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Ask Spitfire: First Aid Kits vs Trauma Kits

Question: Would you explain the difference between a first aid kit and a trauma kit?

Simply explained, a first aid kit is meant to provide supplies that help with minor injuries such as a paper cut or a bug bite. A trauma kit is meant to help you respond to a larger injury, most likely involving significant bleeding and possibly including breathing issues, broken bones, and shock.

I will start by comparing a $25.00 general first aid kit to a $25.00 trauma kit from CPR-1st aid that was made for motorcyclists. I do not know of any other trauma kits on the market that cost $25.00, so this is for comparison. A quick search of first aid kits online will likely leave you confused and unsure of where you should start.

Red Cross First Aid Kit listed as a 10-person kit with 57 items for $22.99








Issues with using a first aid kit for a motorcycle trauma are that the scissors are not made for cutting clothing, they are a small version of the real thing. The tweezers they include are plastic, made for handling gauze. Bandaids, while generally useful to have, are not helpful at a trauma scene. 3×3 gauze is small, as is the 2-inch roll gauze and the ½ inch tape, you will want full sized products. There are 4 nitrile gloves, which is good, but it does not say what size the gloves are. Most often they are large, which can be hard for many people to get on their hands, especially in an emergency.

Motorcyclists have special needs with limited space, so small is always good. A good kit should have no less than the items listed in the Trauma Kit below. More supplies is always better. Your response is directly related to your knowledge and your supplies.

CPR-1stAid Trauma Kits do not have as many items in them, but each item has a purpose, and all items are full sized and professional. There are Four levels that range in size and price. All have been custom made to fit in or on most motorcycles.

Kickstart Trauma Pack – $25.00








Two pairs of XL medical-grade Nitrile gloves, antiseptic hand wipes, a PACT card and pen, 4-4×4 sterile gauze pads, 3-inch roll gauze (to make a pressure dressing), 1-inch surgical tape, a 7.5-inch Paramedic Shear, an emergency blanket, a 40×40 inch triangular bandage that can be used for a tourniquet or compression among other things. The bag is soft to allow it to be packed on a motorcycle, is water resistant and opens up completely to allow all of the supplies to be seen and accessed without having to place items on the ground. All of the supplies in this kit are important and essential.

While there is a tendency to want 57 items, the quality and usefulness of each item should be considered. While the triangular bandage included in the starter kit can be used as a tourniquet, adding a tactical tourniquet to any kit is recommended. Cost and space should be your dictators. How much can you afford and how much space do you have.


Accident Scene Management Training


Trauma Packs and first aid supplies

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