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Thread: TRAUMA vs. FIRST AID

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Arizona
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    Default TRAUMA vs. FIRST AID

    Keep in mind I differentiate “trauma” vs. “first aid” as being a trauma kit is for saving lives and a FAK is for dealing with annoyances, boo-boos, irritations.

    Before I itemize my kits, keep in mind I know what I'm doing and have the professional associations in place to operate at my skill level in a legal and proper manner. I can't recommend strongly enough that you stay within your scope of practice, and/or get more training. SHTF is one thing, operating at a higher skill level before the SHTF will land you in prison or just very broke.

    The FAK can be part of your trauma kit or separate. I separate the two. In the event I need an antidiahreal, I'm not having to sort through trauma dressings. Likewise If I have an ABC emergency, I don't have packets of aspirin falling out of the pouch and getting lost/wasted. They are separate because of the two very different purposes of each.

    The idea behind a “blowout kit” or “gunshot kit” is great. I really don't think I'll ever have to deal with that, because I will try my damnedest to avoid contact with whom ever I might get into a shootout with, YMMV. If I do need such items, they are well addressed in my trauma kit.

    FAK:

    gloves

    sunblock

    bug repellent

    Gold Bond body powder, can be used on feet or body. Gold Bond-live it, learn it, love it.

    blister kit, second skin or the like. 2 inch wide curasilk tape or moleskin is good for hot spots,.

    meds- You can be taken out of action or just plain miserable in the field. A few meds in a well thought out FAK will save the day. I prefer the smallest unit doses, like 2 pills to a foil pack instead of a small bottle. The bottles, even with cotton in them allow the pills to bounce around and turn onto powder. Keep to small quantities and resupply after use.

    aspirin, tylenol, ibuprofen, aleve, anti diarrheal, anti emetic (kaopectate, pepto-bismol) antifungal spray, anti itch stick, anti itch topical cream like cortisone, bug bite stick, these are the “comfort items” if you will, that will allow you to stay operational in the field. I've seen grown men, (myself included) reduced to tears from monkeybutt, sunburn, headache, etc.

    wound care- cleaning a boo-boo can make a huge difference between a scrape and a septic wound that will hospitalize you. I cant stress hygiene enough. Wars have been won or lost because of battlefield hygiene producing diseases that decimate the troops. Disintery, typhoid, cholera, etc. handwashing, basic wound care, is key to stopping these diseases from taking hold.

    Handiwipes
    hand cleanser spray or gel
    neosporin
    8 ounce normal saline irrigation, good for wounds, eye wash, etc.
    tape for butterflys and superglue
    asst'd bandaids
    4x4s
    scissors
    splinter kit
    eyeglass repair kit
    toothpicks (comfort item)
    dental kit (walgreens, great for lost fillings, broken teeth, etc.)
    anaphylaxis kit (see below)

    SHTF trauma kit. This fits into my alice pack and is carried wherever. I use a roll-out, trifold “unit one” medic bag from a surplus store. About 8x10x10 inches.

    Bandages- St 4x4s, st 5x9s, MTDs or multiTraumaDressings (diaper sized, 9x16 and really thick), these can be cut down if smaller dressings are needed and the FAK is unavailable. You don't need eye patches, 3x3s, 2x2s, abd pads, non stick, etc, in a trauma kit.

    paramedic scissors. I shudder when I hear the term “paramedic” “tactical” or “survival” as a prefix to any equipment I need. It just adds to the cost. The “cuts a penny” scissors are great, get several sets for all your kits, buy em on ebay for .50 cents each by the gross.

    Chest seals like the asherman, or be ready to improvise. For the money, i'll improvise. Vaseline gauze is cheap and good to have.

    An assortment of Oral airways. NOT EVERY size, every other one, no more than 4. A few Nasal airways if you feel the need. Pocket Mask that can be used w/ a BVM. Turkey Baster as a suction device.

    Flashlight, a good one, like a pelican 4 aa cell or minimag. Cheap ones tend to disintegrate in the bag. Samll LED headlamps are great too.

    Cravats or triangle bandages, several,

    roller gauze. Basically enough to splint a leg to a spine board, plus enough to splint someone in c-spine to a spine board. Roller gauze is multi purpose, straps are not.

    2 inch wide curasilk tape
    Gloves.
    Stethoscope
    Maybe IV fluids if it's hot. BTW, you can drink LR, but not NS.

    What is NOT in my SHTF trauma bag.

    BP cuff. Too heavy/bulky, its a one job tool. Don't need it. The info obtained would be academic. I can judge a patients status with other things besides a BP cuff. (PULSE, RESPS, SKINS, loc, ETC)

    anything carried in my FAK. See the rest of the list for what is excluded from my SHTF trauma kit vs. my POV trauma kit.

    My other trauma bag: This is one that is in my POV.
    Gloves, BP cuff, stethoscope
    O2 d-tank, mask, nasal cannula
    BVM
    OPA's, NPA's,ETT's,Cric kit,thoracotomy kit
    IV fluids (NS and LR), tubing, catheters, etc.
    assorted dressings as mentioned above
    Adjustable c-collar.
    Handiwipes and alcohol gel, in a ziploc bag
    highway blanket
    M-118 smoke grenade
    Skyblazer xlt popflare
    pelican light
    traffic vest
    GPS
    signal mirror/compass
    4 pair scissors (i tend to lose them)
    small aluminum clipboard w/ forms, pens, pupil light, ems guidebook
    anaphylaxis kit in pelican box (for me, bees) epi- 1:1,000, benedryl chewables or injection, tagamet
    I don't know karate, but I know crazy, and I'm not afraid to use it.

  2. #2

    Default

    Looks like you have a pretty good kit together. I like your thought process as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Arizona
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    Default

    Thanks.
    Experience and laziness.
    I don't know karate, but I know crazy, and I'm not afraid to use it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    FL
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    108

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracker View Post
    The idea behind a “blowout kit” or “gunshot kit” is great. I really don't think I'll ever have to deal with that, because I will try my damnedest to avoid contact with whom ever I might get into a shootout with, YMMV. If I do need such items, they are well addressed in my trauma kit.
    Hmm. No steri strips? No blood clotting agents? No CATs? I suggest you get a real Asherman seal and strongly consider a blowout kit. This is about preparing for SHTF is it not?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Arizona
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    Default

    Steri-strips = tape.

    blood clotting agents only interrupt surface bleeding, they dont fix the issue and must be debrided before the wound can be closed. I would begin w/ direct pressure/pressure points/tourniquet.

    I've been in EMS since 1985, I've never needed to apply a tourniquet, much less an expensive, one handed, fad item, that can be improvised with other multiuse materials.

    Asherman- I can count the number of open chest wounds I 've dealt with on both hands, once again, for the expense and lack of need. I'll wait and improvise one when the need arises.

    This isn't iraq, if the shooting starts, I'm unassing the area and avoiding contact. If I am shot in the ass, i can deal with that as it comes up.

    FUZZY- your plans for SHTF may vary from mine. Discretion is the better part of valor. I'll be making myself a small target and avoiding conflict, not settling WWIII myself. BTW, I didn't carry a blowout kit when I was a Tac-Medic, why would I carry one day-to-day ?
    I don't know karate, but I know crazy, and I'm not afraid to use it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    FL
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    Default

    Alrighty then, good luck with your plans.
    Last edited by apssbc; 01-19-2010 at 05:43 PM.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2009
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    Arizona
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzydude View Post
    Alrighty then, good luck with your plans. I just hope it doesn't take a major crisis to open your eyes.

    Yeah, good point, why prepare for something at all, I mean it's probably never gonna happen.

    Man, I've had it wrong all along. All I have to do is avoid conflict. Wow, prepping for SHTF is a lot easier than I thought.

    But seriously, you realize this site is not about preparing for what usually happens right? You understand most of the folks here think 180 degrees from the way you think and understand that unlikely disasters can still happen and that it is usually best to prepare even for those. I dunno, I'd hate to get a paramedic taking care of me who didn't bring clotting agent or a dependable tourniquet, especially when he's part of my MAG post-SHTF.
    My eyes are open. Open to the fact that there is a tremendous amount of "Walter Mittyism" on the forums. I have no plans on becoming the Road Warrior. I wouldn't last a minute fighting blue helmets or street thugs. Most of us wouldn't, and if you did survive, you've only given yourself (or your "MAG") away as to your presence and capabilities. No thanks. I'll stay hidden, meek and under the radar as long as possible. I won't confront targets unless cornered. If my hand is forced I will snipe threats from cover. My priority is to bug in under the radar as long as I can. I lost my house this summer, it was my families BOL. My priorities are now to protect my elderly parents from the world, when SHTF.

    I am a prepper. Since before my adulthood, we were called "survivalists" then. People thought we were weird then, too.

    I saw a neologism on another forum; "tacticool". I think it applies to camo'd AR-15s and "blowout kits". I've seen over a dozen (at least) GSWs in my lifetime and haven't needed a blowout kit yet. Usually the more serious the problem, the more basic the treatment and equipment needed. Serious traumas are going to require more equipment and skill than I can provide, they will die if something else is not available.

    I can improvise and improve some situations, but these are in the minority. people should be realistic about their capabilities and expectations. If you eschew society and head-for-the-hills, you pretty much don't have a lot of business coming back in when something happens you can't affect.

    I am preparing for what I think will happen. Tsunami, tornado, zombies, aliens, godzilla, NWO-going-door-to-door-putting-the-mark-of-the-beast-on-everyone, not so much. Interruption in basic govt services like PD, FD, water, and the ensuing civil disorder, earthquakes, loss of power, etc. probably more so.

    Don't worry. I WONT be the Paramedic taking care of any gunslingers looking for a fight. BTW, clotting agents are not yet approved for use in EMS, most would expire before they are used. and the AHA has removed tourniquets from the curriculum in FA, CPR courses. Expect DOT to do the same with EMT-B and EMT-P in very shirt order.
    I don't know karate, but I know crazy, and I'm not afraid to use it.

  8. #8

    Default

    I see your point perfectly. I think your kit is very well thought out. The only thing I may suggest adding is a small syringe at least 5cc's, they can come in handy for cleaning wounds. I do keep two tourniquets in my pack. Fortunately Ive never had to use one myself, but Im horrible at knots and it would be just my luck to have to tie one in such a situation and really make an ass out of myself LOL. I figure it doesnt hurt to have a couple since they are light weight and dont take much room. Thanks for sharing, it gave me a few ideas for streamlining my setup!

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default

    i carry several 10ml syringes as part of the airway kit. no problem w/ using them for wound irrigation.
    I don't know karate, but I know crazy, and I'm not afraid to use it.

  10. #10
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    Location
    Arizona
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    theres a high-speed, low-drag clear plastic bowl that fits on the end of an irrigation syringe to contain the splatter. I've seen them in the ER. If you are irrigating someone elses wound it would be good to have to contain there bloody splatter.
    I don't know karate, but I know crazy, and I'm not afraid to use it.

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