Spring is here and May is Stop the Bleed month! This is the month nationally designated for spreading awareness of bleeding control. Few people realize how simple it can be to save a life given a few easy to learn skills and the right gear.
Accidents can happen anywhere from your own home improvement projects, to motor vehicle collisions and you could find yourself one day standing in the gap between life and death for yourself, or someone you you love.
There isn’t much time. A person can completely bleed to death in under 3 minutes, so we must be quick and efficient in our medical care of the casualty if we want them to live.
While it may be possible to fabricate your own trauma equipment if you know the right way, having proven gear at the ready will significantly improve your odds of winning the day.
Below are 3 essential items you MUST have in your trauma kit to be effective at bleeding control:
Tourniquets (TQs) are hands down the easiest, quickest and most efficient way to control bleeding from dangerous wounds to the limbs. Over the last 30 years of conflict, our understanding of trauma medicine and keeping our warriors from dying of their wounds has improved by leaps and bounds.
Tourniquets are one of the primary reasons many troops return from combat at all. There are many different ones on the market today and not all are created equal.
Counterfeits of the CAT TQ are easy to find on popular sites like Amazon. Make sure the CATs you have in your kit are legitimate, and authentic Combat Application Tourniquets from North American Rescue.
My 3 favorites for choice of TQ comes down to the ones listed below. Each of these is also available on the Mountain Man Medical store.
As important and effective as tourniquets are, they only work on your arms and legs which is why learning how to pack a wound is so valuable. Wounds in the groin, armpit, or neck will not allow the application of a TQ and will be life threatening if left uncontrolled with wound packing.
Wound packing involves taking fabric of some kind, like gauze, and packing it down tightly into the wound. This applies pressure to the bleeder, clamps it off and allows a clot to form in the artery which further plugs and controls the bleeding.
Hemostatic Gauze increases this clotting factor sealing off the end of a severed artery and improves the survivability rates of casualties with uncontrolled bleeding.
Below are my recommendations for excellent hemostatic gauzes to add to your trauma kit:
(QuikClot and ChitoGauze are available on the Mountain Man Medical store, but we are not yet carrying Celox. But will be soon!)
Learn more about how to control bleeding with the products above with the Emergency Trauma Response Course. It's 100% free and only costs your time.