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Extending Your Resources: TOP 5 Multi-Use Trauma Gear

An emergency usually means you have little or no resources available to recover from a bad situation. Being able to extend the life of precious resources like trauma gear might become an essential skill set, and it happens to be one that medics pride themselves in.

Unless you're heading out to do errands in a fully stocked ambulance, you aren’t going to be able to carry all the things you might need for trauma control. And the situation only gets worse for multiple casualties.

Some things you just can’t get around, like carrying tourniquets for life threatening bleeds or seals for chest wall punctures. But if possible, carrying items that can be used for more then one type of injury is good for extending the number, and different kinds of emergency trauma you might encounter.

Here’s a list of items that can handle more than one job:

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The Essentials: How to Build a Mass Casualty Trauma Kit

File:Boston Marathon explosions (8654021280).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to work as a security consultant for organizations looking to be proactive for active shooter incident (ASI) or mass casualty events. It was a great experience that I thoroughly enjoyed since I was able to use hard learned skills I acquired from the military.

One of my focuses when working with a new client, was asking them to show me what medical gear they had on hand to treat any injuries. Usually what I found was pretty dismal.

After a lot of rummaging around, they would drag out an old sun faded EMT bag with most of the important things missing, or bring out a small plastic kit half full of Band-Aids and Motrin packets.

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An Extremely Biased Review: The Mountain Man Medical “Mass Casualty Trauma Kit”

Full disclosure: I’m the one that decides what gear should go in our kits. And if it isn’t obvious already, I receive a financial kick back for talking about the MMM kits.

But I’m also confident this is an excellent trauma kit full of top-of-the-line gear and priced better than any comparable kit on the market. I take a lot of pride in the value we offer, and it’s my hope that more trauma gear is placed where it can save more lives.

One of my favorite jobs during my career in the medical field has been teaching trauma classes to organizations looking to be proactive in preparing for a disaster, either natural or manmade.

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How a Flannel Shirt Can Save Your Life

A few weeks ago, I made a video on the Mountain Man Medical YouTube channel about an Officer who was stabbed in the neck while attempting to apprehend a suspect.

After the altercation is complete, the body cam footage ends with the officer walking away to pack gauze into his own neck wound.

If you’ve been reading this blog in the past few weeks, you’ll already know why junctional wounds are uniquely dangerous, and why bleeding control is so difficult.

If you haven’t read these articles, I highly recommend that you do so you’ll better understand what I’m talking about here. They’re short reads, and I try to make them entertaining and educational.

After completing the video review of the injured Officer, I kept thinking about how important it is that everyone know how to pack a junctional wound. As I’ve said repeatedly in the last few posts, tourniquets, while important and effective, don’t fix everything.

I hear all the time from instructors about how important it is everyone to learns to self-apply a TQ to save your own life, but never anything about a technique for packing your own junctional wounds and/or improvising effective pressure dressings.

This is an unusual and potentially deadly blind spot in the normal training of medical skills for personal preparedness and protection.

I worry for the person who carries around a trauma kit for their own personal safety, confident they can control bleeding with their TQ, only to bleed out from a junction wound because they don’t know what to do.

Learning how to control your own junctional bleed is equally important as learning how to self-apply a tourniquet.

I started thinking of a way where an injured person suffering from a knife wound to the neck, might go about controlling bleeding until help arrives.

How to Improvise a Pressure Dressing with a Flannel Shirt

This method, like all improvised equipment, has its flaws. Improvised medical gear will never be better than commercially produced gear, and whenever possible I recommend you maintain your own supplies of pressure dressings like the Israeli Style or OLAES, so you don’t have to do any of this.

But the reality of emergencies is that they can occur when you are least prepared and knowing how to fix this problem might be handy when you need it most.

Here is a demonstration so you understand what I’m talking about here, but come back after you watch it and I’ll add some tips that might make the process easier.

Tip #1

This technique won’t work well if your shirt doesn’t have long enough sleeves. I wear a lot flannel (yeah, yeah, make your jokes) so this isn’t really an issue for me, since I’m usually wearing a long sleeve shirt. But if you don’t, this won’t be quite as simple.

That said, learning this technique means the material doesn’t have to be a shirt. Look around for something suitable to replace the shirt and you’re still accomplishing the goal. This is your shining opportunity to think outside the box.

Tip #2

You must practice. Self-application of a tourniquet must be practiced, and so must pressure dressings. Play around with it until you can do it without stumbling. It will probably take a few tries so don’t give up.

And if you happen to figure out a better way to do it, please don’t hesitate to share with the rest of the community so we can all benefit!

Tip #3

Yes, the shirt must be flannel. Flannel shirts are naturally imbued with the powers of Mountain Men, which is why it works so well as an improvised pressure dressing…

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How to Pack a Wound in 6 Easy Steps

Last week we discussed why learning to pack a wound is an essential skill for stopping life threatening bleeds. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend giving the article a read so you’ll better understand what we’re talking about in this one.

Tourniquets Can’t Fix Everything. Why You MUST Learn Wound Packing

Tourniquets save so many lives due in part to how simple they are to apply. Wound packing is equally simple and arguably just as important as TQs.

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Tourniquets Can’t Fix Everything. Why You MUST Learn Wound Packing

Tourniquets (TQ) have an especially big flaw: They only work on your arms and legs. What if you’re cut somewhere else? What’s your plan for that?

Carrying a CAT for emergencies is great until you trip into a pine tree branch and punch a hole in your neck.

People seem to gravitate to the tourniquet as the only thing they need for bleeding control, but while the TQ is important and effective, you can’t use it to treat other injuries. (Unless we’re talking about the SWAT-T. But I’m staying off that soapbox, for now.)

Here are two good reasons why learning to wound pack is just as important as tourniquet application:

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A Medics Pick : Top 5 Best Tourniquets

I have a lot of time on tourniquets, both in training and in real life. I’ve had the chance to use a lot of different systems for controlling bleeding and here are my top picks for The Top 5 Best Tourniquets.

If you aren’t new to the emergency trauma scene, some of these TQs are no brainers, but number 5 is my favorite, and might surprise you.

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Every Day Carry (EDC) Trauma Kit: What’s the Best Way to Carry?

The Mountain Man Medical Ankle IFAK

I suffer from a compulsion to be prepared for every possible situation. I LOVE being that idiot who is just waiting for someone to ask if I have a knife they can borrow to open a box. (I do)

It's weird I know. I don't understand it either but I know I'm not the only one. Lots of other people around the world are always looking for ways to be more prepared in a bad situation.

Acquiring the knowledge, skills, and gear needed to stabilize life threatening wounds is the single most important thing you can do for your personal safety.

This topic above all others crosses social, cultural, class, and political values. No matter who you are, everyone can agree that the ability and willingness care for seriously injured people are noble and heroic qualities.

A trauma victim can go from happy and healthy to pale and weak in minutes. Time is in short supply and the farther away from you are from medical gear, the less likely you will be to make the rescue.

That's all well and good, but who wants to be the dork walking around with a medical bag hanging off their belt? I'm a bit self-conscious about my weird compulsion for preparedness, so I like to keep things as hidden as possible.

The Ankle IFAK Kit

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Come See the Mountain Man Live!

If you've ever had a question you wanted to ask but never had the opportunity, this is you chance to ask some of the most experienced in the field of combat and defensive shooting.

Mountain Man Medical is excited to be invited to the first annual ConcealedCarry.com Guardian Conference! 3 days of live instruction from some of the nation’s top combat and shooting instructors.

Come together with the community of defensive minded shooters and be trained by the best:

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Car Wreck First on Scene: What to Do Pt 2

*This is Part 2 of a 3-part series. Click Here for Part 1. Come back next week or click here for Pt 3.

Cars Don’t Explode

If you’ve seen an action movie, you know well how vehicles explode at the very slightest provocation. In reality, car manufacturers try very hard to come up with designs to ensure this doesn’t happen. It’s bad business to produce vehicles the blow up.

I’m sure its possible, given the right conditions, but you shouldn’t be attempting to drag a casualty from a car because you’re worried its gonna blow.

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