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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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It’s Bodacious*! The New Wind River Medical Kit by Mountain Man Medical

*Bodacious

Bo-da-cious:

adjective

Excellent, admirable, or attractive.

Audacious in a way considered admirable.

“The Wind River is a bodacious medical kit!”

The Yellowstone and Sweetwater trauma kits, our flagship products, hit the market to wide acclaim and remain very popular with our customers.

But now comes the time to release the next installment in our line of quality medical gear.

We take great pride as a company to provide the best possible gear at prices affordable for everyone, and requests have been flooding in for us to sell a more comprehensive kit able handle everything from major trauma to minor injuries.

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Handling Emergencies Like a Pro: Part 1

The hardest part about emergency trauma care is managing the chaos that tends to invade every situation. Basic first aid is surprisingly simple, but the nature of it being an emergency rachets up the stress and quickly makes those simple things surprisingly difficult.

So, since the hard part of emergencies is really just about managing high levels of stress, how can we be more effective first responders?

Professionals are no different then you, they just have better methods of managing the stress. Let’s look at some of the ways to prevent being overwhelmed when everything and everyone around you seems to be falling apart.

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How Long Can You Leave A Tourniquet Before Amputation?

Tourniquets are a frequent topic of discussion on the Mountain Man Medical YouTube channel and I’ve been seeing a lot of rumors. Most of these rumors come from the old ways of doing things.

All medicine is constantly changing, year to year and sometimes month to month as scientists and doctors search for the best way to keep a person alive, and trauma is no exception.

If you haven’t had any medical training for a few years you might not be up to date on the latest techniques for managing trauma. One of the most common myths I see pop up is this:

“Tourniquets are a last resort. If you apply a TQ, the victims injured limb will be amputated.”

Not only is this wrong, but it’s very dangerous.

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The SWAT-T is the Best Backup Tourniquet

Having a commercial, purpose-made tourniquet ready to go in an emergency is essential for keeping someone alive. Trying to build your own on the spot takes time you don’t have and won’t be nearly as effective as something like the CAT.

And no, your belt is not an acceptable substitute of a quality tourniquet. I run into people all the time that say they would just use their belt to control a life-threatening bleed because they haven’t stopped to think about how it might actually be done.

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Keeping Your Cool When Calling 911

If you've ready any of the articles in this blog, you may have heard me harping on the fact that, in an emergency, the first step should be to call 911. Emergencies are concerning because of the lack of available resources needed to keep a casualty alive.

Emergencies don’t generally occur in a hospital fully staffed with experienced doctors and nurses with complex medical equipment and access to a broad range of pharmaceuticals.

So, we need to get the casualty to those resources as quickly and as safely possible by getting EMT’s on scene with an ambulance.

Since this may be the most important thing you do to save the life of the casualty, we need to discuss how to speak with a 911 operator in an emergency when you are likely to be a little shook up.

It’s easy to get things mixed up, rush your words, and speak incoherently when adrenaline is running full tilt.

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3 Degrees: How to Treat Burns

File:House fire using gasoline.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

If you’re just jumping into this article, go check out the last article I wrote explaining the degrees of burns and some of the risk factors associated with them. This way, you’ll better understand what I’m talking about in this next in the series about how to treat this type of emergency.

I'll start this off with saying burns are nothing to screw around with. Not only can they be very dangerous, but burns are very painful.

In my circle of friends and family I am the community medic and I get calls asking about one thing or another. Whenever I get questions about burns, I always recommend the victim gets seen at a hospital.

This ensures they are treated for their injury and keep it from getting worse, but perhaps more motivating is that the burn victim will be able to get some relief from the pain.

Burns are extremely painful. Even a mild sunburn is uncomfortable, so any injury causing a serious burn is likely to be excruciating. Go to the hospital so the victims pain is managed to acceptable levels.

How to Treat a Burn

Put out the Fire

One of the risks of treating a burn is becoming a burn victim yourself by not making sure the fire is out before touching the casualty. Scene Safety is a very important aspect to emergency medicine. Don’t become another victim in your attempt to take care of the casualty.

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3 Degrees: Understanding Burn Injuries

Molotov cocktail - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

According to the CDC, over 1 million people a year are reported to have burns that require medical attention. These burns can come from a lot of different factors, from thermal burns like exposure to a heat source, or from chemicals.

With the rioting and looting going on in America today, the Molotov Cocktail is seeing a come back and understanding how to care for a burn patient might be important.

Let’ s first examine the 3 classifications of burns.

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Wedding Rings Can Cost You a Finger

After leaving the military, I worked for a short time in an ammunition factory. Expensive loading machines have a tube full of shock sensitive primers and one day, a primer stack blew up while a coworker was clearing a malfunction, amputating his thumb.

Amputations are something I have some experience with. I’ve had to work on many different forms of traumatic amputations in different environments. From austere locals to clinical settings and I’ve learned a few things along the way that might help if you witness this common injury at your place of work.

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Why’d You Put That in Your Med Kits? Part: 2

Yellowstone Trauma Kit

In the last post I talked about why I chose to include the default SWAT-T Tourniquets in our kits, instead of the North American Rescue Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT). Hopefully that left you with a good perspective and a look at the rest of the items will help to clear up anything that’s still a little muddy.

Pouch

The included pouch has been upgraded with quality zippers since they are the first to fail on every medical bag I’ve carried in the field.  In an effort to ensure they don’t degrade when you need it most, the zippers have been designed for heavy use.

The MOLLE webbing allows it to be strapped to bags or war belts, and the grab handle gives you a firm purchase for ripping it out of the bottom of a backpack, or a good grip while sprinting to the scene of an emergency. There is plenty of hook and loop space for a name tape or a medical patch for quick identification by everyone.

Continue reading Why’d You Put That in Your Med Kits? Part: 2