( Long term, after Tier 1 & 2 established? ) Which medical kits are right for you: First Aid Kits, Pouches, Aid Bags or more?

Preparing for medical intervention can range from a band-aid in the medicine cabinet to extensive medical kits. Deciding on medical equipment when expecting to be in an austere, survival, disaster or other situation depends on what you know how to use as well as how much you can carry on foot. For situations that involve a vehicle or close to home, the weight and bulk is not as much of an issue. On that basis I will address the variations of medical kits in a tiered system from small first aid kits and everyday carries, to Aid bags, to large Truck bags or cases in the house. 1.) Basics - Every Day Carry, Minimalist, Clandestine Medical Supplies: This is the easiest level for all skill and financial levels, with little to no weight, while offering some medical capability in any and all situations. In a former article we discuss Every Day Carry of a tourniquet added for extremity bleeding.  A hemostatic gauze could also be added to account for non-compressible hemorrhage, or areas where tourniquets can't control the bleeding. For those at risk of a severe allergic reaction, an Epi-pen is a must ( link article) 2.) First Aid Kits (IFAK) and Pouches: The next step up, an IFAK or medical pouch on yourself or nearby means being able to handle more during your Trauma Patient Assessment (MARCH-E). This moves on from just tourniquets and gauze to Nasopharyngeal Airways, Vented or Occlusive Chest Seal(s) , 14G Needle's for Needle Chest Decompression, and a few other items your situation may warrant. Epi-pens, Gloves and a few others items can easily be added to the kit, as well as duplicates of the basics. The C.A.G. Tier 1 MedPack offers all the essentials to care for an emergency. 3.) Aid Bags - The Aid Bags go multiple different ways. You must tailor it to your situation, which may change. For examples I will list the different roles battlefield medics fulfill. No two medics are alike, even if their job is the same. If your aid bag will be in a truck or vehicle nearby, it can be filled to the brim and you can enjoy more medical capabilities. If you are wearing your aid bag, whatever you have on your back is what you and your Emergency Action Group have. If you are staying out for extended periods of time, you need to bring a lot with you to account for everything that may go wrong when you can't seek medical help. If you plan on going through urban situations or in tight spaces after a disaster, you'll want a bag with a small silhouette and to add some high visibility markings, panels, chemlights and maybe whistle. Tips:
  • "Hot-wire" your Aid-Bag to save time. Placing Labels provides easier access. Putting tape where the openings of medical equipment are save time when motor skills are impaired by adrenaline.
  • You should train your Emergency Action Group on where everything is in your bag. If they need to grab it for you, or get something inside, perhaps even treating you, you'll be thankful that they are not lost in the many pouches an Aid bag can have.
Last modified onThursday, 20 April 2017 06:31
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