What should be in each EMS bag?


Four items in your EMS package

Emergency medical services are responsible for saving thousands of lives every day. But because these trained professionals must make quick calls in the field, the contents of an EMS team medical kit can mean a life or death matter. Wrong or inadequate medical supplies can result in limb loss, trauma and other irreparable harm. Here are four EMS supplies that should be included in each EMS package:

Personal protective equipment

PPE stands for personal protective equipment, including gloves, masks, and other items to protect healthcare providers as they perform necessary life-saving procedures. In addition to face and hand protection, PPE may include protective hearing AIDS, respirators, and full-body jumpsuits. However, the latter usually applies to medical professionals responsible for handling hazardous materials.

Patient assessment tool

To collect baseline patient information, medical professionals arriving at the scene must store the appropriate tools in their EMS packages. Some common patient assessment tools include stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors, portable pulse oximeters, thermometers, and CO2 monitoring devices.

Trauma suite

If not stopped immediately, some injuries can become permanent disabling complications. Trauma supplies are a class of tools specifically designed to stop bleeding and/or seal penetrating wounds. Supplies include hemostatic dressings, bandages, multi-purpose grips, tourniquets and thoracotomy injury adhesive seals in different sizes and applications.

Over-the-counter drugs

While most EMS responders cannot legally administer over-the-counter medications, providing these supplies to staff is becoming an increasingly common and accepted practice. Over-the-counter medications carried by today’s EMS teams are often designed to provide temporary relief and inhibit further progression of disease or injury, at least until patients can be transported to primary treatment facilities.

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As a trained or soon-to-be trained EMT, you may want to consider having your own first aid kit. It is a bag or pouch containing equipment used to treat trauma. This is required equipment in an ambulance and usually contains items needed to stabilize the patient until the staff can load them into the ambulance and continue treatment. As a skilled provider, it’s not a bad idea to have your own trauma kit. If you want to learn more, click here.

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