Following up on the recent post about newly approved by the CoTCCC tourniquets, John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla has written a piece – Tourniquets, Chest Seals, and Pressure Dressings, Oh My! – discussing med kit you should be carrying if you are carrying a firearm.
Tourniquets get a lot of digital bandwidth in tactical and preparedness virtual circles. Rightfully so, since they’ve demonstrably saved a …ton of lives over the last two decades of combat. Unfortunately though, in the process of bludgeoning a deceased equine, in order to overcome decades of medical institutional inertia about the supposed hazards of tourniquet use, many people—myself included, unfortunately—have neglected to make it a point to discuss the surrounding issues.
Let’s start with this, just to get it out of the way:
If you carry a gun, and you’re not carrying a tourniquet or two, you’re either LARPing, or you’re a… idiot. The fact is, a “gunfight” implies bilateral ballistics, and the enemy gets a vote. If you assume your one box of ammo a month “practice” regimen means you’re automatically a far better marksman than the bad guy you are going to end up in a gunfight with, well, I’ve got an 8 ounce jar of fairy dust I’ll sell you cheap, and it’s guaranteed to make you stronger, faster, higher flying, and generally more attractive to members of your preferred sex.
Sure, you COULD try using your belt or handkerchief or what-the-…-ever to improvise a tourniquet, but experiential research and laboratory study both pretty clearly demonstrate they are a piss-poor substitute, and don’t work particularly well (which is not the same thing as saying they DON’T work, AT ALL. I know people who have saved lives with improvised tourniquets, and you may too. Both they, and their patients, probably would have appreciated a manufactured, quality, tourniquet).
That having been said, we’ve got to look at the circumstances surrounding battlefield wounds, versus our likely circumstances, to see if tourniquets are even MOST of the answer, let alone all of the answer.
Click here to read the entire article at Mountain Guerrilla.
The medical staff at American Partisan have written an article on first aid kits, what should go in them and why – The Prepper’s First Aid Kit. [Edit: The linked article appears to be down at American Partisan. The article was copied in its entirety over at God, Guns & Glory.]
Whether you consider yourself to be a prepper, patriot or partisan, there is no argument to made against having a robust emergency medical kit and the training and knowledge to put it to use. I’m going to show you my own medical kit that I keep nearby at all times. Before I proceed, first I want to make sure that you understand how important it is to acquire some level of medical training. Getting trained in the latest standards and techniques for Basic Life Support for adults, children and infants is easy and valuable. The American Heart Association is the gold standard for this training in the US, and can be completed in one day. Opportunities for additional medical skills training are available all over your local community as well. I recommend that anyone with a little spare time and money enroll in the EMT course at your local community college. Most EMT courses can be completed in one semester. I don’t necessarily expect everyone to go and get employed as a full-time EMT or paramedic, but going through the EMT course and occasionally practicing those skills may end up saving the life of someone in your family or in your survival group. I’m going to assume that I’m talking to an audience that has some medical knowledge or intends to acquire some at a later time.
To start off, let me first say that you need to be able to take a full set of vital signs on someone. You need to be able to assess blood pressure, heart rate (and assess for perfusion to the extremities), respiration rate, temperature and oxygen saturation. Here is a pretty good video instructing on the basic technique for manually checking blood pressure. Here’s a link on how to do that manually.
Next, you’re going to need to be able to respond to an immediate emergency involving the ABC (The AHA has rearranged these letters, but my kit still applies). Airway, breathing and circulation. Here, you see a nasopharyngeal airway, a CPR mask with valve and a trauma tourniquet. These things address ABC. Also in the photo, you see an emergency blanket, some scissors and other tools, and a seat belt cutter. If you’ve got additional space in your bag, fill it with something that you can use in a situation you don’t have another tool for. That’s where my seat belt cutter came to find a place in the bag.
You need to ensure that you’ve got some ability to protect yourself and the person you’re treating from infection. Iodine and alcohol are used to clean wounds and skin. Saline can be used as a rinse for wounds and eyes. Hydrogen peroxide should not really be used anymore as a straight antiseptic if you can avoid it, because it has the tendency to destroy healthy tissue as well as infectious organisms…
Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.
LVA: First Aid and Medical Kit Contents
Who doesn’t like talking about first aid? Everyone wants help for the hurts. The Prepper Journal has an article up, Beyond Antibiotics: 20 Medical Supplies To Store for TEOTWAWKI (h/t to John Mosby for the link). We’ve talked about first aid kits in the past. Check your supplies.
When it comes to medical supplies, some preppers store antibiotics, Band-Aids, Tylenol, maybe a bit of gauze and call it good. Perhaps a few more things, but not much because they’ve got a doctor in the group, or barring that, silver or barter goods and skills to be able to make arrangements with a doctor.
Unfortunately, that approach may not work out so well.
Realistically, how many supplies can a physician be expected to stockpile for a community? How many physicians are actually preppers who foresee a need? Post-disaster, it will be far easier to locate a physician who knows how to use supplies than it will be to locate the supplies themselves. While obtaining prescription medications in quantity is a challenge, fortunately many life-saving supplies and medications can be purchased right now, by anybody.
So let’s discuss some of these medications and medical supplies that we should acquire before TEOTWAWKI. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it is a good start…
Click here to read the entire article.
NC Scout at the Brushbeater blog has an article up about first line survival gear, i.e. the gear that you keep on your body to sustain you until you can be rescued or reach other gear or resupply.
Combat arms soldiers are taught the process of layering equipment- a first, second and third line– which support our mission both individually and as a team. The third line is our ruck sack with mission-specific equipment, the second, our fighting load. In dire straits these two are expendable. The first line gear is a set of items worn on the body always which keep us alive until we link up with friendly forces. It is a concept that serves anyone into wilderness and outdoors living quite well when the unexpected happens.
In training we first establish a baseline and then create standards to meet them. If it’s small unit tactics, that begins with individual skills including quiet movement, observation, land navigation and marksmanship graduating to team formations and battle drills. If it’s communications, we first create competent operating skills then move into basic radio theory. With survival, it’s focusing on individual sustainment skills to keep you alive and successfully rescued. No matter what your fantasy is about ‘bugging out’ , the reality is you’re not going to last long in the wild without a prior skillset, a few basic items, and someone there to eventually recover you. If the world has become upside down and you find yourself in a real-deal survival situation, the first goal is rescue and everything you do between the time of the incident and getting rescued is geared towards keeping you alive.
Survival Rule of Threes
The general survival rule of thumb is the rule of threes:
- 3 minutes without oxygen
- 3 hours in a severe environment without shelter
- 3 days without water
- 3 weeks without food.
While its physiologically correct, the rule leaves out the psychological factors which cause the bad decisions ending up in a tragic story…
Click here to read the entire article at Brushbeater.
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.
Continue reading “First Aid and Medical Kit Contents”