January 26, 2011

IFAKs Saved Lives in Tucson

@ITSTactical points to a Washington Post article about the lives saved in Tucson because responding deputies were equipped with military-grade Individual First Aid Kits (IFAKs) optimized to deal with the most common causes of battlefield trauma and death. The small kits—not even the size of a child's lunchbox—have saved lives in combat overseas and did the same at the site of Jared Loughner's attack.

Doctors and law enforcement officials told reporters here that the incident would have been much worse without a small brown kit devised by David Kleinman, a SWAT team medic who had become concerned about rising violence.

Kleinman cobbled together the Individual First Aid Kits out of simple items used by combat medics in Iraq and Afghanistan: an emergency bandage pioneered by the Israeli army; a strip of gauze that contains a substance which coagulates blood on contact; a tactical tourniquet; shears that are sturdy and sharp enough to slice off victims' clothing; and sealing material that works especially well on chest wounds.

I purchased my first IFAK in mid-2010. As I spend a decent amount of time at shooting ranges, and the skill level and safety practices of people at ranges varies widely, it simply seemed prudent to have such a kit as part of my range bag in case someone suffers the results of a negligent discharge or catastrophic failure. I'm also looking to pick up some relevant first responder training so that I can use the kit more effectively, but the brilliance of the kit is that it uses equipment that requires minimal training.

As ITS brought this article to my attention, I think it only fair that I provide a link to their site, where they sell a similar kit they call an ETA. Considering the amount of time I spend on the road each week (minimum of 250 miles) I'm thinking about picking up a pair of these to keep in my vehicles to deal with the more common scenario of running across an accident scene.

I hope I never find myself needing to use any sort of blow-out kit like these, but if they're needed, I hope to God that I have one nearby.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at January 26, 2011 02:05 PM

Thank you. You can not ban crazy peolpe,you can not even institutionalize them until they have actually harmed someone and then they will be released with an admonition to take their assigned medication but no supervision. Official first responders are rarely in a position to be the the first responder. Typically bystanders do not just stand by in critical situations unless there is nothing they can do and even then since today most people have cell phones there is little delay in first responder notification.

Posted by: -1dunce at January 26, 2011 02:59 PM

You will see a lot of the same trauma in a bad car wreck, which has convinced me that I need one in my car too. The ITS kit looks to be very lean, very complete and a damned good price.

So... another expense goes on the "soon" list.

Posted by: Phelps at January 26, 2011 03:22 PM

In a book I read recently, which was placed in Australia, one of the battlefield medics carried tampons in his emergency first aid kit, for gunshot wounds, because they expand immediately when they come in contact with blood, thus sealing the wound until the soldier can be rushed to a field hospital for more conventional treatment. Pretty smart, eh?

Marianne Matthews

Posted by: Marianne Matthews at January 27, 2011 12:35 AM

John Ringo's Ghost has a long disquisition on the value of tampons and max-pads (with wings) as field expedient dressings for gunshot wounds and other injuries.

Posted by: PKO Strany at January 29, 2011 05:20 PM

From about '72-'83 did emergency work with SCCA. Red Cross first aid classes ['73] promoted use of tampons and maxi-pads for use in stemming bloody wounds.

Posted by: oldeforce at January 30, 2011 01:58 AM