First Aid Uses for a Plastic Bag

Plastic bags are cheap, easy-to-find and also have a number of awesome survival uses. Probably the most life-saving are the first aid applications.

To choose the right plastic bags to keep in your survival stash, black garbage bags or kitchen bags work best as they are thick and difficult to tear. Don’t choose the scented ones (some kitchen bags are scented). You can often find cheap garbage bags at Costco or dollar stores.

Here are some ways to use them for first aid:

Irrigating a wound

Poking a small hole in plastic bag can create a very efficient manner of irrigating a wound. You can fill it with water and squeeze the water out into a wound to provide a steady flow of water to a wound so you can clean it out thoroughly and keep water flowing to it as you stitch it up, for example.


If you do not have plastic sheeting-another great survival item that is awesome to have but is nicely substituted with trash bags-you can create a quarantine area in case of disease outbreak. You’ll probably want duct tape or packing tape to seal off a room or area to contain airborne viruses. They can also be used in the event that you have to bury someone who has succumb to illness and want to prevent the spread of disease.

Protecting a Wound

A plastic bandage, again, preferably with duct tape or packing tape, can help keep a bandage in place and protect a wound from bacteria. Just make sure to loosen it up occasionally because oxygen is also useful for healing.

A sling

You can cut up a plastic bag to use as a very sturdy sling in the case of a sprained or broken arm or wrist.

A tourniquet

You can use strips of plastic bag as a tourniquet to prevent bleeding from a severe wound or to try to slow the spread of spider or snake venom to the rest of the patient’s bloodstream-just make sure you know how to properly use a tourniquet first.

A Stretcher

A plastic bag could be suspended between to large poles or even sticks if a patient needs to be transported.

A Bedpan

Sick people need to use the facilities too! Plastic bags can be a last-resort bedpan if you cannot transport a sick or injured person to the designated survival loo.

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