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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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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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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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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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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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A Loose Tourniquet Will Kill You Faster

My brother-in-law Josh is a great role player. Very enthusiastic.

Knowing how to use the equipment you have available is a key detail for saving lives. If you don’t understand how your gear works and what it’s doing when you deploy it, the effectiveness can be drastically reduced.

This is especially true for tourniquets. It’s not enough to simply buy lifesaving equipment, then never learn how to use it right. I have seen many occasions where a person had a quality TQ like the CAT but didn’t use it correctly.

There is a myth about tourniquets that it should be loosened every so often to allow some blood to flow back into the limb. This, supposedly, is so the limb is getting oxygenated blood to the limb and it will therefore not need to be amputated.

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