Feb 27 2012
I’m not a survivalist, I don’t have six months of canned food in my basement, heck I don’t even have a week’s worth of canned food in the pantry (that is probably something I should work on). But I do understand and appreciate the spirit of preparedness. As a very active firearms instructor, heck, just as an avid shooter, there is one area I can’t afford not to prepared in: that area is first aid.
Every shooter should have a first aid/trauma pack readily available. And there is absolutely NO excuse for a firearms instructor NOT to have one. As the Assistant Director of the CRPC Firearms Training Department, it falls on me and the head Director to make sure that our instructors and range safety officers not only have access to a trauma kit; but that they are trained at a minimum in First Aid and CPR.
All of our instructors carry a small trauma pack in the cargo pocket of our 5.11s for an instant response until the big trauma kit has been opened and right tools retrieved. These small packs include the most basic of trauma materials: trauma pads, sterile gauze, wraps and duct tape to secure dressings or improvise a seal for a sucking chest wound, non-latex gloves and bio-hazard disposal bag, and an instructional sheet with information on how to quickly diagnose and treat wounds and quick clot. Of course, we also have a full-blown trauma kit on the bench behind us as well.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a medical professional and I’m most definitely not an expert in the area of first aid and trauma. This is why I did extensive research as well as talked to my local Division Chief of Fire Operations, Firefighter/Paramedic BFSA on the matter of trauma kits before writing this post.
LEVELS OF TRAUMA KITS:
- Basic Life Support
- Advanced Life Support
- Trauma Surgeon’s Field Kit
The Basic Life Support kit is the solid choice for the application of range use, and should be able to get you by until the ambulance arrives. Unless you have training and certification in the Advanced Life Support and the Trauma Surgeon’s Field kits, I would steer clear of them. Too many tools can overwhelm and become confusing.
BASIC LIFE SUPPORT KIT:
It is important to have the right tools in your kit, here is a basic list of the essentials:
- Triangle Bandages (2-3)
- Small assortment of bandaids
- Sterile 2X2 and 4X4 bandages
- A few 8X7 bandages if you’re not worried about being too portable
- One occlusive dressing for open chest wounds
- CPR pocket mask
- Nitrile gloves large or assorted sizes
- SAM splint
- Emergency blanket
- Bee sting swabs
- Coban (2 rolls of 2 inch, 2 rolls of 4 inch)*
- Military grade commercial tourniquet
- Cold compresses.
* “I would always suggest a local feed store to get coban or vet wrap over gauze roll bandages. It is relatively inexpensive, comes in a variety of colors, sterile, and sticks to itself. You could also use it as flagging tape and marking individuals who are triaged into categories.” – Division Chief of Fire Operations, Firefighter/Paramedic BFSA
WHAT ABOUT QUICK CLOT?
Quick Clot is an inorganic material with the active ingredient of Kaolin that works as a sponge of selective molecules. It coagulates and causes a blood clot to form in a wound. Quick Clot is usually in a sponge or gauze form and is sold in vacuum sealed, easy to open foil pouch. If used properly Quick Clot can save lives.
The problem with Quick Clot is that it tends to put off a heat that causes unnecessary tissue damage. It is important to note that the newer generations of Quick Clot do not have the same heat problems associated with the original Quick Clot. However, I have been advised by professionals in the medical field to only use Quick Clot when a tourniquet is not working to effectively stop or slow the bleeding or when emergency services are not readily available. Most bleeding should be able to be taken care of with a tourniquet. So while it’s great to have on hand, Quick Clot should not be your first choice in treating bleeding, especially of minor cuts and wounds.
Personally, I carry the newer generations of Quick Clot and think it’s an important tool to have. I am just careful to use it only when absolutely necessary.
A FEW OTHER ITEMS
A few other items I would throw in my trauma kit are:
- Duct Tape – proven method to stop bleeding of minor wounds and always good to have on hand.
- caution tape – so you can quarantine any blood puddles, etc.
- extra nitrile gloves – you can never have enough
- and a blood born pathogen kit - for obvious reasons
- a smal sharp knife (such as the CRKT minimalist neck knives) , sterilized
I hope you found this article helpful. I know that there are always MORE safety tools that are great to add to a kit. However, the tools described here should get the job done with the minimal amount of training necessary.
P.S. While you’re putting in an order for your kit, might I suggest you go ahead and order one for Fido too?