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What If You Don’t Have a Tourniquet or Trauma Kit? Bleeding: Part 2

This article will focus on what other steps can be taken to reduce blood loss when you are caught in a bad situation without gear. Now that we understand how to apply direct pressure and why it’s probably better then trying to make a tourniquet, we can look at methods for increasing our effectiveness.

This week will continue along with the theme of how to save a life without medical gear.

Wound Packing

If you have our Yellowstone Trauma Kit you’ll feel comforted to know it contains a roll of QuikClot, a hemostatic agent (makes blood clot quicker).

This is a handy item to have in a pinch, but if you don’t have any, what else can be done?

Research shows packing wounds with gauze, any gauze, is an effective way to control bleeding. All you need to do is make some.

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What If You Don’t Have a Tourniquet or Trauma Kit? Part 1: Bleeding

It’s impossible to be prepared at all times. We’re likely to be caught off guard and without important gear when an emergency happens. This is why training skills is so important.

Skills are weightless and with us all the time if an edge is honed every now and then. Skills sharpen or dull depending on how often they are used. Gear is great, but you also need to know what to do if you don’t have any, or, you use up everything you have.

This will be a multiple article discussion about what to do in the event you don’t have any gear with you. All you have is your mind, a bad situation, and an injured person in danger.

Severe Bleeding

This is first because blood loss is the injury that will kill your casualty the quickest, but the simplest to prevent. If you’ve been following the Mountain Man Medical YouTube channel or reading any of the articles on this web site, then you already know a tourniquet (TQ) is the first choice for treating life-threatening wounds to arms and legs.

TQs are easy to use and fast to apply with very little training, and are clearly the optimal choice. But what if you don’t have one… or there are more casualties and/or wounds then you have tourniquets for?

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Facebook Bans Fundraiser for Rural Police Medical Supplies

Police officer Doug Smith decided to stop waiting on government grants for his department to purchase vital emergency trauma gear. According to Smith, grants can take up to 5 years to become finalized at rural departments were budgets are tight.

And although his department, Marshall Police Department (MPD), received the grant, there wasn’t enough to go around and some of the smaller agencies did not receive any money for medical gear.

In May of 2019, a colleague of Smith’s, MPD Officer Zachary Lastra suffered a life-threatening laceration to his left arm while responding to a call.

Luckily, Officer Lastra had a TQ on his duty belt. Although he was quick,

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Top 5 Must Have Items in EVERY Trauma Kit

There are a lot of medical kits on the market and some are better than others. Here are some things that are very important to include in your medical kit when you purchase. If these items are not in your IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) already, it’s a simple thing to add them so you are prepared for a Trauma Emergency.

Number 1: Gloves

Trauma medicine often involves all manner of bodily fluids, so keeping yourself safe from disease while trying to take care of a stranger is a great idea. Having gloves in your kit gives you a way to remain safe but also save the life of a person in great need.

Having multiple pairs of gloves helps because not only do you have a spare pair for a helper, but if you tear the gloves in your hurry to get them on, something that has happened to me on multiple occasions, you at least have a backup pair available.

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Top 5 First Aid Apps for Your Smart Phone

When I was a kid, I tragically suffered through long, boring car rides. Nothing to do but watch the landscape crawl by and fight with siblings.

During those times my mind would often wander to how amazing it would be, to live in the future where I would be able to watch shows on a personal little TV. One that floats in front of my face, of course, since it's the future.

While we’re still far from the floating TV I imagined, we carry far more useful items in our pockets. Smart phones have created a lot of social problems in the world, but there is no denying the value of having an “all-knowing” device in our pockets, ready at moment’s notice.

Not all of us have the time, or inclination, to regularly attend medical training to keep those skills sharp and ready to go when a life is on the line. Smart phones allow us to have the ability to expand our readiness.

Below are ways to supplement your training and keep important, potentially life saving information at your thumbs. These are the top-rated apps on Google Play Store and what I think of them after playing around with each.

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I Was Wrong… This Belt Will Work as a Tourniquet

There’s a commonly thrown around myth that belts can make for a good, improvised tourniquet in the middle of an emergency if it’s all you have.

I understand that this seems like it would work, but close examination of how tourniquets work, human anatomy, and the construction of belts, shows that this isn’t the case.

Almost all belts make for crappy tourniquets, and if you want to know all the reasons why, check out my YouTube video talking about just that.

However, now I’m forced to eat my words after discovering a belt designed to serve this function well.

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What’s Better? CAT Vs. SOF-T Wide

Trying to decide what the best tourniquet is for you? The Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) is often viewed as the best device for controlling life-threatening bleeds and is trusted by medical professions all around the world. The SOF-T Wide is also just as trusted, but not quite so widely used. This doesn’t mean it’s inferior.

The CAT has the benefit of being the first to the market and was picked up by the US and British militaries for combat applications and so it enjoys great data supporting its effectiveness.

The SOF-T Wide came onto the scene a short time later, but since it was approved by the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC) after the CAT, it isn’t as widely recognized, but still deserves your consideration in my opinion.

I have used both TQ’s in real world applications and I have some opinions that might help you decide which is the right TQ for you.

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Approved for Combat: The TX2 Tourniquet by Rev Med X

TX2
The Rev Med X TX2 Tourniquet

The CAT Tourniquet by North American Rescue has long been the king of trauma medicine. A large reason for this has been the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC) approving it as an acceptable way to control massive bleeding in trauma patients on the battlefield.

CoTCCC is a government funded think tank made up of experienced nurses, doctors, and combat medics from all military branches, who evaluate the procedures of war medicine and release guidelines that are designed to improve the odds of survival from otherwise life-threatening wounds.

New companies are attempting to seek out a position of their own, challenge the king, and collect a portion of the market which the CAT has held with such a distinct lead. But to do that, they must first have their products vetted by the Committee.

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Biased, but Accurate: Why Medical Kits Are Better Than Guns for Self-protection

Let me start off this article by acknowledging my biased opinion.

I run a blog and YouTube channel dedicated to emergency trauma management for a website that sells trauma kits, so it would seem I have a vested interest in supporting medical kits over firearms when it comes to personal protection.

That said, I feel my opinion is justified because the points I have are good ones and might change your mind on which you should buy first.

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ASP 2020 Bullets & Bibles National Conference

Mountain Man Medical recently sponsored the annual Active Self Protection National Conference in Kansas.

The event runs 3 days during which attendees have the opportunity to attend various classroom and range training sessions taught by various instructors in the Active Self Protection team and family.

The event was hosted at the “Living Water Ranch” outside of Manhattan Kansas
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