Tactical First-Aid Kits

From that time onward, I have always invited medical personnel to my seminars to teach self-triage and first-aid. Although this article was written primarily for police agencies, I also feel this is an important article for the reality-defense community.

Tactical First-Aid Kits
By Fabrice Czarnecki, M.D., M.A., M.P.H.*

Police officers should carry a medical kit specifically designed for penetrating trauma injuries such as gunshot and stab wounds. Such a kit can be assembled at a fairly low cost, while meeting your requirements better than most commercial kits.

Individual medical kit:
While it's a good idea for all officers to carry this small kit at all times, they should definitely carry the individual kit during high risk activities like warrant service, protective details and firearms training (in case of accidental injuries). Contents should include:
2 pairs of gloves
1 or 2 tourniquets
1 or 2 trauma dressings
1 or 2 rolls of gauze

Gloves should be made of nitrile (first choice) or latex (second choice). Nitrile gloves are usually blue, purple or green colored. They are more resistant to puncture and chemicals, and do not cause the allergic reactions that many people have to latex.

Tourniquets are safe and effective in trained hands, especially if left on an extremity for less than one hour. Tourniquets alone could save 6o % of all the preventable deaths from combat trauma, according to Capt. Frank K. Butler, MC, of the Naval Special Warfare Command. My preferred tourniquet is the triangular bandage (usually 37 x 37 x 52 inches). It is inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to deploy. First choice for the tourniquet is the US military (Bandage, Muslin, Compressed, Camouflaged, 37 x 37 x 52 inches, NSN 6510-00-201-1755), or any high quality brand named triangular bandage.

*Note: Realfighting is a distributor of the Q-Tourniquet. This tourniquet can be applied with one hand, and incorporates a seamless 2" band secured with a built in ratchet. There is no pinch point to damage tissue and nerves.

Trauma Dressings
The key is the ability to apply pressure to the wound, rather than just covering it and absorbing the blood. First choice for the trauma dressing is the military field dressing (Dressing, First Aid, Field, Camouflaged, NSN 6510-00-159-4883, 4 x 6 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches), but it is difficult to obtain if you do not have connections with the military. Second choice is the Cederroth Bloodstopper (sold in most public safety catalogs).

Rolls of Gauze
The gauze should be sterile "disorganized" conforming bandage type, like Kerlix bandage rolls (4 inch wide preferred).

Car or Team Medical Kit
A larger medical kit should be kept in cars. It could be pre-positioned at the door during warrant service.
Suggested contents include: Two (or more) individual medical kits, wrapped separately and used only for penetrating trauma; Laerdal pocket mask; Co-Ban cohesive bandage (sticks only to itself); SAM splint; Xeroform dressing or other non-adherent dressings; Bandage strips, tape wound closure; 4 x 4 gauze pads; Tape; Elastic wraps; Safety pins; Space blankets; EMT shears; Cold compresses; Medications: acetaminophen, ibuprofen, triple antibiotic ointment, aspirin; Artificial tears (saline); Antiseptic solution; Alcohol gel; An automated external defibrillator (AED) is recommended to trained officers, if available.

Sources for Supplies
Realfighting provides custom first-aid kits depending on the customer's needs. We also carry QuickClot and an extensive line of field dressings. Contact: info@realfighting.com

*Dr. Czarnecki, an emergency physician, is the Director of Medical and Legal research with the Gables Group, Inc., and the Director of Training of the Center for Homeland Security Studies, a non profit corporation conducting training in counter terrorism and intelligence for domestic law enforcement. He served as a trainer and a consultant for several law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Marine Corps.

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