What's The Difference Between a First Aid Kit and a Trauma Kit?

What’s the difference between a first aid kit and a trauma kit? The term trauma kit gets thrown around often enough, but people often don’t understand that the term isn’t necessarily interchangeable with first aid kit. If you’ve ever wondered this, you’ve come to the right place!

Trauma Kit

A trauma kit contains supplies meant to deal with severe and lethal injuries. With a trauma kit on hand, you’re equipped to be able to keep someone alive until emergency services arrive. If someone pulls out a trauma kit, you’re almost certainly going to need a doctor soon too. That’s how bad the injury is.

First Aid Kit

Now you know what a trauma kit is, but what’s in a first aid kit? A first aid kit is generally built to deal with very basic and superficial wounds you may come across in everyday life. For example, the supplies they carry are intended for cuts, scrapes, and the like. First aid kits are pulled out more often than trauma kits because most injuries they treat are common and don’t require medical attention. 

Skill Usage 

First aid and trauma kits both have different skill levels. While a first aid kit can generally be picked up by anyone and they’ll be able to figure it out, trauma kits are a bit different. Everyone should at least have a trauma kit in their car in case of a life-threatening emergency, but you do need training in order to use the contents properly. Thankfully, learning how to use these items is quick and easy (P.S. - if you buy a kit from us, you get a free digital training course)!

Some of the items you’ll need to learn how to use include tourniquets, hemostatic agents (these aid your body’s natural clotting function), nasopharyngeal airways (NPAs), and more. All of them have the ability to save a life, but they aren’t exactly something you can pick up and instinctively know how to use. Take some time to familiarize yourself with these tools so you’re prepared just in case!

Size & Price

Another difference between these two types of kits are size and price point. First aid kits are generally larger because they carry a larger variety of supplies with several duplicates. They’re also cheaper because the items they carry aren’t specialized. On the other hand, trauma kits are typically smaller because they focus solely on addressing trauma. Because the items inside are specialized and made specifically for saving lives, they tend to cost more. For example, tourniquets alone can cost $15-40 each.

Layout of the Kit

This may seem like a weird difference to have between the two, but it’s a big one! There’s a thousand ways first aid kits can be organized, especially because of how many materials they contain. However, trauma kits have fewer supplies, but everything needs to be easily accessible and laid out as simply as possible. When someone’s life is at stake, time is of the essence. You don’t want to be fumbling around a poorly organized case looking for a tourniquet! 

Last Note

Both trauma kits and first aid kits have their place in your life. One isn’t necessarily better than the other because they each have their uses. We highly recommend either having one of each type of kit or getting one that combines both first aid and trauma into one kit. Whether you buy one of our world-class first aid kits or decide to make your own, make sure you’re prepared for whatever life throws at you.

Author | Allison Lee

I'm Allison, a content writer at My Medic. My passion is empowering others with first aid knowledge and skills through my writing.


  • As a retired Police officer, I have had basic first aide instruction. With the amount of violence out there now, I was interested in a trauma / first aide kit in case I come across someone who may need it. Thank you

  • I need one for gun shot wounds and deep cuts broken bones .or the worst case scenarios!

    Steve W Weaver
  • Does your hemostatic agent use kaolin? Are your tourniquets built like the CAT? And what about the other two life saving interventions? Do you cover all of H-A-B-C?

    Austin Hernandez

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