The Definitive Rugby First Aid Kit Contents List
Your rugby first aid kit should equip you with everything you need to tend to an injury in an emergency. With a suitable first aid kit and the proper rugby first aid training, your team will be able to play with complete confidence that they’re in capable hands.
Our longer article on rugby first aid kits details what Rugby Union and Rugby League recommend. Here, we’ve listed essentials that should be in your rugby first aid kit checklist as advised by both sports.
Essential Rugby First Aid Kit Contents
Find out what you should have on your rugby first aid kit contents list, as recommended by rugby’s national governing bodies.
An accident book is a piece of a rugby first aid kit that is often overlooked. But recording accidents and injuries when they happen is a vital part of good first aid. An accident book can help you understand trends in accidents and conduct a better risk assessment of health and safety. It also offers essential evidence if an injury leads to legal involvement.
In certain situations, serious injuries need to be reported to the RFU. These situations are usually if a player is admitted to hospital, if a death occurs less than six hours after a game, or if the injury resulted from artificial grass or equipment.
When you’re treating an injury, it’s vital that the open wound is cleaned before putting on a dressing. Even minor wounds need to be kept clean to decrease the chance of infection. Before treating a wound (but after you’ve gathered everything you need), put on some disposable gloves to make sure you don’t accidentally transfer bacteria to the open wound.
Nitrile gloves are the best option. They are durable enough that they won’t tear or puncture, and they retain excellent traction, even when wet, so you have full dexterity when working. Gloves are also important for your own protection. If you have to handle body fluids, always wear disposable gloves.
Cleaning your hands before and after using disposable gloves or before and after examining a player helps you maintain a hygienic environment and protect them from infection. But getting to the sink and back isn’t always reasonable on the field.
Hand sanitiser is a valuable substitute when there’s no soap and running water nearby. Our hand gel kills 99.9% of germs and has added emollients to prevent skin from drying out.
A foil blanket can retain up to 90% of the body’s heat. If a player is seriously hurt and can’t be moved from the pitch, or if they’ve gone into shock, you must keep them warm. A foil blanket is thin and compact. It takes up very little space in your kit but can provide essential support to someone you need to keep warm.
Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time. Most good rugby first aid courses will teach you how to help someone in cardiac arrest. This involves giving the casualty CPR and using a defibrillator.
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation can carry severe infections like HIV and herpes, so you’ll need to protect yourself and the casualty. A resusciade is a disposable plastic sheet with a one-way valve in it that can be used to administer mouth-to-mouth without direct physical contact. The one-way valve allows the responder to deliver breaths but prevents blowback that could transfer harmful pathogens.
Scissors are an important multi-purpose item in your first aid kit. Use them to cut bandages to size, cut through old bandages to change them, and remove clothing quickly to use a defibrillator, among many other uses.
The recommendation of the England Rugby and Rugby League first aid kit is to use tuff cut scissors or ‘tough cut scissors’. These are extra strong scissors that can cut through car seatbelts and multiple layers of fabric. They are designed with a curved blade with a blunt tip to protect the skin when using them against the body.
7. Clinical Waste Bags
Maintaining a hygienic environment is essential even after treating someone’s wound. Make sure all clinical waste is disposed of properly. This includes any body fluids or materials contaminated with body fluids. Use a yellow clinical waste bag to dispose of them so people can identify it as a bag of potentially infectious waste.
Quickly wash a piece of grit out of a player’s eye, or squirt sterile wound wash over an open wound and dislodge dirt before dressing it. England Rugby and Rugby League recommend eyewash pods like ours because they’re much more convenient to use than a bottle of solution.
Each 20ml pod stays sterile until you open it using the easy twist-cap—no need to waste a whole bottle of solution. Squeeze the pod to accurately squirt the solution over the more minor wounds or use precision to aim it over the eye to remove contaminants.
For holding dressings and bandages in place and keeping wounds covered and protected, microporous tape is specially designed to stick to the skin, even when damp. It’s gentle and painless when removed too.
Zinc oxide is a non-stretch, rigid and high tensile tape used to immobilise joints and protect them from sports injuries. Zinc oxide tape is used on rugby players’ ankles, wrists, knees, fingers, ears, heads, and anywhere that requires a bit of added protection. This is a highly versatile tape.
Zinc oxide tape is also used as a tough, protective layer over other softer tapes or dressings.
11. Safety Pins
Like microporous tape, safety pins are useful tools to keep in your first aid kit. Use safety pins to help you hold bandages in place. They are particularly handy for keeping triangular bandages in place or securing them to clothes.
For wounds that won’t close or cuts on areas of the body that are at risk of re-opening or widening, wound sutures are an excellent solution. Each suture is made with tough nylon fibres that run the length of its body. In a collision sport like rugby, where deep wounds are more likely than in other sports, sutures are a must for your first aid kit.
Use sutures to encourage a wound to close after it’s been cleaned and help stop bleeding, or apply some sutures over a wound on an exposed part of the body so the player can get back into the game.
Rugby League recommends that rugby teams have a bottle of diluted bleach and washing up liquid solution to hand in a spray bottle. This is so that clothes and equipment can be decontaminated swiftly if blood gets onto them.
In rugby, players are at an increased risk of broken bones and dislocations. Keep a triangular bandage in your rugby first aid kit to immobilise arms, shoulders, hands, and wrists. A triangular bandage is also a highly versatile piece of first aid equipment and can be used as a substitute for other supplies if you find yourself without them.
Crepe bandage is an ideal all-rounder type of bandage that can be used to hold dressings in place. Highly stretchy, crepe bandage provides gentle and comfortable support to body areas that have been dressed and holds everything in place.
Any good rugby first aid kit will include a range of dressings to help you treat a range of wounds. Here are some essential dressings we recommend having in your kit:
- Low adherent dressings
- Adhesive wound dressings
- Eye pads
- Gauze swabs (suitable for blotting exudate from wounds, and also as a primary layer in dressings)
|Accident Book and Pen||Reporting accidents and recording important details.|
|Disposable Gloves||Keeping a wound clean and protecting yourself from touching body fluids.|
|Hand Sanitiser||Santisiting hands before and after using gloves, maintaining a clean environment.|
|Foil Blanket||Keeping a casualty warm when in shock or exposed to the elements.|
|Resusciade||Providing mouth-to-mouth during resuscitation without cross-contamination.|
|Tuff Cut Scissors||Cutting bandages to size, removing bandages, removing clothing.|
|Clinical Waste Bags||Disposing of clinical waste safely.|
|Eye and Wound Wash Pods||Cleaning eyes of contaminants. Cleaning wounds before dressing.|
|Microporous Tape||Holding bandages and dressings in place on the skin.|
|Zinc Oxide Tape||Immobilising joints, protecting exposed body areas from impact and laceration.|
|Safety Pins||Keeping bandages and triangular bandages in place.|
|Sutures||Closing wounds that won’t close on their own. Keeping wounds closed on exposed areas of the body.|
|Spray Bottle||Decontaminating clothes and equipment from blood using a bleach solution.|
|Triangular Bandage||Creating a sling to immobilise wounded hands, arms, wrists, and shoulders.|
|Crepe Bandage||Holding dressings in place and protecting them.|
|Dressings||Covering and protecting wounds.|
Pre-Made First Aid Kits for Rugby Clubs
Putting together a first aid kit for rugby teams is easy with our resources to help guide you, but what’s easier is ordering a pre-packed sports first aid kit. Our Sterosport Sports First Aid Kit has been professionally designed to meet the requirements and recommendations of rugby national governing bodies and contains everything you need to treat common rugby injuries. Everything comes in a convenient rugby first aid kit bag with a handle you can easily grab and carry to different areas of the field.
We work with many different sports teams, from grassroots level to elite and aim to offer the best support to help you reach your goals. If you partner with us, we’ll help you with a risk assessment to determine what your team needs. We’ll provide you with the perfect supplies and let you know when they need replacing.
There are other items besides your standard rugby first aid kit required by rugby national governing bodies England Rugby and Rugby Football League. Find out what they are in our article Rugby Union and Rugby League Mandatory Medical Equipment: 2023 Update and What to Buy and order everything you need in one go.
Check our blog for useful resources on how to handle common rugby injuries
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