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First aid kit list with pictures: First aid kit contents list and their uses (with pictures)

First aid kit contents list and their uses (with pictures)

Posted by Wayne Bennett on


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

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 dressing. It 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

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.


  • For CPR (Download the CPR poster here)
  • 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 till help arrives. 

First Aid Treatment 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)

First Aid Treatment For Shock

Anyone breathing but unconscious elevate feet 6-12 inches, cover with Thermal Blanket, Call 9-1-1.

First Aid Treatment 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.

First Aid Treatment 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.
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Must-Haves for Your First-Aid Kit | Blogs

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First-aid kits are nothing new. They go back over 100 years to when, as the story goes, Robert Wood Johnson debuted the first-aid cabinet in 1888.(1)

First-aid kits have changed over the years, but they are as useful as ever. They make it possible for ordinary people to be the help until professional help arrives. You don’t need a special certification to provide first aid, but you do need the right supplies and education.

Kate Elkins is an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and 911 specialist in the Office of EMS and the National 911 Program. An active paramedic, Elkins also responds to 911 calls and serves as a medical specialist with Maryland Task Force 1, a FEMA urban search and rescue team.

First-hand experience has shown her how important having a well-stocked and maintained first-aid kit can be. “There are certain things you need to have at hand in the moment. In a crisis, you’re not going to have time to go to the store to get what you need,” Elkins points out.

The American Red Cross suggests that a first-aid kit for a family of four include the following items:

  • A first-aid guide
  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 emergency blanket
  • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets
  • 1 3-inch gauze roll (roller) bandage
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • 5 3 x 3-inch sterile gauze pads
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
  • A thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers

Supplement basic items with personal needs and bleeding-control essentials. Things like a commercial tourniquet, bandages, and a felt-tipped pen. Take bleeding-control training to use such and prepare for a bleeding emergency.

Remove, throw away, or use and replace any supplies before they expire. Set a calendar reminder on your smartphone to update the supplies in your kit every six months and/or as the healthcare needs of your family change.

Think about the healthcare needs of your family when putting together a first-aid kit. For example:

  • If you have a family member with a severe allergy, include antihistamine medicine and an epinephrine injector.
  • If you have elderly family members with fragile skin, including a roll of paper tape can be useful for protecting delicate skin.
  • If you or a family member lives with diabetes, include a juice box, glucose tablets and gels, and an emergency glucagon injection kit.
  • Chewable, baby aspirin might help someone who has coronary artery disease, provided the person is not allergic to aspirin.

Elkins also suggests attaching a note to your kit with instructions on where to find other items around the house and how to act in specific emergencies. For example, you can use a note to remind you where sugary drinks and foods are kept in case of a diabetic emergency.

A person who is using a first-aid kit in an emergency might need to call 911 for assistance. Having the home or office address written on the outside of the kit itself can give users a handy location reference for 911 operators.

A first-aid kit is a tool, but any tool is only as good as the person using it.

First-aid kits are one place where personal needs and practical skills come together. There are ways to prepare for emergencies that have nothing to do with collecting supplies. This includes learning practical skills that you can use to protect yourself and others.

Many practical skills are easy to learn. Some require special certification or formal training. Others just education. Practical skills include learning how to:

  • Perform hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Operate an automated external defibrillator (AED)
  • Apply a tourniquet and control bleeding
  • Administer seizure first aid
  • Use the contents of a first-aid kit

Family, friends, coworkers, and bystanders—not first responders—are often first on the scene in a medical emergency. Elkins has seen this many times in the field. “One time, we had a patient who had a very bad accident with a circular saw,” she recalls. “There was a lot of blood on the floor. The patient’s coworker, who had no formal training, put all his body weight on the wound and used it to slow the bleeding. He yelled for help until others came and called 911. He saved his coworker’s life because he made the right decision and took action.”

You can take action today. “You Are the Help Until Help Arrives” and “Stop the Bleed” are examples of training that teach you how to provide first care. A good first-aid kit and the practical skill to use it can help you save someone’s life.

Learn more ways to prepare your health for emergencies on the CDC website.

  • #PrepYourHealth: Personal needs
  • #PrepYourHealth: Practical Skills
  • American Red Cross First Aid
  • Stop the Bleed
  • Until Help Arrives
  • Learn Hands-Only CPR
  • Spanish Hands-Only CPR
  • How to Use an AED
  1. Johnson & Johnson First-Aid Kit History
  2. American Heart Association Aspirin Guidance


Thanks in advance for your questions and comments on this Public Health Matters post. Please note that the CDC does not give personal medical advice. If you are concerned you have a disease or condition, talk to your doctor.

Have a question for CDC? CDC-INFO (http://www.cdc.gov/cdc-info/index.html) offers live agents by phone and email to help you find the latest, reliable, and science-based health information on more than 750 health topics.

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Categories emergency, General, Injury, natural disasters, personal health, preparedness, response

Tags #prepyourhealth, emergency preparedness, first aid kit, Stop the Bleed, Your Are the Help Until Help Arrives

Order 169n: completing first aid kits

First aid kits are necessary to create safe working conditions. Order 169n contains requirements for the composition, determines the expiration date, storage conditions. The first aid kit should be in the public domain so that in an emergency, employees can easily receive first aid.

First Aid Kit contains bleeding and wound care, artificial respiration and other items. Depending on the field of activity of the organization, the equipment can be supplemented by various means. First aid kits are used in offices, hazardous industries, commercial and industrial enterprises.

Responsible person (supervisor, medical officer or safety engineer) monitors the expiration date of the product. The first-aid kit needs to be changed to a new one in a timely manner, to check the availability of the necessary funds. Order 169n details all the requirements. If the conditions are not met, the activities of the organization may be suspended. The responsible person is fined.

  1. Hemostatic tourniquet 1 pc.
  2. Non-sterile medical gauze bandage 5 m x 5 cm 1 pc.
  3. Non-sterile medical gauze bandage 5 m x 10 cm 1 pc.
  4. Non-sterile medical gauze bandage 7 m x 14 cm 1 pc.
  5. Sterile medical gauze bandage 5 m x 7 cm 1 pc.
  6. Sterile medical gauze bandage 5 m x 10 cm 2 pcs.
  7. Sterile medical gauze bandage 7 m x 14 cm 2 pcs.
  8. Sterile individual sterile medical dressing bag with a hermetic shell or medical first aid dressing bag with one sterile pad 1 pc.
  9. Medical sterile gauze wipes, not less than 16 x14 cm No. 10 1 pack.
  10. Bactericidal adhesive plaster, not less than 4 cm x 10 cm 2 pcs.
  11. Bactericidal adhesive plaster, not less than 1.9 cm x 7.2 cm 10 pcs.
  12. Adhesive plaster roll, not less than 1 cm x 250 cm 1 pc.
  13. Device for artificial respiration “Mouth-Device-Mouth” 1 pc.
  14. Lister bandage scissors 1 pc.
  15. Sterile alcohol wipes made of paper textile-like material, not less than 12.5 x11cm 5 pcs.
  16. Medical gloves, non-sterile, examination, size not less than M2 pair
  17. Medical mask, non-sterile, 3-ply, made of non-woven material with elastic bands or with ties 2 pcs.
  18. Isothermal rescue blanket, at least 160 x 210 cm 1 pc.
  19. Steel safety pins with helix, min. 38 mm 3 pcs.
  20. Recommendations with pictograms on the use of medical products first aid kits for workers 1 pc.
  21. Case or bag 1 pc.
  22. Notebook for notes, format not less than A7 1 pc.
  23. Fountain pen 1 pc.

First aid kit 169n must comply with the requirements regulated by GOST. A small organization may keep one copy. Large companies need several first aid kits. It is impossible to replace or exclude funds that must be available by order 169n. Additional funds can be added if required.

All medical devices must be registered in the Russian Federation. Compact first aid kits are easy to store and use and have a shelf life of 5 years.

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What should be in a first aid kit?

Often a home first aid kit looks like a warehouse of unnecessary medicines. It gets into it and remains for a long time the drugs that the doctor prescribed for the treatment of a certain disease. And finding the most necessary first aid is not always possible. Therefore, the preparation of a home first aid kit must be approached thoughtfully, taking into account the recommendations of doctors and the composition of the family.

General recommendations

To ensure that the first-aid kit is always at hand, it is necessary to properly organize the storage of medicines. For them, you need to select a plastic box, a container that closes tightly and does not let in sunlight. Most drugs are afraid of bright light and require room temperature storage. Therefore, the box must be put in a locker, so that if necessary it is easy to get it. High humidity is dangerous for medicines; it is not recommended to store them in the bathroom.

Suppositories, interferon preparations and some other medicines are stored in the refrigerator. In a warm room, they can melt, and preparations with protein components can become inactivated. The box with the first-aid kit is stored in a place that small children or animals cannot reach. Medicines are a source of danger for them.

In order not to confuse which medication is in the container at home, you do not need to take them out of their original packaging, pour them into jars. For each drug, keep the insert-instruction, even if it is well known. In an emergency, this will help you quickly determine at what dose to take the medicine.

The original packaging is required to control expiration dates. On a cardboard box and on an individual blister, bottle or ampoule, the expiration date of the agent must be duplicated. Expired medicines are dangerous and should not be used.

List of necessary medicines in the home first aid kit

The composition of the first aid kit is individual in each home, but there are certain groups of drugs that each person should have at hand. They will help to provide first aid until the doctor arrives or wait until the morning to contact specialists. But you should not include funds that are used very rarely in a home first-aid kit.

A first-aid kit for use at home should include three main groups of medicines:

  • wound dressings and dressings;
  • essential drugs;
  • ancillary medical devices.

The last group includes tweezers, clean scissors with which to cut off a bandage or plaster. The necessary components include a thermometer, mercury or electronic, a tonometer. If you have a small child at home, you can purchase an infrared thermometer.

Wound care products

Minor household injuries, abrasions, cuts and minor burns can be treated on your own without seeking the help of a doctor. To do this, it is enough to make a home first aid kit properly. It necessarily includes several types of antiseptics and preparations for treating the skin. It is best to have hydrogen peroxide, iodine solution, brilliant green at home. For washing the wound in adults and children, chlorhexidine, miramistin, furacillin can be included in the list. Any of these antiseptics will help get rid of pathogenic bacteria on the skin. They are also used to treat the oral mucosa for colds.

The necessary components of a home first aid kit include various types of fixing and dressing materials. What is the minimum set that all houses should have:

  • large sterile bandage;
  • small bandage;
  • cotton or sterile non-woven dressings;
  • elastic bandage;
  • several types of plaster.

If you have a child at home, you can buy a children’s plaster with funny pictures to cheer up after an abrasion. Special types of fixing bandage, a plaster against corns and corns are purchased on the occasion of the appearance of injuries in the right amount. It is not necessary to keep them always at home.

A must-have item in your first aid kit list is lidocaine pain relief spray. It can be applied topically to bruises and sprains to relieve pain. Also, a burn spray is added to the list of preparations for treating wounds and dressings. It usually contains panthenol, which helps reduce pain and burning, and speeds up skin recovery. But in the case when the desired drug was not included in the first-aid kit, it is forbidden to smear the burn with oil or fat.


If there are no people with chronic diseases in the family, then a large first-aid kit for the house is not needed. The list of essential drugs should include only those that have a universal effect and can be used without a doctor’s recommendation.

A simple home first aid kit consists of the following groups of medicines:

  • Painkillers are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the most popular drugs include paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin, nimesulide. They help not only to anesthetize, but also reduce the temperature.
  • Antispasmodics – drugs that remove spasm of the smooth muscles of the intestines, blood vessels, uterus, and also help to eliminate pain. These include drotaverine, papaverine, papazol.
  • Diarrhea remedies – they consist of sorbents that help to remove toxins and harmful bacteria from the body. At home, everyone should have at least one of these funds: smecta, activated carbon, polysorb, Enterosgel. And for recovery after diarrhea – rehydron.
  • Anti-allergic – antihistamines are added to the contents of the first-aid kit, even if there have never been allergy symptoms. They will help reduce swelling of the nose with a cold and relieve itching after insect bites.
  • Cold medicines – simple vasoconstrictor drops, saline solutions are needed to reduce the common cold. For a sore throat, you can have on hand lozenges for resorption or a simple spray.
  • Calming – to reduce anxiety and unforeseen experiences, you need to have valerian tablets, validol or corvalol at home.

Additional items in the home medicine cabinet

An extended list of medicines in the home medicine cabinet is needed if there are children, people with chronic diseases or elderly family members in the house.