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Wound Closure Kits

Saturday, 03 May 2014 00:00 Written by  Gary Griffin

If you want to properly close wounds, then you will need the appropriate medical supplies. Of course, you can use anything that you can get your hands on, but the goal of medical preparedness is to ensure you have the correct supplies for the task. First, you need to choose if you will build kits or keep your supplies in their original packaging, or a combination of both. If you have a mobile or outdoors mentality, we recommend building kits instead of having bulk supplies. If your goal is to set up a home clinic, then leave your bulk supplies in their original packaging; packaging materials for kits cost additional money. Additionally, there are different types of wound closure kits, from small kits to get the job done to large kits just like the emergency room may use.

Most of the commercially available suturing kits are drastically overpriced, and will only have enough supplies for one wound closure. If you construct your own, you can build 20+ high quality kits for the same price as five commercial products. When constructing our kits, we purchase items in bulk. This means we have a high initial cost, but we have the ability to create nearly 50 kits at a time. Seems like an excessive number of wound closure kits, but this also allows us to share with friends and family, sell a few, or have some for trade/barter. Additionally, the more items you purchase, the cheaper it usually is; a group buy can spread the cost over multiple individuals. In some cases, it only costs a little more to purchase 50 items, than it would to purchase five individually packaged items.

Example Wound Closure Kit

A Wound Closure Kit contains many of the items needed for proper wound cleaning and closure, and provides multiple methods for closure (sutures and strips). If you are building a kit, we recommend using heavy duty Mylar bags as the external packaging. A heavy duty Mylar bag (4 mil thickness or greater) ensures the supplies are protected against light and moisture, limiting exposure which may cause some of the supplies to lose their sterilization and/or effectiveness, and can take some abuse before it is punctured. You can easily throw this kind of package in your vehicle or emergency bag, and forget about it. The bags that we use also include a zip-lock, so we can reseal the bag to protect the unused supplies.

Inside of the Mylar bag, the kit is separated into logical steps, or modules. Each module is designed for an intended purpose, however the supplies can be used in any of the steps (example – The sterile gauze sponge can be used during the flush process and/or during the closure process). Lastly, some of the supplies are lose packaged, due to their size. The modularity of the kit allows the administrator to use only the supplies needed for a particular injury, and to save the remaining supplies for a later use.

Some items were not included in this example kit due to prescription/licensing issues, to reduce the overall cost, and situation dependent reasons. Therefore, if you model your kits after ours, you will need to supplement with these durable and expendable Add-on items.

Lastly, you will need to shop around before making purchases. The links provided are items used in our kits; most of which were purchased on Amazon. However, do not be afraid to purchase medical items directly from manufacturer websites or eBay. Manufacturers usually have clearance specials. Most of the individuals that sell medical items on eBay acquire the items through purchasing surplus lots. Usually, these sellers are willing to get rid of the items that you need at the fraction of the retail cost. Also, when shopping on eBay, and if you have the opportunity to “Make an Offer”, do it. We usually acquire our items for 25-50% of the original asking price.

Modular Components

When building any medical kit, we recommend taking a modular approach. Instead of building just a “Wound Closure Kit,” we purchase items that can be used in wound closures, burns, or any medical challenge that we may face. This way, we can re-purpose items for multiple medical situations. Since bandages are relatively inexpensive, we can build a few dozen bandage modules, add one to each wound closure kit, and then have some on hand for bandage changes. By creating our own purpose specific packages, we can distribute items without having to search through different boxes each time we need a set of items, or expose the entire box to a biohazard.

Wound Closure Kit Components

Step 2: Flush Module

(1) ZeroWet Splash Shield

(1) Syringe, 20cc

(1) Povidone Iodine, 10cc bottle (ebay)

(1) Nitrile Gloves, Pair

 

Step 3: Prep Module

(3) Povidone Iodine Swabstick

(2) Alcohol Pads

(1) Drape, Fenestrated

(1) Drape, Plain

(1) Surgical Gloves, pair

(1) Surgical Mask

(10) Gauze Sponge, Tray of 10 (ebay)

 

Step 4: Closure Module

(1) Suture, Nylon 3/0

(1) Suture, Nylon 4/0

(1) Suture, PGA 4/0

(6) Suture Strips Plus, ½”x4” (ebay)

(3) Steri-Strips, ¼”x3” (ebay)

(1) Scalpel, No. 11

 

Step 5: Bandage Module

(2) Non-Adherent Bandage, 3”x4”

(1) Combine/Abdominal Pad, 5”x9”

(1) Sensi-Wrap Self Adherent Bandage 2”x5yds

(1) Antibiotic Ointment, packet

 

Add-on Items (Purchase Separately)

Last modified on Friday, 02 May 2014 01:30
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