Imagine you’re three days into a six-day hiking trip on the Yukon River. You’re taking some time out from hiking to explore the river and maybe try your hand at some fishing. As you approach the bank, you slip in some soft mud and fall to the ground. You throw your hand out and catch yourself on a large piece of flint, cutting your palm open to the fascia, before sliding into the organically rich mud.
Your buddy is a few dozen yards away and gets to you quickly. He immediately wipes away some of the gooey mud and you’re able to see some of the damage, including some of the white/silvery connective tissue. While you’re sitting there watching the blood well up, you begin to anticipate the inevitable pain. In addition, you’re immediately concerned about the contamination of the wound, given that you just noticed a pile of moose droppings right next to the rock that cut you.
However, you have an ITS Boo Boo Plus Kit, which you were smart enough to buy specifically for this trip. You pull it out of your pack and crack it open for the first time.
What Kind of Wound is it?
All external wounds share one common trait, they all damage your skin. Your skin is a very important organ, as it helps manage thermoregulation (as in helps manage your body temperature) and it provides a protective barrier to keep bad stuff out and good stuff in. When you injure it, you impede its function.
With respect to physical wounds, we can categorize them three main ways: low risk, high risk and functional or cosmetic risk.
Basic Wilderness First Aid: An intensive 8- to 10-hour course for those who are involved in wilderness recreation. This course may also meet the needs of volunteers and professionals who lead groups on short trips in relatively low-risk situations. $125
Wilderness First Aid classes address patient needs in those situations or environments where EMS is not available, or may be significantly delayed. Possible delay of emergency services becomes an important consideration when dealing with the initial scene/patient assessment. Illnesses and injuries that might only require a brief examination when help is on the way become much more important when you’re left to attend to the victim for a longer, possibly extended period of time.
The following information on first aid and medical kits is excerpted from the Survival & Austere Medicine manual. It reproduces in part the section on medical kits based on increasing comprehensiveness. Minor changes have been made in order and figure numbering. The manual goes into additional detail about each of the categories of kit contents, and what you want to look for in those products. This high-level overview leans more toward supplying the list of contents for each kit type in a more condensed format. The Survival & Austere Medicine manual is a free resource with much good information. Please consult it for more detail.
Personal bag/blow out kit: Carry this with you at all times. It contains basic first aid gear or in a tactical situation the equipment to deal with injuries from a gunshot wound or explosion (figure 1). This includes things to immediately render aid – it’s almost like a pre-first aid, first aid kit!
A list might include:
Combat dressings/Israeli dressings
A hemostatic gauze compound
Chest seals – Asherman chest seals stick poorly on wet, hairy chests despite being relatively common place. Hyfin or Halo seals or even a rat glue trap works better. Studies have shown no advantage to vented dressing chest dressings vs. not vented.
Long IV cannula or specific pneumothorax decompression needle
Oral and/or nasal airways
Figure 1 Blowout bag: Personal medical equipment for a tactical situation (dressings, HemCon bandages, Chest seals, oral and nasal airways, IV cannula and a tourniquet
First response bag: Carry this in your car; take it with you when you go camping, family trips to the river, etc. It contains more advanced first aid gear and some medical items than a basic level medical kit.
Large kit bag: This is your home/retreat/bugging out medical kit. It contains your medical kit as opposed to simple first aid supplies.
Storage area: In your home/retreat. It contains duplicate and bulk supplies. Large plastic storage bins are ideal for this.
Columbia Safety, LLC, located off N. Kellogg St. in Kennewick offers American Heart Association classes for both healthcare providers and non-healthcare providers, including First Aid, CPR/AED, Wilderness First Aid and more. They are offering the First Aid and CPR classes for non-healthcare providers on two different dates before the end of the year.
Monday, Nov. 20th
Saturday, Dec. 16th
The Red Cross recommends that at least one person in every household and place of business receive training in CPR and proper use of an AED. This training can give them the knowledge and confidence to respond during an emergency situation with skills that can help save a life.
Their calendar is also showing an eight hour Wilderness First Aid class on Saturday, February 10th, 2018, but it is not linked to a description, yet. It could be their Basic Wilderness First Aid class, which is an eight hour class or it could be part of a multi-part Wilderness First Aid class — which is usually 16-20 hours in length. Standard first aid classes assume that you may have an ambulance on scene within minutes, whereas wilderness first aid classes assume that you may have to stabilize your patient for hours or more because of remote wilderness locations.
Trigger Control Training will be holding an Emergency/Tactical First Aid Class for us on Saturday, November 25th, 2017 from 8am – 5pm in Richland at the M Hotel and Conference Center. The cost of the class is $200 per person. Please click the registration link to see more details and waiver needs. These skills can be live saving in the event of automobile accidents, hunting accidents, mass casualty situations, violent criminal activity, and more. Twenty per cent of people who have died from traumatic injuries could have been saved with quick bleeding control. Please seriously consider adding these first aid skills to your repertoire.
“One of the most important lessons learned in the last 14 years of war is that using tourniquets and hemostatic dressings as soon as possible after injury is absolutely lifesaving,” Joint Committee to Develop a National Policy to Increase Survival from Active Shooter and Intentional Mass Casualty Events report.
Tactical self-aid and buddy-aid (first aid) training is for all non-medical operators and private citizens who seek additional first aid knowledge and skills to provide lifesaving measures for themselves, friends, family, or LEO partners. This class is designed to introduce the ability to provide the greatest amount of quality medical care when seconds count and immediate medical care is required.
We might not all be secret squirrels, law enforcement officers, or raiding enemy compounds; but accidents with life threatening injuries with dynamic medical intervention can mitigate the loss of life, limb, or quality of life. As a trained medical responder, you will be confident in your ability to save the life of another by providing care and preparing casualties for transportation to the hospital.
The course consists of 8 hours of both didactic and hands on training. Topics covered will be based upon Tactical Combat Casualty Care protocols with a pragmatic approach to situational and hands on learning. Students will demonstrate the ability to control and treat massive arterial bleeding, gunshot wounds, blast injuries, and other soft tissue injuries in a hostile or remote location. Students will be evaluated during 2 scenario based practical exercises.
After successful completion of the course, Students will receive a certificate of completion. The maximum class size for this course is 20 students. All expendable medical supplies for training will be provided, but the implementation of your own medical bags and equipment is encouraged. This class is designed to teach you how to implement materials and medical resources that you already have without attempting to market and sell expensive and impractical emergency medical equipment. There are no prerequisites for this course.
0800-0900 Hemorrhage Control and Combat Mindset
0910-1000 Penetrating Injuries and Hemostatic Agents
1010-1100 Hemorrhage Control Drills
1110-1200 Bleeding Control Scenario Exercise
1200-1300 Lunch Break
1300-1400 Airway and Breathing Management
1410-1500 Treating and preventing shock/ Environmental Considerations
1510-1600 Tactical Trauma Scenario
Saturday November 25, 2017
8:00am to 5:00pm
M Hotel and Confernce Center