wheel: Modeling Medical Kits After The Military
PHOTOS.COM

There are almost as many varieties of premade medical kits on the market as there are opinions on what the best type of pizza is. In other words, there are a lot. But just because it was put together and marketed by a company does not make it the best product for the job. Despite what the product is designed to do, at the end of the day, these companies are in it for a profit.

In terms of treating injuries following a disaster, there is not a better model for a medical kit than those developed and used by the military. These medical kits are designed to save lives in the most difficult of circumstances and in the most austere environments. Every day, they are carried into, and used in, battle. They are some of the best-thought-out kits because they are created by warriors. They cut out the bulk and nonsense while maintaining the necessary items to treat myriad life-threatening injuries and ailments. Depending on the branch of service and the mission, these kits can vary in composition. But they all have the following categories and items in common:

Airway

  • Cricothyroidotomy Kit (U.S. Army Rangers)
    • 1 EA — Scalpel, #10
    • 2 EA — Gloves, Exam (Black Talon)
    • 1 EA — Syringe, 10cc Luer-Lok Tip
    • 1 EA — Tracheal Hook (North American Rescue Products)
    • 1 EA — Alcohol Prep Pad
    • 1 EA — Povidone-Iodine Pad
    • 1 EA — Tube, 6mm Bore-Cuffed Cricothyroidotomy
  • Nasopharyngeal Airway w/ Water Soluble Lubricant
  • Oropharyngeal Airway
  • King-LT Supralaryngeal Airway
  • Hand Held Suction
  • Laryngoscope Handle
  • Laryngoscope Blade, Miller #2 or #3
  • Laryngoscope Blade, Macintosh #3 or #4
  • Endotracheal Tube — 7 Fr., 7.5 Fr., 8 Fr.
  • Stylet, Endotracheal Tube

Breathing

  • 14 Gauge, 3.5″ Needle & Catheter
  • Hyfin Chest Seal
  • Bag Valve Mask
  • Pocket Mask

Circulation/Bleeding

  • Combat Applications Tourniquet (CAT)
  • Emergency Trauma Dressing, 6″
  • Hemostatic Dressing (Chitosan and/or Chitoflex)
  • QuikClot Sponge
  • Kerlix Gauze Dressing
  • Emergency Trauma Dressing, Abdominal
  • Tactical Compression Wrap
  • Band-Aids
  • Eye Dressing
  • 4X4 Post-Op Sponge
  • Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet (SOFT — T)
  • 2X2 Surgical Sponge
  • Celox
  • Dyna-Flex Bandage
  • Telfa Non-Adherant Pads

Disability/Immobilization

  • Cravat Bandage, Muslin (Triangular Bandage)
  • ACE Wrap
  • Traction Splint
  • SAM Splint
  • SAM Pelvic Sling
  • Cervical Collar

Fluids/IV Access

  • Saline Lock Kit (U.S. Army Rangers)
    • 2 EA — 18G X 1.5″ Catheter/Needle
    • 2 EA — Alcohol Pad
    • 1 EA — Constricting Band, Penrose
    • 1 EA — 2X2 Sponge, Sterile
    • 1 EA — Saline Plug, Locking
    • 1 EA — Syringe, 10cc Luer-Lok Tip
    • 1 EA — 18G X 1.5″ Needle, Hypodermic
    • 1 EA — Raptor IV Securing Band
    • 1 EA — Tega-Derm, 1 EA — Pill Bag
  • Sharps Shuttle Container w/ Locking Mechanism
  • Hextend IV, 500 cc
  • Sodium Chloride Flush, 50 cc
  • IV Kit (U.S. Army Rangers)
    • 1 EA — IV Solution Set, 10 Drops/ml
    • 1 EA — Saline Lock Kit
    • 1 EA — Tegaderm 4.75″ X 4″
  • FAST-1 Sternal Intraosseous
  • BOA Constricting Band
  • Raptor IV Securing Device
  • IV Infusor Kit (U.S. Air Force Pararescue)
    • 1 EA — Sodium Chloride 1000ML
    • 1 EA — Infusor Cuff
    • 1 EA — IV Admin Set
    • 3 EA — Alcohol Pad
    • 1 EA — 80lb Test Line, 36″
    • 1 EA — Penrose Drain
    • 1 EA — 18 Ga Cath
    • 1 EA — 20 Ga Cath
    • 1 EA — 14 Ga Cath
    • 1 EA — 8×8 Ziplock Bag

Monitoring & Diagnostic

  • Pulseoximeter, Finger
  • Stethoscope
  • Otoscope/Opthalmoscope Set
  • Glucometer
  • Thermometer, Oral
  • Thermometer, Rectal
  • Blood Pressure Cuff
  • Diagnostic Kit (U.S. Air Force Pararescue)
    • 1 EA — BP cuff
    • 1 EA — Stethoscope
    • 2 EA — Penlight
    • 1 EA — Subnormal Thermometer
    • 1 EA — Foley Catheter
    • 3 EA — Surgilube Packets
    • 1 EA — Rectal Thermometer
    • 1 EA — 12×12 Ziplock Bag

Medications

  • Drug Case (Otter Box)
  • Combat Wound Pill Pack
    • 2 EA — Acetaminophen Tabs, 500mg (Tylenol)
    • 1 EA — Moxifloxacin HCL Tab, 400mg (Avelox)
    • 1 EA — Meloxicam, 15mg Tab (Mobic)
  • Diphenhydramine HCL INJ, 50mg (Benadryl)
  • Dexamethasone Inj, 4mg/ml (5ml) (Decadron)
  • Epi-Pen Anaphylaxis Auto-Injector
  • Fentanyl Transmuccosal Lozenge, 800 mcg
  • Ertapenem Inj, 1gm (Invanz)
  • Morphine Sulfate Inj, 5mg
  • Nalaxone Inj, 0.4mg (Narcan)
  • Promethazine Inj, 25mg (Phenergan)
  • Ketorolac Inj, 30mg (Toradol)
  • Acetaminophen Tabs, 500mg (Tylenol)
  • Diazepam Inj, 5mg (Valium)
  • Tubex Injector, Cartridge Unit
  • Syringe, 10cc Luer-Lok Tip
  • Needle, Hypothermic 18G/1.5″
  • Chapstick
  • Bacitracin
  • Lidocaine 1% 50 mL
  • Cefazolin Sodium INJ 1 gm
  • Marcaine 0.5%, 50 mL
  • Betadine Swabsticks
  • Naproxen, 500mg Tablets
  • Phenergan, 25 mL Vial
  • Augmentin 875mg Tablets
  • Nitroglycerin 0.4 mg Tablets
  • Erythromycin 500mg Tablets
  • Fluconazole, 150 mg Tablets
  • Levaquin, 500mg Tablets
  • Metronidazole 500mg Tablets
  • Unasyn, 3 gm, Powder Pack
  • Bags, Drug Dispensing
  • Imodium, 2mg Capsules
  • Mupirocin Ointment, 15gm Tube
  • Phenergan, 25 mg Tablets
  • Psuedo-Gest, 60mg Tablets
  • Triamcinolone Cream, 15 gm Tube
  • Valium, Tablets
  • Vicodin, Tablets
  • Zantac, 150mg Tablets
  • Zyrtec, 10mg Tablets
  • Nalbuphine (Nubain) 20mg/ml, 2ml Injectable
  • Water for Injection, 5ml
  • Ceftriaxone (Rocephine) 1g Vial
  • Clindamycin 150mg/ml, 6ml Vial
  • Cefoxitin (Mefoxin) 1g Vial
  • Lactated Ringers INJ
  • Normal Saline INJ

Surgical

  • Chest Tube Kit (U.S. Army Rangers)
    • 1 EA — Forceps, 9″ Peans
    • 1 EA — Scalpel, #10
    • 1 EA — 36FR Chest Tube
    • 1 EA — Heimlich Valve
    • 4 EA — Sponge, Sterile 4X4
    • 1 EA — Asherman Chest Seal
    • 1 EA — Chux
    • 1 EA — Lidocaine Inj, 1%
    • 1 EA — Syringe, 10cc Luer-Lok Tip
    • 1 RO — Tape, 2″
    • 1 PR — Sterile Gloves
    • 2 EA — 1-0 Armed Suture
    • 2 EA — Petrolatum Gauze
    • 1 EA — Betadine Solution 0.5 oz.
  • Minor Wound Care Kit (U.S. Army Rangers)
    • 4 EA — Pad, Non-Adherent (Telfa)
    • 2 EA — Betadine 0.5 oz.
    • 1 EA — Moleskin, 12″
    • 10 EA — Band-Aids 3″ X .75″
    • 5 EA — Steri-Strips
    • 5 EA — Sponge, 4X4 Sterile
    • 2 EA — Scalpel, #10
    • 5 EA — Pad, Povidone
    • 5 EA — Pad, Alcohol
    • 5 EA — Compeed Dressing
    • 5 EA — Tincture of Benzoin Ampule 0.6ml
    • 2 EA — Applicator, Povidone-Iodine
  • Bandage Scissors
  • Surgical Kit (U.S. Air Force Pararescue)
    • 1 EA — Case, Minor Surgery, Surgical Instrument Set
    • 2 PG — Blade, Surgial Knife, Detachable, CS no. 10, 6S
    • 2 PG — Blade, Surgial Knife, Detachable, CS no. 11, 6S
    • 1 EA — Holder, Suture, Needle, Hegar-Mayo, 6 inch
    • 1 EA — Forceps, Dressing, Straight, 5 1⁄2 inch
    • 2 EA — Forceps, Hemostatic, Straight, Kelly 5 1/3 inch
    • 1 EA — Handle, Surgical Knife, Detachable Blade
    • 1 PG — Needle, Suture, Surg, Reg, Size 12 3/8 Circle 6S
    • 1 PG — Needle, Suture, Surg, Reg, Size 16 3/8 Circle 6S
    • 1 EA — Probe, General Operating, Straight, 5inch
    • 12 PG — Suture, Nonab, Surg, Silk, Braided, Size 0 12S 6
    • 12 PG — Suture, Nonab, Surg, Silk, Braided, Size 00 12S 6
    • 1 EA — Scissors, Straight 5-1/2 inch
    • 2 EA — Steri-Strip 1/8 inch
  • Surgical Blade, #10 or #11

Miscellaneous

  • Exam Light
  • Headlamp
  • Exam Gloves
  • Trauma Shears
  • Scissor Leash/Gear Keeper
  • Surgical Tape, 2″
  • Space Blanket
  • Surgical Tape, 1″ Waterproof
  • Battle Pack (U.S. Air Force Pararescue)
    • 1 EA — Tourniquet
    • 1 EA — Battle Dressing Small
    • 1 EA — Ace Wrap
    • 2 EA — Petrolatum Gauze And/Or Sodium Chloride Gauze
    • 1 EA — Muslin Bandage
    • 1 EA — Kerlix (In Mfg Wrapper)
    • 1 EA — 4×4 Gauze Sponges
    • 1 EA — 8×8 Ziplock Bag
    • 1 PR — Gloves, High Risk Large
  • Ice Pack
  • Heat Pack
  • Medication & Procedure Handbook
  • Carabiner
  • Chemilluminescent Lights (Red, Blue, Green, Infrared)
  • Surgical Tape, 3″
  • Ring Saw
  • Snake Bite Kit
  • Petrolatum Gauze
  • Tongue Blade
  • Field Medical Cards
  • Moleskin

Evacuation

  • Poleless Litter

These items are compiled from the packing lists for the U.S. Army Ranger, Special Forces (Green Berets), Navy SEALs and U.S. Air Force Pararescue. This is by no means the end-all and be-all list of items to put in a medical kit, but a significant value can be placed on putting together your own medical kit. At least when assembling a kit specific to you and your needs, you will be compiling items that you need and will use. This is a far cry from the commercially produced first aid kits that include about a thousand band-aids of various sizes and nothing that can actually be used to save a life.

If you have questions about this list or packing a medical kit for tough times, feel free to email me at tom@thepreparedninja.com.

–Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller

lives with his wife and three sons in the Northeastern quadrant of the United States. He has completed countless hours of advanced training in both clinical and trauma medicine and is a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician. Tom has also completed several courses in disaster and emergency planning/management as well as hazardous materials handler and transport certification. He graduated with honors from American Military University with an Associate of Arts in Real Estate Studies. Tom is a U.S. Army combat veteran who served with honor as a combat medic on his multiple overseas tours during the Global War on Terror. During his time in the Army, Tom became an expert in the use of several weapons (including long guns, sidearms and improvised weaponry) and obtained competence with many other weapon systems, including foreign firearms. The Army also afforded Tom the opportunity to become proficienct in the driving and operation of several different vehicles from Humvees to heavy trucks and tracked vehicles. If there happens to be any free time available, Tom can be found sharing his passion for fishing with his sons, working on a project in the wood shop, tending to the garden or trying to maintain some resemblance of physical fitness. Tom's other writings can be viewed on his blog, The Prepared Ninja, at www.thepreparedninja.com. If you are on Twitter, Tom can be followed on the handle @preparedninja.

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