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Car Wreck First on Scene: What to Do Pt 1

I am frequently told stories about coming up on the scene of a car accident.

These stories are almost always told in a way that describes a feeling of helplessness and uncertainty.

Most people go about their day completely unaware that on their way home from work, they’ll come across a bad car crash, and when they are presented with the unexpected, they realize how unprepared they are to handle it.

This adds to the stress of the situation greatly because they’re don’t know what to do. In this article we’ll explore a few topics so you’re better prepared to help someone who needs it.

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Bleeding Control: Does Elevating the Wound Actually Help?

Research is a vital component to medical care. Without medical researchers constantly developing new techniques and testing the effectiveness of old ones, we’d still be stuck with medieval era medicine.

Thankfully, the medical world is a constantly changing and shifting environment, which is why we no longer drill holes in our patient’s head to let out evil spirits and cure mental illness.

Progress is a good thing, and we need to continually question why we do what we do, and if there's a better way.

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Is a “High and Tight” Tourniquet Wrong?

“If the tourniquet isn’t high and tight, you’re wrong.”

While this isn’t wrong advice, it’s important to understand where this tourniquet procedure came from and why we’re constantly being told to place the TQ as high up on the limb as possible.

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Jingle Bells or ER Visit? Top 3 Holiday Injuries

Nothing throws a wet blanket on holiday festivities like a serious injury. Try talking politics with your idiot uncle with a burned hand after the turkey fry oil ignited.

Best to avoid injuries with proactive planning then to spend Christmas morning in the ER. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), injuries are on the rise during the holidays.

Here are the top 3 most common ways to get injured during the holidays:

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What If You Don’t Have a Tourniquet or Trauma Kit? Pt 3: Sucking Chest Wounds

It’s impossible to be prepared at all times and knowing what to do when you don’t have any medical gear can be the literal difference between life and death.

Even a paramedic with a fully stocked ambulance has finite supplies, and if the situation is bad enough, anyone could easily run out.

If you haven’t already read what to do for bleeding, make sure you check that out before you continue with this article so everything makes sense.

Sucking chest wounds are treated quickly and effectively with the quick application of a chest seal. Penetrating trauma to the chest can cause a Tension Pneumothorax (TPT), a potentially life-threatening condition, but how can you treat it with no medical gear?

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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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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.

5. First Aids and Emergency techniques

Google Play Store Rating: 4.6

Pros:

  1. None

Cons:

  1. Not intuitive or set up in a way that makes it easy to find the right topic in an emergency.
  2. Lots of ads. Some that pop up in the middle of looking at important information.
  3. Doesn’t seem designed with emergency use in mind.
  4. No descriptive pictures

Doc’s Rating: 1

This app is not well thought out and is clunky to use and not very informative. Not only is there no emergency section so you can use it when someone is bleeding to death, it offers nothing in the way of pictures to describe what’s being discussed.

The multiple adds were frustrating with some popping up in the middle of my attempt to find a section talking about severe blood loss, which I never found by the way.

Hard to read text and annoying pop-up ads prevent use.

4. First Aid Guide OffLine

Google Play Store Rating: 4.4

Pros:

  1. None

Cons:

  1. Bad Tourniquet advice under “What not to do” section of Hemorrhage.
  2. Confusing description of how to Improvise a TQ
  3. Says to remove the Tourniquet if bleeding is controlled!
  4. Contains ads
  5. Uses precise medical terms like “Asphyxia” that most people won’t know.

Doc’s Rating: 1.5

Slightly better than the pervious app, this one likes to use expensive words that are likely to go over the head of anyone who isn’t an expert on medical trauma. The information in the app appears to be outdated as many of the techniques described have long ago been discarded. Use this one with the understanding it could be wrong.

Bad advice, and ads make this the wrong app for you.

3. First Aid Kit: First Aid and Emergency Techniques (Smart First Aid)

Google Play Store Rating: 4.9

Pros:

  1. Easy to use interface. Finding the right section is intuitive and quick
  2. Includes Videos about injuries, (but not good ones)

Cons:

  1. Includes ads
  2. No “Severe Bleeding” section
  3. Not designed for quick emergency use.

Doc’s Rating: 2

This app is easy to use, but appears to be more centered on non-emergency first aid. To get a higher rating from me would require some effort put into emergency trauma. When you need information in a life-or-death scenario, you need it immediately. Basic first aid, like how to stop a nosebleed, can wait a few minutes while you look it up on Google, making this app useless in my opinion.

Looks great, but very little substance to be worth your time.

2. American Red Cross

Google Play Store Rating: 4.4

Pros:

  1. No Ads
  2. Easy intuitive Lay out
  3. Can call 911 from the App
  4. Helpful pictures

Cons:

  1. Some instructions not written well
  2. Doesn’t show how to apply a TQ

First Aid Canadian Red Cross: Same as American Red Cross

IFRC: Same as Red Cross

Doc’s Rating: 4

This is a great app, and held the top spot for quite a while until unseated by the next contestant for the number one spot. The app is well designed with an intuitive layout making it easy and quick to use. It does offer a couple of poorly done videos, but at least the pictures are decent to show examples.

This is a pretty good app. Well thought out.

1. FirstAIDFast

Play Store Rating: 4.6

Pros:

  1. Great instructional videos with every topic
  2. Easy to use lay out that would work well in an emergency
  3. Call 911 right from the App
  4. Find a hospital on the App

Cons:

  1. Must have an Email Account attached to it.
  2. No description of how to apply a tourniquet
  3. Might not be able to find a hospital or call an ambulance in the US

Doc’s Rating: 4.5

This is the best apps I’ve seen, easy. It’s not made for only the US, so there could be things that don’t apply to your location. The app is easy to use and it’s quick to find the right topic you’re searching for. The use of great quality, 30 second videos also stands out here to show exactly what you need to do. This app is worth a look and the best one I’ve personally tested.

Get a FREE course on emergency trauma medicine on the Mountain Man Medical. No obligations, hidden charges or other shenanigans.

First Aid Fast is the best app I tested. Definitely worth a look.
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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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