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.
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.
The permanent marker is for writing on all surfaces and recording the location and time of the application of the tourniquet, or for recording casualty info, vital signs or anything else you might need it for.
2 pairs of Nitrile gloves are included with every kit, bundled to take up as little space as possible. I made sure 2 pairs were included since I have ripped many pairs of gloves during an emergency and having some spares is important. Also, if you have a helper assisting you with the casualty, they will have a pair of gloves as well to ensure adequate safety is provided to everyone involved.
A small pair of trauma shears are supplied and will work well to quickly cut away clothing and expose the wound area. The small size allows it to fit snugly in the kit, but if you want to carry a larger set, they can be attached to the back of the kit, through the MOLLE webbing.
This is a brand name that is easily recognizable for its part in saving lives on the battlefield. It’s a roll of gauze that’s been impregnated with a hemostatic agent. It works when the first responder packs it into a wound to apply pressure to a severed artery.
The hemostatic agent then causes the blood to clot more quickly and increase the casualty’s chances for surviving their wounds. I have personally used this in the field, and it’s done the job for me.
NAR Mini Responder ETD (Emergency Trauma Bandage)
North American Rescue has a stellar reputation in the first responder world. The distributors of the CAT tourniquet, NAR also supplies the 4-inch pressure dressing included in the kit. Flat and compact enough to keep the kit small, it’s used to control heavy bleeding that is not recommended or remedied with application of a tourniquet.
Two Rolls of gauze are available to be used for wound packing, for keeping other wounds clean, or paired with the next item on the list as an additional pressure dressing.
More commonly know by the brand name “ACE” wrap, this is a stretchy piece of cloth with a hook and loop method of securing to the casualty. This was an important feature for me because it allows the first responder to avoid those nasty little metal clips in the cheaper versions.
Those clips make life more difficult because in the heat of an emergency the wrapper is ripped off and the clips go flying and become lost in the dark grass. They are also annoying to get secured down with the absence of fine motor skills in a fight or flight situation.
The set of chest seals that comes with every Yellowstone kit is also made by NAR and each is individually packaged. I felt this was necessary for treating a sucking chest wound because sometimes you may not have an exit wound when treating penetrating chest trauma. Even a gunshot wound may not have both an entrance and an exit wound.
If there are two holes, you need to plug both, or you aren’t doing your casualty any good. If there is only one hole though, you can keep the other chest seal in its packaging, ready for the next casualty.