First aid is defined as the first medical attention given before professional help arrives….first aid is also something that everyone should know. Everyone should have a fist aid kit in their home, vehicle, and place of work. The kits you get at retail stores are NOT what I’m talking about. All of those kits have band aids, triple antibiotic, alcohol wipes, and everything else for cuts and scrapes. This is what is referred to as a “boo boo kit.”
What about life threatening injuries? Do you know that a person with an arterial wound could bleed to death in a matter of minutes before first responders can even get there? Having the right equipment and medical skills to treat life-threatening injuries is a must.
The type of kit I am referring to is known as a trauma or immediate response kit. The bare minimum you need to carry in this type of kit is pressure bandage, haemostatic agent, and a tourniquet. This is probably the most important piece of the three. This will slow or stop the bleeding from limbs and extremities below the point in which the tourniquet is applied. There is a lot of fear with dealing with this piece of the kit. It is still being taught in some volunteer response type organizations, that If a tourniquet is applied that the limb will have to be amputated.” This is not true to any degree. In the most extreme cases, it may be amputated. Generally speaking, if there was so much damage to the area and you did not apply a tourniquet, the person would have probably died. So you have to ask yourself, if the trauma is bad enough, would you rather die or lose a limb?
The right pressure bandage can be used as a hasty tourniquet. This should be applied after you applied the tourniquet. I recommend an H style bandage. This has plastics H on the bandage to help tighten and secure it to the body. The pressure also aids in restricting blood flow to the area applied. If you are trying to pack the wound with gauze or apply the pressure bandage, the tourniquet will allow you to work better because the blood flow has been restricted. Also, this mitigates unnecessary blood loss. The gauze in the pressure bandage helps to clot the blood from the wound.
Haemostatic agent creates a chemical reaction to promote hemostasis. It promotes the coagulation of blood. You can still find the older kinds which uses a heat reaction. This is less desirable. In a life or death situation, I could care less. The newer Haemostatic agents do not produce heat. Again, if you apply this after applying a tourniquet, it will significantly reduce the amount of bleeding and be easier to apply.
I do carry more than the bare minimum. As you can see in the picture above, I also carry compress gauze, a chest seal (sunk in chest wound), another tourniquet, duck tape, another haemostatic agent, EMT shears, and gloves. I do believe if you are going out to the range to shoot, this is more what you need. It is great to have it with you, but you need to know how to use it. Taking a basic first aid or CPR course is only the start. Again, having the right equipment and medical skills is important. GTT is about to offer a real world practical first aid course for things you will most likely run into, as well as gun shoot wounds and subjects of that nature. If you have any questions about first aid or about the course, contact me at email@example.com.