One of the things I say with regularity is how important it is to learn wound packing. But if you haven’t heard, here’s why:
Wound packing is an essential skill because a tourniquet (TQ) cannot be used to treat all life-threatening bleeding. Don’t get me wrong, TQs work great for arms and legs, but if you’re bleeding from anywhere else, such as your neck or groin, wound packing is the only thing that will save your life.
I’ve gotten some questions recently asking what I think is better, QuikClot, or Combat Gauze. There are a few differences that might help you understand what it is you’re carrying in your trauma kit.
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 (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: