A component of operating in the field is the need to be aware and take advance measures to ensure the safety of yourself and those with you. Normally emergency services is 5-10 minutes away, in the field they may up to several hours away. So it is important for us to take extra measures to be prepared for a medical emergency. I would like to share with you a couple items that I carry in my gear at all times. First a disclaimer, I am not a medical professional and the information in this video is what I have researched from credible sources.
When I volunteer at events, or on the go, I always have with my gear my first responder bag. This bag carries a variety of first aid supplies. A smaller bag that I also carry is my trauma kit. Now this bag is not for cuts or scrapes, this bag is meant to stop serious bleeding. After the battle of Mogadishu, the Army Rangers researched a new approach to trauma medical treatment with improving what is called the IFAK or Individual First Aid Kit. This improvement has carried through and made it's way into not only the military, but the law enforcement profession, and civilians. In 2015 the department of homeland security launched the "Stop The Bleed" program. This included an info card and a one hour training to provide civilians with basic knowledge on how to stop serious bleeding.
STOP THE BLEED PROGRAM
The stop the bleed program has a few simple steps. Before rendering aid call 911, even though this seems like an obvious step this is often overlooked when adrenaline is pumping. First step is to apply firm steady pressure on the wound. Second, apply a dressing and continue firm steady pressure. Third, if the bleeding does not stop apply a tournament closer to the torso than the wound. If the bleeding still does not stop you apply a second tourniquet closer to the torso than the first one.
I remember back in scouts practicing tourniquets, then the medical community discouraged tourniquets because of over use. Now you will see that the idea of applying a tourniquet is once again listed as a medical option for non trained first responders only after direct bandaged pressure does not stop the bleeding.
BUILDING A TRAUMA PACK
So let me go over the items in my trauma pack. This is not as complex as the military IFAK's but has some simple enough supplies to accomplish the stop the bleed instructions. All the components of this kit is linked below. First the outer bag is a trauma bag with molle straps to be added to larger packs or stored on the belt. This bag came with a large pair of trauma scissors. Next item is what is called an Israeli battle dressing 6" compression bandage. I will link below to a video demonstrating the use. Esentially it is not only a gauze bandage but it carries a plastic piece that applies direct pressure on the wound. Next item is a pair of tourniquets, these tourniquets are easy to use and has a plastic want to tighten down the strap and hold it in place. As recommended I have two of them. With that I carry a sharpie to write the time when the tourniquet was applied for when professional medical help arrives.Last item is a series of components from a prepackaged trauma pack that has gauze's, bandages, gloves, and most importantly this quick clotting sponge.
This simple lightweight trauma pack is the perfect solution for every day emergencies but essential when engaging in outdoor sports, hiking, and operating your radio in the field. I hope you consider taking a first aid course and being prepared with the right equipment in the field.