Rural & Remote First Aid

10 things (or group of things) I would put in my ‘Grab and Go’ kit

Having just returned from my recent work trip, I have reflected on the amount of times I was asked about what I might include in a ‘Grab n Go kit‘. So what do I class as a Grab n Go kit? There are First Aid kits on vehicles, in worksheds, etc. These will be deployed on site as the frontline treatment resource in the event of an injury. The Grab n Go is the bigger kit (think the reinforcements) that will be sent to site with backup gear and extra people to assist in the longer term management of the patient. So here goes …. What I would put in a Grab n Go kit.

Extra bandages. Triangular bandages are possibly the most versatile and truly usable item in any First Aid kit from slings to wound pads to Broad bandages to tie downs . There’s not much your triangular bandage can’t achieve. So plenty of triangular bandages. Different sizes of Combine dressings. Combine dressing are the sort of thing that when you have a bleeding or open wound they are your go to items. All smaller first aid kits will have one or two of a certain size , then when you back up with the Grab and Go kit the range and size increase of your combine dressings. Particularly focus on the larger ones. 

Scoop stretcher, a sheet and head rolls . Scoop Stretchers are an incredibly valuable item when it comes to lifting or moving a patient that may need to stay immobilised for whatever reason . Whether it be spinal damage, big bone breaks where it’s just too painful for that person the move, the scoop stretcher can get in and under them for a lift . I’m not endorsing moving people at will, in fact it will be my preference that we don’t move a patient, however, we know that this is not always possible or we might have to bridge the time gap to medical help if the injury is serious enough. In which case with proper training a scoop stretcher becomes an invaluable item . It also acts to spinally immobilise the patient during transport rather than the person just lying on the back of the Toyota tray. Head rolls can be rolled up towels that are taped in a cylinder shape ready for use. Placed either side of the head when loaded into a stretcher they make good immobilisers. And any old sheet retired into the kit is a bonus. If you are looking for something a little more usable there are Military ‘Litters’ (in First Aid we call them Evacuation Sheets) that are deliberately slippery and have handles for managing that are available on the market..

Trauma Shears. A very common occurrence in trauma injuries (think impacts, breaks and bleeds) is the need to access an area of the body that maybe covered by clothing. It’s not always possible/advisable to get the person to remove the clothing themselves. Often it’s best to cut clothing/PPE to expose the area for effective treatment. 

Tourniquet. Maybe 2. These are the last line of defence in a major bleed. First line of defence in a major amputation. 

Haemostatic dressing. For junctional wounds. Think armpits and groin. They are particularly difficult to apply direct pressure to. Especially if an artery is impacted. Haemostatic dressings have an agent that promotes rapid clotting when packed into a wound. They might cost a little more in the short term but they have a long shelf life, so they are good spend over a longer time span.

Pulse oximeter & blood pressure monitor. Quick and important numbers to pass on to the medical aid. Also great tool when you get used to seeing the numbers yourself to indicate how well or sick your patient is now or is becoming. 

Cling wrap. Sealing burns following cooling. Also useful open abdominal wounds. 

Head torch. Stuff always happens at night! 

Patient care record (with a good procedure to use it) with a First Aid book. These help you follow a system and why not have a good reference tool in the kit. Not everything stores well in your head! Look it up. 

Saline and lots of it. Irrigate, irrigate, irrigate. 

As ever if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to email me on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *