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Old 05-24-2012, 09:59 PM
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DaFireMedic DaFireMedic is offline
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Originally Posted by navycorpsman View Post
Tourniquets are invaluable. Obviously for hemorrhagic control of bleeding. A T can be left on a limb for 8 hours before necrosis occurs, so no matter the transport time it's a quick and effective way to control bleeding. Also in cases of femur fractures where you can lose a tremendous amount of blood fast (1-2 L) inside the thigh even if the skin doesn't break, you can control the internal bleeding of this by applying a T above the fracture against the femoral artery. The CAT tourniquet can be applied by the hurt individual in an expeditious manner before help even arrives to ensure minimal blood is lost (self-aid and buddy-aid). You can also use them to secure splints to appendages, and also repair broken straps on gear, or use them to hang IV bags
they are extremely durable and will hold under tremendous pressure so you can use them for quick fixes for a lot of different applications.
that and it's just drilled into my head to always have a tourniquet on my person haha, I have a minor surgery kit, CAT tourniquet, and med bag in my car at all times. I have a tourniquet in my portable gun case. I have one in my dresser. I also have one in my gym bag. Overkill? Maybe, but I'll always have a means for hemorrhagic control no matter where I go.
OK, you can officially count me among the fans of tourniquets.

I just returned today from a large EMS conference and attended a seminar on Hemostats and Tourniquets. They made some of the points that you just made and a few other ones. One of the biggest points made was for multi-system trauma, the ability to put a CAT (or EMT Tourniquet) on one bleeding limb and move on to treat something more immediately life threatening. The doctor who gave the lecture was a HUGE advocate of tourniquets for pre-hospital care. There were also vendors there and I had the opportunity to put a CAT tourniquet on myself.

This is why I like military trauma techniques. When they find something that works, it gets implemented. They don't need to concern themselves with ambulance chasing lawyers and such. With civilian EMS it will take at least a year before we are allowed to apply these in the field, regardless of their benefit, as the medical director will need to look at it, do a study, yada yada yada. He knows that the first time someone has a tourniquet applied and loses a limb, even if the tourniquet had nothing to do with the limb loss, he will get sued for allowing it, as will the EMT/paramedic, the agency he works for, the manufacturer of the tourniquet, and on down the line. Do not vote for anymore lawyers for public office, nor anyone supported by the trial lawyers. Regardless, the military study whose numbers they used at the conference cannot be argued with (no limbs lost due to tourniquets in over 400 applications, and many lives saved), and we will be using these in the somewhat near future.

I'll be picking up 2 CATs for my first aid kit.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:38 PM
azfatboy azfatboy is offline
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Although I was at one point a certified EMT, and am currently in the military, I am far from an expert, but I will chime in on too. In my mind, a FAK is not because you need a Disney Princess band-aid to cover a boo-boo on your knee. It is to give you half a chance at a positive outcome if something goes kinda wrong--all the way up to WAAAAAAY wrong--at the worst possible time, in the worst possible place.

You don't need a trauma kit. Just enough of the basics, but I don't think the OPs list makes the cut. Several other posts have hit all the basics, so I won't repeat.

As for the importance of the CAT? In Iraq (on the FOBs I was at anyway), the CAT was a REQUIRED part of the uniform... I have one in every FAK in the house.
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:23 AM
lonewolff101 lonewolff101 is offline
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I would first recommend you take an outdoor survival class that also has wilderness medicine. In the Army survival courses I attended, we had minimal first aid items and were taught to use natural, outdoor items to get by like using branches and vines to immobilize ankles and broken limbs and certain herbals to help in coagulation and cleansing. I know there are military-like courses online all over the US as I have looked into whats available. Most of them will train active duty personnel. Anyways, with my knowledge and experience, I will rely on that but have 2 FAK's on me. One big one in my BOB and one smaller one in my buttpack on me at all times in cases I cannot get to my BOB pack so I put a wide range of things and the rest I can use from the wilderness.
BUTT PACK for first aid items: 1 mre, 1- surgical kit, 25g quicklot, trauma bandage, various band aids,sunscreen, lip balm, medical tape, antiseptic, neosporin, small bottle/tube peroxide, 4" x 4" moleskin, hand sanitizer, 3 ft surgical tubing, chewable antacids/pepto/antinausea tabs, asa, ib, tylenol, 3 safety pins(lg), ace bandage, cravat(sling), steristrips, nobite, laminated foldouts on various topics like edible plants etc.
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:09 PM
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My true minimalist FAK is a triangular bandage. Tourniquet, bandage, sling, water filter (large particles), splint wrap, head bandage/doo rag, you name it.
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:22 PM
strvger strvger is offline
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i'm not going to assume that the need for it will be during daylight hours. i include a couple of chem-lights for the dark hours. just takes a second to activate, then i can lay it down and i have both hands to work with... for hours if needs be.
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:49 PM
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twyggy twyggy is offline
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My FAK has consisted of only a bottle of iodine, a bandana, and a canteen for quite some time now. All of which are multipurpose items.

Granted, I haven't had to treat anything more severe than a couple knife and pruning saw wounds, but I feel confident that I could treat trauma up to and including compound fractures with just those items!
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:06 AM
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I swore I read the "T word" in the newest Red Cross First Aid book I downloaded. Of course they, unlike AHA, teach back blows for choking and checking an airway prior to CPR (AHA teaches CAB and straight Heimlich) so I was freaked out. I would still be scared to use a TQ on a femur fracture unless training dictated I was cleared to do so. Thank the shysters for this.

Civilians have a lag on implementation of mil-medicine's discoveries but the Red Cross has been on the back end of things.

DaFireMedic was right on civ vs. mil EMS. One civilian doc told a guy (who had his leg ripped up by a fifty-cal round in a blue on blue) he'd have died in the parking lot of our local hospital (level one trauma center in overgrown hick town) if he were there instead of the Iraqi AO. Mil docs deserver our thanks. One's running for state senate and he's getting my vote.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:48 PM
sachson sachson is offline
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Several bandanas... Multi purpose. Tournequet, tie for splint, pressure bandage, sunburn and frostbite prevention...

Betadine packets, several- add one to a quart of water, screw on lid, wait 30 min, and drink. Or irrigate a wound, it works better diluted than straight. Small packets of triple antibiotic ointment are handy too.

Duct tape. Several 4x4 bandages in a ziplock. The ziploc bag can be an occlusive dressing for a sucking chest wound with some duct tape...

You do NOT want toilet paper as a bandage. It will get stuck in the wound, you will have to scrub it well to get the paper off, which will start it bleeding again. A bandana is a better option, especially with a 4x4 pad under. Sterile, reduces risk of infection. You do not want an infected wound in BFE!!!
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