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A Comprehensive Guide to the Escape from Tarkov Medical System

Escape from Tarkov features one of the most complex and realistic FPS medical systems ever created. At first, it can seem totally overwhelming trying to make sense of the different damage types, injuries, and medical items.

In this comprehensive guide, I'll explain everything you need to know about the Tarkov health and medical systems. You'll learn how to monitor your PMC's condition, triage injuries, and use items like surgery kits and stimulants effectively. With this knowledge, you'll drastically boost your survival rate in even the most brutal Tarkov raids.

Monitoring Your Health Status

The first step to survival is closely monitoring your health status. In the upper left of the screen, you'll see icons representing your head, chest, and limbs. Here's what to look for:

  • Limb color - The color indicates how much HP that body part has left. Black is 0 HP.

  • Bleeding icon - A blood drop means you have a bleed injury on that limb.

  • Fracture icon - The cracked bone symbol means the limb is fractured.

  • Painkiller icon - Pills mean you've taken pain medication.

  • Head/chest damage - These turn red when damaged, and turn black at 85 and 35 damage respectively.

You can also monitor pain, hydration, blood loss, contusion, and other effects on the overall health panel, located in your inventory screen.

Damage Types

There are a few key types of damage to understand:

  • Blunt damage - Caused by bullets or blows to armor. Can break bones.

  • Penetrating damage - Caused by bullets piercing unarmored limbs. Causes heavy bleeds.

  • Burn damage - Caused by fire or hot surfaces.

  • Toxin damage - Caused by gas, poison, or radiation.

Treating Light Bleeds

Light bleeds are indicated by a small blood drop icon on a limb. They drain your health slowly over time. To stop a light bleed:

  • Use a bandage or AI-2 medkit. Bandages are single use, while AI-2s can treat multiple bleeds.

  • Salewa and more advanced medkits will also treat light bleeds.

  • You can pack bandages in your pockets or rig for quick access.

If left unchecked, multiple minor bleeds can quickly drain your health! Stop them promptly.

Stopping Heavy Bleeds

Heavy bleeds show as a large blood drop icon and drain health very rapidly. To stop them:

  • Apply a tourniquet like the CAT or Torniquete. Most are reusable.

  • Use a hemostat like the Zakhar or Hemostat applicator. Disposable but takes less time to apply.

  • The Salewa, IFAK, and Grizzly can also stop heavy bleeds.

  • Pack a tourniquet and hemostat in your pockets or rig for emergencies.

Heavy bleeds will kill you extremely fast! Stop them first before anything else.

Fixing Fractures

Fractures occur when blunt damage breaks a bone in a limb. The effects are:

  • Reduced turning and movement speed

  • Accuracy penalties when aiming

  • Increased weapon sway

  • Increased recoil

Fractures are shown with a cracked bone icon on the affected limb. To fix fractures:

  • Use a splint like the Alu Splint. Splints are single use.

  • The Salewa, IFAK, Grizzly, and Surv12 kits will also splint fractures.

Fractures severely hinder combat effectiveness. Fix them promptly after stopping bleeds.

Managing Pain

When damaged, your PMC will start experiencing pain effects:

  • Blurred vision

  • Tremors

  • Reduced consciousness

  • Movement and aim penalties

Pain is shown by your screen blurring. Reduce pain by taking painkillers like Ibuprofen or Morphine. But don't overuse them, as they dehydrate and drain energy.

Advanced stimulants like M.U.L.E. and Propital also contain strong painkillers. Use them sparingly due to cost and addiction risk.

Restoring Lost Limb HP

When you take damage, your limbs will change color indicating reduced HP. Black limbs are at 0 HP.

Heal limb HP using:

  • Bandages - Small HP restore

  • AI-2/Car/Salewa medkits - Single use kits that restore HP

  • IFAK and Grizzly - Multi-use limb HP restoration

  • CMS surgery kit - Disposable surgical kit for restoring blacked limbs

  • Surv12 field surgery kit - Multi-use kit for restoring blacked limbs

Prioritize healing your head and chest first, as these cause instant death when depleted. Always move damaged limbs out of black status.

Using Surgical Kits

When a limb reaches 0 HP, it becomes "blacked out" and unusable. Surgery kits are required to restore a blacked limb:

  • CMS - Cheap, disposable 1-use kit. Restores 10 HP per use.

  • Surv12 - Multi-use. Restores 40 HP per use.

Surgery takes time, so find secure cover first. Painkillers help ignore damage while operating. Bring a CMS in your container for emergencies.

Recommended Loadouts

Here are some recommended medical loadouts based on your experience level:

Entry Level:

  • Salewa
  • Painkillers
  • Bandage
  • Tourniquet


  • IFAK
  • Salewa
  • Splint
  • Painkillers
  • Hemostat


  • Grizzly or Surv12
  • Propital
  • M.U.L.E.
  • Hemostat
  • CMS Kit

Adjust your loadout based on the gear you can afford to run. But never skimp on meds - they will save your life!

Final Tips

With this knowledge, you're ready to tackle Tarkov's infamous medical system:

  • Monitor limb and bleed status closely.

  • Stop heavy bleeds first, then fractures.

  • Manage pain only when necessary.

  • Restore lost HP after addressing major issues.

  • Use Surv12/CMS kits for blacked limbs.

  • Pack meds in your pockets, rig, and secure container.

And those are the essentials of not dying in Tarkov! Study item stats and experiment to find what works best for you. Proper medical gear and skill will greatly increase your survival rate. Get out there, avoid bullets, and good luck!