First responders and emergency medical service (EMS) providers need to be ready for anything. Having the proper medical supplies readily available could very well be the difference between life or death for a patient. Learn more about what to keep on hand in your emergency wound care kit.
What Is an Emergency Wound Care Kit?
An emergency wound care kit is a set of supplies used to treat abrasions and scrapes. While there are many different supplies needed to equip an emergency vehicle (such as airway management equipment and backboards), each vehicle should have plenty of supplies to care for wounds and lacerations.
Importance of Sterility
Wound care supplies must always be sterile. For example, there is a risk of infection if a non-sterile gauze pad is used in treatment for a scrape. If the product details guarantee it to be sterile, it was individually packaged free from dirt, bacteria, or other living microorganisms (unless the package is damaged or opened). Always handle sterile products with clean hands and sterile gloves. Due to the critical nature of sterile wound care, it’s recommended that wound dressing is left to trained health care providers.
EMS Uses for Wound Care Kits
Wound care kits are designed for use in emergencies. They are critical to have on hand to properly tend to lacerations. Wound severity can vary wildly, meaning EMS healthcare providers must be prepared to tend to both small and large injuries until they can be transported to a hospital or other medical professional.
Bandages are the most basic way to cover a wound. They are used to secure dressings or stop bleeding in place. Primarily, they prevent the spread of biohazards from blood and protect the cut from contamination or infection. This protection of biohazards looks out for the wellness of both patients and care providers.
Bandages come in a wide variety of materials, colors, and sizes. They can be made of cotton, waterproof plastic, and more, with an adhesive tab to stick to the patient’s skin. The shape of bandages can also vary widely—they may be round, square, or even triangle-shaped (called “butterfly” bandages). Supplement your wound care kit with these different types of bandages for maximum coverage. Most bandages stick directly to the skin, while gauze bandages lay on the skin and instead stick to themselves to hold their place.
Gauze Pads and Rolls
Gauze pads and gauze sponges are the most basic wound dressing with several types available. Gauze rolls are sterile dressings that come in different sizes and lengths, depending on your needs. They’re made from a soft material like cotton gauze or medical-grade rayon gauze and can be used to dress wounds or as a protective layer over wounds while they heal.
Because of their thickness, gauze pads are more absorbent than the average Band-Aid. Gauze rolls are often self-adhesive and latex-free, which is better for delicate skin (compared to adhesive bandages). Non-stick pads are used with either paper tape or gauze rolls to secure the wound dressing to the injury.
Antibiotic ointment is a topical antibiotic that helps prevent infection. Emergency care providers should use an antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipe, or another disinfectant to prepare the wound to heal properly. This is even more important in tropical or humid locales where infection is more likely.
Tweezers are a must-have item in any first aid kit because you never know when you might need them. A set of tweezers can remove splinters, ticks, and slivers from the skin. They’re also great for removing small glass shards that may have lodged under the skin.
Scissors are used to cut clothing, bandages, gauze, tape, and more. They can also be used to cut belts in a car accident. When preparing for potential emergencies, scissors ensure the ability to cut supplies for proper wound care.
Purchase a Wound Care Kit
The most important element of wound care supplies is their accessibility. Because loss of blood, biohazards, and infection of lacerations and abrasions are all risks, EMS workers must have quick access to these medical supplies.
There are emergency first aid kits that fit many needs. The Bleeding Control and Range Trauma Aid Kit by North American Rescue offers many supplies for wound care, all in one easy-to-carry pouch. Medical providers can either buy the multi-piece kit as a whole or the individual supplies.
Emergency Supply Kit Contents:
- EMS Carrying Bag
- 2 Inch Surgical Tape
- Gauze Wrap
- Trauma Shears
- Flexible Bandages (qty = 50)
- Sterile Gauze Pads (qty = 10)
- Splinter Forceps (Tweezer)
- Surgical Tape
- Burn Dressing
- And More!
Find Wound Care Kits and Supplies at Penn Care
Having the proper wound care kit is crucial for providing essential medical care. Be prepared for any situation with emergency medical supplies from Penn Care — where you can find everything from first aid kits to ambulances. Checkout online today or call a representative to get started with your purchase.