A medical kit that tells you what to do

A Talking Trauma Kit attached to a car seat. Photo by: Catherine Plumridge / Humanitrain

First-aid kits are a must-have for relief workers. But in high-risk environments, gauze pads and bandages are not enough.

Enter the Talking Trauma Kit, an innovative product launched this week in Washington. Aside from the usual contents of a first-aid kit, this portable tool has an audio box the size of a cigarette packet that can guide responders on what to do and which equipment to use when providing lifesaving assistance to people with serious injuries – whether from a violent conflict or a road accident. It’s particularly useful for humanitarians with limited first-aid training.

Catherine Plumridge, the kit’s developer, got inspired while working with the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, witnessing injuries and preventable deaths not only of victims of conflict but also of aid workers.

To her knowledge, she says, her toolkit is the only one specifically designed for aid workers.

The kit comes with a voice device that can record a patient’s personal data, accident details, medical history and other vital information. This can be clipped to a patient’s clothing in the event of a medical evacuation, informing attending medical personnel on the kind of treatment the patient needs.

The Talking Trauma Kit can also be strapped onto the back of the driver’s or passenger’s seat, making it easily available for responders to apply treatment while on a moving vehicle. The kit comes in several languages, and its contents can be customized as part of large orders.

The price of the kit was not available at press time; other trauma kits available online cost between $120 and $210.

The Talking Trauma Kit was launched at the Aid & International Development Forum in Washington, D.C., which runs June 6-7. Plumridge is hoping to secure orders for at least 2,500 kits in the coming weeks; a number of aid workers, logisticians, security officers and investors have already expressed interest in the kit, she says.

Read our last #innov8aid.

About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.