Sunday, May 26, 2013

First Aid Upgrade

 The rest of the core items I want in my first aid kit have arrived.

They consist of Quick Clot Combat Gauze in Z-fold, the C-A-T Tourniquet and the Israeli Trauma Wound Dressing.  Does this mean I’m stripping out the other components like Quick Clot spot pack, mil surplus field dressing and 6 yards of duct tape?  
My expanded 1st aid core: Israeli Bandage, Quick Clot Gauze and combat tourniquet
The answer is no.  But I may have to get a larger pouch to clip on to my gunbag.  Each item gives me more options.  I expect most injuries to be minor cuts and punctures handled with a little soap and water or hand sanitizer followed by a band-aid.  But what if it’s not?  
I expect most injuries to be single or at worst two people.  But what if it’s not?

Here’s my perspective on it.  I want to think scalable, to be able to move up and down the first aid continuum with the gear I'm carrying. .  I know I wouldn’t use a 5x5-inch clotting sponge on a quarter-inch cut on my finger, but I may need to stuff a wound with combat gauze and tape it shut with duct tape because band-aids aren’t up to the job.  I still need band-aids because most injuries will be more of an inconvenience than a serious injury.  

I’m going to pack what I think I could need. But I’m I not packing two different size airways, irrigation solution or IV needles because I’m not trained to use them.

Like Dirty Harry sezs, “Get off my grass!” or was it “A man has to know his limits.”  You get my drift.

I bought an extra Israeli Trauma Wound Dressing to practice with.  I’m glad I did.  The outer pack opened easy, but the tight fitting vacuum pack dressing was difficult to get out of the over pouch.   

The outer pack is notched and tears open, but the vacuum sealed pack is hard to pull out.  Just peel back the outer package.  The exposed flap will be hard to find, it's pressed into the inner pack.  This one has a little air under it now, so it's easy to see.
Once out I had to look for the clear plastic folded flap.  Unfolding the flap showed me a ribbon of dots I took as a tear strip.  It didn’t tear.  I thought it would come to pocket knife time, but a twist of the plastic held tightly between my fingers tore it open.

The frosted white ribbon is really just dots pressed into the plastic. 

I’m still wondering about including bandage shears.  They have blunt noses so if I slip under stress and jab myself or someone else, well no blood-no foul.  Can’t say that about a pocket knife.

I’m not sure where this new journey of first aid awareness will take me.  I saw a first aid/trauma kit used by contractors in the sandbox.  It was massive, and far beyond my abilities.  I’m not sure I could lug that around with me and my gun bag.  It was the size of a 3-day backpack.

One thing is clear.  Different kits are needed in different locations: car, garage, range, campsite and a walk in the woods.  

If you carry a firearm be open to the possibility you may have to perform first aid on a loved one or even yourself.  Do I have to say we don’t perform first aid on the person who forced us to shoot him?  He may be down but not out of the fight.  Keep your guard up!

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