Sunday, May 12, 2013

First Aid

I just finished a 4-hour American Heart Association first aid course, with emphasis on gunshot/range injuries.  It was pretty basic.  But it did touch on several aspects that are different from the last time I took a first aid class 30 years ago.

The big difference was tourniquets, QuikClot and combat dressings.

Let me step back to days after the Boston Marathon bombing.  Following that attack, many people suffered horrendous injuries involving loss of body parts and limbs.  While not dwelling on it, the media reported that many lives were saved because of the almost immediate response of bystanders with basic first aid skills.  Specifically, tourniquets. 

Zipping back to now, I find out that many police, security and ordinary citizens carry basic first aid equipment.  Included in these personal kits, often made to the owner’s specifications, are combat tourniquets, Israeli Battle Dressings and QuikClot pads.

Our medical system has gotten so much better than it was 30 years ago.  If we keep a person alive until they get to treatment, they have tremendous odds of surviving.  The sooner basic first aid can be delivered, the sooner we can control bleeding, shock, keep an airway open, the better the outcome.

My personal first aid kit currently contains QuikClot, gauze pads, bandages and tape.  Pretty much what I learned 30 years ago. 

My personal firstaid kit is built around a Quik Clot pad and bandage
I built my personal 1st aid kit around these two items, a QuikClot pad and sterile bandage.

I’m upgrading.

I’ve ordered several Israeli battle dressings, including one to practice with, a CAT Combat Tourniquet and QuickClot Combat Gauze.

Expensive?  Not as expensive as the inability to help save a life due to lack of equipment.  It may be an innocent stranger, or someone I said I would protect, and quite possibly myself.
It’s just an interpretation of Ayoob’s dictum:  Know where the attack will come from and have a proven defense in place. 
Or as I put it, “First aid equipment, it’s not just for the paranoid!” 

More when my order arrives!!! 

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