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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:

  1. Cravat

Also known as a triangle bandage, this is a great item to carry in your kit if you can squeeze one in. The cravat is inexpensive and comes in a small package, so it carries well.

Uses:

  1. Wound packing material
  2. Bandage
  3. Improvised TQ
  4. Splinting
  5. Sling and Swath
  • OLAES Modular Pressure Bandage

This is an excellent pressure bandage and can almost be thought of as its own standalone trauma kit by including a few unique features that let it handle multiple injuries.

The OLAES Modular Pressure Bandage

Uses:

  1. Controlling moderate to severe bleeding. Especially important for junctional wounds.
  2. Eye cup. The little cup used to place pressure on the wound can be cut free and placed over eye injuries.
  3. Chest seal. included with each OLAES bandage, is a sheet of plastic that can be used with the dressing holding it in place to treat penetrating chest trauma.
  4. Wound packing. The OLAES comes with a small pocket for holding a good amount of gauze for wound packing material so its ready and handy when you need it.
  • SWAT-T

The most useful TQ on the market today, the SWAT-T is an elastic rubber band that stretches tight around a limb to clamp down any bleeding arteries. Not only does it pack into the smallest space of any acceptable TQ on the market, but the cost of this multi-use gear is also the lowest.

Uses:

  1. Tourniquet life-threatening extremity bleeds.
  2. Providing a pressure dressing for moderate bleeding to limbs and major bleeds at junctions.
  3. Splinting.
  4. Sling/swath.
  5. Athletic wrap for joint injuries.
  • Elastic Bandages

Known better by the brand name, ACE Wrap, these handy little bandages are nice for adding bleeding control redundancy to your trauma kit and helps extend the number of life threatening and common injuries that can be treated. Most trauma kits stock their kits with the kind that secure with little metal clips. I much prefer to go the extra mile with the hook and loop elastic bandages. It helps a lot, trust me.

Uses:

The Elastic Bandage
  1. Providing a pressure dressing for moderate bleeding to limbs and major bleeds at junctions.
  2. Bandaging.
  3. Splinting.
  4. Sling/swath.
  5. Athletic wrap for joint injuries.
  • Trauma Shears

A cutting tool is very important for almost all types of emergencies. Being able to cut some one out of a seat belt, or their clothes so you know the extent of their emergencies, is of course important and having trauma shears in your kit help to keep you from needing to use your pocket knife if you remembered to bring it with you.

The Yellowstone Trauma Kit

I sure I don’t need to list all the various things you can cut for trauma shears to make it into the kit you have, but from my experience, they can be the one item you need to make the difference.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below.

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