Should I Buy Bulk First Aid Supplies?

Dietrich Easter
medical supplies


Today we’ll discuss whether you should buy bulk first aid supplies. First aid gear doesn’t do any good if you run out; however, you also don’t want to haphazardly hoard medical supplies.


Buying bulk first aid supplies can save you money, keep you more prepared, and allow you to help others in need. Professional organizations and people who regularly carry first aid items can benefit from a well-stocked supply. If you’re planning on buying first aid supplies, it’s wise to have an area to store everything. It doesn’t matter how much medical gear you have if you can’t find it when you need it. 


The last thing you want is to run out of needed first aid gear. However, it’s also a problem if your first aid gear is disorganized or lost. Below, we’ll talk about the when, where, and how of buying bulk medical supplies. 


Let’s get started. 


Benefits of Buying Bulk First Aid Gear 

First, let’s talk about some of the pros and cons of buying bulk first aid supplies. Good first aid supplies are extremely valuable in many ways, but it’s vital to have a plan in place to properly manage medical gear. 

If you’re considering buying bulk first aid supplies, here are a few benefits: 

  • Steady Supply 

  • Many don’t expire 

  • Help others  

  • Reduced prices 

Let’s look at these in more depth. 


Bulk First Aid Items Provide a Steady Supply 

Some people rely heavily on first aid items and running out could be dangerous. When you have a steady supply of first aid items, you don’t need to be as worried that you’ll run out. 

Some people or professional organizations will keep bulk items in supply in the case of a mass casualty incident – where many patients may need medical supplies. Medical supplies are no good to someone if they aren’t readily available. 


Many Items Don’t Expire 

Many types of medical supplies don’t technically expire, so it can make sense to buy what you need upfront instead of constantly reordering items. 

If you’re curious, read this article on if tourniquets expire. Many items can last a long time. However, for items that do expire, if the volume of use is there then it can make sense to buy bulk. 


Helping Others 

Let’s be honest, some people don’t understand the benefits or have the resources to obtain a good first aid kit (however, anyone can make a budget first aid kit that still covers lifesaving gear). Those that have the means or training to buy bulk first aid supplies should consider educating and sharing the supplies with others. 

Many people don’t understand the present dangers of daily life and are unprepared when an emergency strikes. However, those that have extra first aid supplies can share with those who don’t and help spread the word about the importance of primary first aid like bleeding control and airway management. 


Price Savings when Buying Bulk Medical Supplies 

Often there are cost savings when buying bulk medical supplies. For those who will regularly be buying large amounts of medical supplies, it makes sense to buy in bulk when possible. 

Just be sure that you’re buying quality bulk items. In some cases, “bulk” items are sold as cheap knockoffs. Unfortunately, this is often the case with lifesaving equipment such as tourniquets. You should never buy a counterfeit tourniquet or BVM – but you have to do a little research to avoid getting scammed. 

Here’s an article on counterfeits tourniquets – also, here’s a good video on recognizing fake CAT tourniquets.

Alright, now that we’ve talked about the benefits of buying bulk first aid items, let’s chat about how to store bulk first aid items. 


How to Store Bulk First Aid Supplies 

We’ve all watched a game on TV, be it football or baseball or bull riding, where the athlete nearly won only to fumble the opportunity in the final minutes. 

Well, the same thing can happen with first aid gear. People will buy a lot of first aid supplies with the intention of being prepared, only to lose most of it or store it away in their garage - this is a fumbled opportunity. 

To be properly prepared, you need the first aid gear to be stored and ready for use. In the next sections, we’ll talk about a few tips to store your first aid gear efficiently. 


Storing and carrying bulk first aid items:  

  • Keep what you need close 

  • Organize a home area 

  • Keep track of expiration dates 

  • Order of importance 

 Let's look at these in more depth.


Bulk Medical Gear: Keep it Close 

It’s good to have a clean organized cabinet full of your medical gear, but you should also keep needed first aid supplies close. 

For example, it’s smart to carry a tourniquet, gauze, and pressure dressing with you at all times. This could be in an EDC first aid kit or a vehicle first aid kit. There’s nothing wrong with buying bulk, but don’t make the mistake of storing it all in the garage – keep what you need ready to go. 


Organize and Area for Bulk First Aid Supplies 

First aid supplies should be stored in a cool and dry place. The first aid supplies should not be mixed with other non-medical items, and things should not be thrown together. If everything is out of place, it’s more likely that you will lose your supplies or that you won’t know what you have and what you need. 

In the next section, we’ll talk about another reason it’s important to keep things organized. 


Bulk Medical Kit: Keep track of Expiration Dates 

While there are many medical items that don’t expire, there are some medical supplies that will expire. You can often repurpose expired medical gear for training, so it doesn’t need to be thrown away; however, you shouldn’t use expired medical gear for your real-life kit. 

What types of medical gear expire? Any gear that has a liquid or adhesive substance usually has an expiration date, such as chest seals, burn gels, or sticky patches. 

Also, medications will have an expiration date, so these need to be watched very carefully. Some items that are made with a sterile seal will only guarantee sterility for a certain timeframe, so it’s important to keep an eye on the labels. 

This brings us back to our last section: you need to keep bulk medical supplies organized. If the supplies are not organized, then it becomes very difficult to keep track of expiration dates and quantity. 


Bulk Items: Store in Order of Importance 

It’s wise to keep the most important medical supplies out in the open for easy access. This also makes it easy to know when your most important supplies have run out. Again, organization is the key. 

Bonus tip: If you have multiple people accessing the medical supplies, such as professional medical providers, it’s important to have some kind of checkout sheet available. This ensures that the managers and whoever is buying the supplies know what medical supplies are being used, and how much. 

Before we go, let’s answer a few common questions. 


Who Should Buy First Aid Kit Refills? 

First aid kit refills are a type of bulk first aid kit that provide several advantages. Why are refills smart and who should buy them? 

Refill first aid kits make it easy to buy the specific supplies needed. For example, trauma kit refills are a common item. These kits will have everything needed to treat a traumatic wound – including a tourniquet, a pressure bandage, gauze, and a chest seal. When these kits are used, they can be easily replaced with a refill kit.  

Refill kits also keep everything organized and prevent losing items before they are used. Finally, refill first-aid kits can be less expensive than buying each item individually. 


What To Do with Expired First Aid Supplies

Many people wonder if they should just toss expired first aid gear. In some cases, you should dispose of expired equipment, particularly in the case of medications. However, many types of expired supplies can be repurposed for training. For example, sterile gauze that has expired can be used to practice wound packing. 

If you can, think about ways you can use expired items before tossing them. Also, think about ways to recycle the items if possible. Finally, be careful about hazardous substances, and ensure that you dispose of medical items per local laws and guidelines. Now, let’s go over our final take. 


Final Thoughts on Buying and Storing Bulk First Aid 

Buying bulk first aid supplies is a great way to save a little money, avoid frequent orders, and stay prepared for an emergency. However, it’s important that you keep things organized, which will help prevent a discombobulated hoard. Also, think about others – perhaps there is someone who could use extra first aid supplies. 

Finally, get trained in how to use the first aid kits. No amount of medical gear can replace good training. If you’re curious, browse Medical Gear Outfitters' selection of bulk first aid items.