8 Common Medical Supplies You Should Always Keep On Hand

Emergencies can happen, anytime and anywhere. Several things can occur even while at home: trips, falls, sprains, cuts, burns, and the list goes on. By the time an injury occurs, you are left in a panic while trying to gain enough composure to think of ways to treat it. We'll talk about eight commonly used medical supplies you should always keep on hand. 

first aid kit

If you are purchasing medical supplies online, be sure to buy them from a reputable company that guarantees their products. This ensures you will receive top-quality products with high-quality customer service.


Okay, I know you are probably saying that this is a given. However, have you checked the expiration date on them lately? Bandages are used to cover wounds and should be sterile to avoid infection and to promote healing. 

With that said, expired bandages, especially expired bandages with damaged packaging (which can be considered contaminated), should be routinely replaced with new unexpired sealed ones. 

The four main types of bandages are the standard adhesive strip bandages that are normally used after cleaning a small cut, roller bandages (gauze) that are used for larger wounds, triangular bandages to construct slings, and tubular bandages which are typically used for compression. Each type of bandage is important and should be readily on hand and equally stocked.


Antiseptics (also known as skin disinfectants) are used to stop or slow down the growth of microorganisms. Commonly associated with surgery, you will see the most common type of antiseptic to be an orange-tinted color but can also be colorless. Keeping a bottle or two of an antiseptic solution is common and should always be stocked in case a medical emergency occurs at home. Povidone-iodine (iodopovidone) and hydrogen peroxide are the common types of over the counter antiseptics readily available.


You might be wondering about the difference between antiseptics and disinfectants. While antiseptics and disinfectants are both used to kill microorganisms, disinfectants are used to kill microorganisms on nonliving surfaces such as medical instruments like scissors and tweezers. So stocking up on disinfectants is also on our list of commonly used medical supplies that should always be kept on hand. Hydrogen peroxide is also used as a disinfectant.


In line with wound care, ointments are next on our list. Antibiotic ointments are used to help wounds heal quicker and are typically applied after cleaning an injury but before bandaging it up. It can also help soothe pain from an injury. So keep a variety of ointments on hand and be sure to periodically check its expiration date.


Just like ointments, creams can also help soothe a variety of skin reactions from allergies to insect bites. Hydrocortisone creams can be used to treat insect bites, poison ivy, eczema, and more. When applied, it can be used to reduce swelling, itching, and redness. So keep plenty of these types of creams around the home.


Not all wounds are skin deep. Our eyes are also vulnerable to injuries. Keeping a few bottles of saline eyewash is also important to have on hand. Whether you get dust blown into your eyes or more serious injuries like a scratched eye (corneal abrasion), a bottle of saline eyewash can help flush foreign objects out of your eyes while also cleaning it to prevent infection.

Eye Shield

After you have cleaned your eyes from an injury, you will need to cover it to prevent infection. Eyeshields or pads do just that. They help protect your eye(s) from infection and further injury. Apply the eye shield over the eye diagonally, using tape or other adhesives to the forehead and cheek. Eye shields should be kept on hand and also check for any damages to its sterile packaging. If you find damage or contamination, discard immediately and use a new, clean, unopened one.


Tape or other similar adhesives are another common medical supply you should always keep on hand. There are a variety of medical tapes that are versatile, stretchable, waterproof, and more. Consider stocking various types of tape, including duct tape, to provide you with flexibility and versatility in any emergency situation.

These are eight commonly used medical supplies that should be well-stocked and always kept on hand. No one can really tell when or where in your home a medical emergency will happen, so having ample and pertinent medical supplies on hand is vital. 

Once the proper first-aid treatments are completed, head to a healthcare professional immediately to have your injury checked further. Remember, try to stay calm if a medical emergency does happen and purchase your medical supplies from a reputable medical supplier to ensure you are getting top-quality products. Also, periodically check your inventory of medical supplies for their expiration date and replenishment.

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