First aid supplies are used to help preserve life. It doesn’t matter whether you are at work, home, or on vacation, accidents happen and injuries need to be treated. Basic injuries like cuts, scrapes, and minor burns can often be treated with bandages, ointment, and burn gel with no further action required. Sometimes injuries are severe and first aid supplies are used to save a life, prevent further bleeding, or assist in oxygen or blood circulation. Every house, car, business, and organization should have first aid supplies on hand and ready to use.
What type of first aid supplies do I need?
There are at least 3 factors that will determine what type of first aid supplies you will need.
- Knowing the potential hazards will help determine specific supplies and give you a pretty good idea of how much gauze, antiseptic ointment, burn cream, or other supplies to keep on hand.
- How often will these first aid supplies be used? The frequency of injuries will help determine packaging, quantities, and where to store them.
- Where is the nearest medical facility? Where available, always seek medical attention for serious injuries. If you don’t have a medical facility nearby, careful consideration about training and stocking supplies for any type of first aid situation is warranted. Remote areas or environments where the potential for major injuries is higher should have first aid supplies for minor injuries and trauma emergency first aid supplies for major injuries. We have put together an example list of both minor and major first aid injuries.
Major injuries - Trauma Emergency First Aid Supplies
- Preserve life
- Prevent further harm
- Promote recovery
Minor injuries - Basic first aid supplies
- Personal treatment
- Preventing further injury
Is there a basic requirement or list of first aid supplies I should have?
Yes. Workplaces are mandated by OSHA to keep basic first aid supplies on hand. The list is created by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and enforced by OSHA. A thorough explanation of workplace first aid and the ANSI standard can be found here. (link to our blog article)
Do I need any special training to use first aid supplies?
No, but it is recommended. Basic first aid for cuts scrapes and burns should be a common sense application. First aid training is always recommended but not required for minor injuries. Most supplies are labeled and some even have picture drawings indicating how to use the product. This is helpful for people who don’t speak English. Special training should take place for major first aid trauma injuries. First responders should be trained and certified by organizations like the National Safety Council, the American Heart Association, or the American Red Cross.
Best practices for first aid supplies
- Keep supplies on hand for minor injuries
- Ensure first aid supplies are clean, dry, safe, and ready to use
- Watch for expiration dates and replace necessary supplies
- Keep a resupply list and check your inventory at every major holiday (New Year's, Easter, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. Supplies should be checked more often if required. Set a regular schedule.