As a service to gunnies, the guys at Student Of The Gun are selling an emergency kit for the wannabe medic they call the “Pocket Life-Saver.” It includes a few items they say will help you save the life of someone with a gunshot wound. While their hearts may be in the right place, as a seasoned EMT, I’d rather use this kit as a doorstop than have to rely on it to treat actual gunshot wounds . . .

Clarification: one item in the Pocket Life-Saver is actually very useful: the tourniquet (TK).

Bleeding control is essential for gunshot wounds. Recent studies have dismissed most of the fears people used to associate with the use of a TK in the field. Better to bring the patient in alive and have them lose a limb than to let them bleed out in the ambulance.

But the tourniquet SOTG provides is of an older design. It’s a little complicated for untrained providers to use and doesn’t have all of the advantages of the latest version widely in use, the Combat Application Tourniquet, or CAT.

Then there’s the tuft of gauze that’s included, which comes helpfully pre-tangled in a large clump. Pro tip: if a small patch of gauze is all that’s standing between a bleeding gunshot victim and the sound of harps in the distance, he has big problems. Honestly, a tampon would have been much more useful.

Also thrown in: some duct tape. Apparently because duct tape fixes everything. Including holes in people. Although, to give them the benefit of the doubt, you could use it, along with the packaging, to make a serviceable flutter valve to fix a sucking chest wound.

Some say that an NPA airway is a good idea to have handy, too. That’s the green thingy up there. The full term is “nasopharyngeal airway” and it’s used to keep a patient’s airway patent (i.e., keep him breathing) while unconscious.

Only one problem though: most people don’t know how to use one. NPAs are only useful if the patient is unconscious, which is a bad sign if he’s bleeding out. And in order to insert one, you have to take time away from either stopping the bleeding, calling for assistance or moving the patient towards definitive care. In my opinion, there are more useful pieces of kit to include.

What would some of those be? Here’s my suggested list of four items for treating gunshot wounds:

  • Combat Application Tourniquet: Easier to use than the tourniquet SOTG provides, and more effective at stopping circulation to extremities.
  • Israeli Bandage: Compression bandages with lots of sterile gauze on the inside are great for controlling bleeding.
  • Celox gauze: I’m not a fan of quick clot, and Celox works as least as well, if not better. It’s an agent that promotes clotting very, very quickly and can be used to stop severe bleeding.

Actually, I lied. That’s only three, but I’m done. I might throw in the duct tape to round out the four items, but those are the only three items I’d put in a gunshot wound kit.

If you can’t control the bleeding with those items then the only thing that will save your patient is rapid diesel therapy — getting them in a vehicle and not letting up on the gas pedal until you’re at the hospital.

Maybe TTAG should market a kit like this  . . .

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74 Responses to SOTG “Pocket Life-Saver”: Three Useless Items and a Tourniquet

  1. As an EMT and a tactical medic for my agency, I agree. This kit is inadequate and the CAT is the way to go. Would it have killed them to add some quick-clot gauze and an Israeli pressure dressing? WTF? A nasopharyngeal airway? Whyyyyyyyyyyy… you might as well add a combitube while you’re at it.

    • The addition of a tourniquet seems tacticool and dangerous for the untrained to use. A tourniquet is not alwyas (or often) apropriate. Beyond the issue of increasing extremity damage by deoxygenating living tissue, reflow syndrome can occur when a tourniquet is removed and deoxygenated blood returns to the central organs. Most extremity inuries can be handled with compression. Too many movies show some hero getting shot in the leg and tying it off with a belt. This is one of those tricky issues where I think it can cause more harm the good. Unless the limb is severed or totally destroyed, just put pressure on it until the experts arrive.

      • I agree that the need for a tourniquet is rare and one should not blindly apply them to all wounded extremities. If you choose to carry ANY medical device you are responsible to educate yourself in the proper use of that tool. However, I would emphasize that if you identify an arterial bleed on a limb, manual pressure will probably not be enough to save the patient.

        Iraq and Afghanistan has shown that tourniqueted limbs can go longer than previously thought with no damage, oftentimes up to two hours with zero ill effects. For the medical layperson who wants some basic knowledge regarding how to deal with gunshots to limbs (e. g. your buddy who likes to put his finger on the trigger of his 1911 before his sights are on target), I will write-out a simplified procedure for you. Nick (who is a far more experienced EMT than I) or Steve the paramedic can chime in here if I say anything out of line or if I have missed something.

        1) IS THE SCENE SAFE?
        Use your best judgment here and take actions as appropriate. Too many variables to really discuss this but remember that you are not doing anyone any good if you yourself become another casualty.

        2) CALL 911, GLOVE UP, APPLY PRESSURE, CALM THE PATEINT.
        Have someone call 911 the moment the patient is wounded. If you’re responding alone, call first then begin treatment. Put on neoprene gloves (if you have any) and immediately apply pressure to the wound. Talk to the patient and tell him he is going to be okay. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. Keep talking to the patient and it is important to let him see that you are not panicking. It will probably keep him from panicking if he sees that you are calm and in control. If anyone around is screaming or freaking out, tell them to STFU and to start acting like an adult because you may need their help. If you think it will help them to focus, occupy them with a task like calling 911 or fetching your supplies. A panicking bystander will only worsen the panic of the patient. All this is situation dependent; use your best judgment.

        3) AMPUTATED OR PRACTICALLY AMPUTATED = TOURNIQUET
        Has the limb been blown off or amputated? If yes, apply a tourniquet to the remaining portion of the limb immediately, noting the time of application and continuously monitor until the patient has been handed over to trained medical responders.

        4) ARTERIAL BLEEDING = TOURNIQUET
        If the limb has not been blown off or amputated, examine the entire limb including the underside. Do you see bright red blood spurting from the wound or bleeding from the wound in very large quantities? If yes, apply a tourniquet immediately, noting the time of application and continuously monitor until the patient has been handed over to trained medical responders.

        5) NON-ARTERIAL BLEEDING = ISRAELI DRESSING
        If no, it is possible that the round did not hit a major blood supply. Apply a pressure dressing to the wound and continuously monitor until the patient has been handed over to trained medical responders. Be mindful of exit wounds (remove shoe in the case of a leg wound to check) because those too will require a dressing.

        6) MONITOR PATIENT AND ADJUST TREATMENT IF NECESSARY
        As you wait for help to arrive, continuously check on the patient and your pressure dressing. If the pressure dressing is not working, try to determine if it is applied correctly. Reapply or readjust as necessary. Be careful because reapplication might allow for more bleeding so if that is what you need to do, do it as hastily as you can. Depending on the wound and the dressing used you might be able to apply a second dressing right over the first. YMMV. If you observe that the dressing is severely underperforming and you think you have applied it correctly, slap a tourniquet on the limb, noting the time of application and continuously monitor until the patient has been handed over to trained medical responders.

        ON MARKING THE PATIENT: One technique is to inscribe a “T” on the patient’s forehead and the military time of the tourniquet application. That way everyone transporting or caring for the patient can know that it was applied and when it was done. Preferably use a sharpie or pen (reason #37 why a sharpie is mission essential equipment in any range bag). You can improvise by using blood if you don’t have anything to write with. If this is the case, make sure you remember what time it was applied because blood can be smeared, wiped or sweated off. When using blood you should also tell the EMTs/Paramedics that he has a tourniquet, where it is and what time it was applied. They will be doing a lot of things all at once so tell it to them firmly and make them repeat the time back to you so they will remember.

        ON APPLICATION OF THE TOURNIQUET: As you apply constricting pressure using the tourniquet, watch the wound. When the bleeding stops, rotate another ¼ or ½ turn and then secure the tourniquet in place.

        ON TRANSPORTING THE PATIENT: As an untrained first responder, think about your location, because speeding the patient to the rear might be the difference between life and death. Deciding whether or not to move a patient yourself might be the toughest call you have to make. I know what a lot of people are going to say; never move the patient yourself. However, a lot of those folks have never lived or practiced in a TRULY rural environment. It might take the ambulance TWO HOURS just to get there. Hell, it might take you two hours just to get to a phone. Think about location and think about response time. Do you have cell phone reception? Where is the nearest medical facility? Are you on or near a road? Are there any clearings that can be used/marked as a landing zone if necessary? Are you on private land? If so, can the ambulance get access without a key or combination (sadly, I lost a patient due to this once)? If the patient is in bad shape and you have no phone/phone reception, you may be required to move the patient yourself using what you have on hand (vehicles, on foot, etc). Also if you are forced to move the patient yourself, start thinking about link-up. If a helicopter or ambulance is going to try and meet you, where is the best place to meet? If you don’t know where the best place is to meet halfway, you may be linking up on the fly. In this case, how are you going to signal to the EMTs that it is you and not some unrelated vehicle traffic? Make sure you are communicating routes, link-up locations, colors/makes/models of vehicles involved and anything you might plan on doing to signal the responders to the 911 operator. If a tourniquet has been applied, the risk of losing the limb goes up dramatically after two hours (although the patient is better off limbless than dead). The variables are endless but try to keep a clear head and make the best decisions you can.

        ON DIFFERENT TOURNIQUETS AND DRESSINGS: If you buy a tool, learn how to use it. For medical supplies, you will need TWO of every item you plan on carrying in your trauma kit. One will go in your kit and the other you can open and train on. Practice applying these items both on yourself and on others and follow the manufacturers’ instructions. Different designs operate differently so be sure to pay attention how your particular device operates.

        ON TOURNIQUET PLACEMENT: Unlike a pressure dressing, do NOT place the tourniquet directly over the wound. Depending on the situation, apply it 2-4 inches above (toward the body) the wound.

        ON THE LIMITED APPLICABILTY OF THESE PROCEDURES: Nothing I have written here should be interpreted as official medical advice; consult an accredited medical text for official information on emergency medicine. The procedures I wrote about are oversimplified and are only a small part of emergency care. They truly only apply to lacerated or punctured limbs and are therefore VERY limited in scope. Different steps must be taken and different tools may be necessary for wounds to the pelvis, torso, lungs, neck, head etc. I have also not discussed the splinting of broken limbs, which may also be necessary in the event of a gunshot wound. Consult with a registered emergency medical professional or attend a TCCC course to build your skills if you have the means to do so.

        • I agree with everything you said. My thought, and I guess I did not articulate it well enough is: there is the old saying “if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” I am not worried about the prefessional, or even well trained person, who knows what they are doing.

          My fear is of the person who tries to be helpful and ends up making things worse. I have printed on my motorcycle helmet “If found unconscience – DO NOT remove helmet.” The EMTs know how to handle a possible spine trauma. Its the driver to stops to see if I’m alright and severs my spine by yanking off my helmet that worries me (and yes, that happens). Just because someone can buy a tourniquet in a handy-dandy pack on Amazon doesn’t mean they should have one.

    • Tends to be used wrong and early versions can cause a burning effect and some other bad stuff.

      • But in those few cases where a tourniquet just won’t work…

        You’d pretty much suck a d*ck for some quick-clot, celox, or some equivalent thereof. Maybe not literally, as it’s not like sucking a d*ck would magically make such things fall out of the sky, but you get the picture.

        • There are NO situations where a tourniquet won’t work if you’re doing it correctly.

          Infact, the best tourniquet I’ve ever used as a Paramedic has been a bloodpressure cuff. Firefighter proof. (Well, nearly. FD had 3 touriquets and 2 packs of quikclot on a patient bleeding from his AC… and my BP cuff is what stopped the bleeding.)

        • Um, a chest or abdominal wound, perhaps? Or… how would I be expected to apply a tourniquet to an injured throat?

          A rapid coagulant has its uses.

        • Thank you Russ. My thoughts exactly. Although, being a paramedic, Steve probably just misinterpreted my comment about tourniquets. He knows they can’t be applied to the torso/neck.

  2. I have bandaged myself with an ace bandage and maxi pads. Worked well enough until I got to professional help. Sucks to dump a motorcycle in the boonies. Fortunately one of our number had the aforementioned items in their kit and the bed of a pickup isn’t the perfect ambulance, but it’ll do in an emergency. I still have the scars from that one.

    • Maxipads are still standard issue on many a bone box. Not always used as primary, but they are there as backup.

      • Maxipads and duct tape helped when I sliced up my arm after having accidentally smashed a window with my arm. No, I wasn’t breaking in somewhere just my brother slammed a door in my face (the kind with a window) and I lashed out with my fist in reflex.

  3. Thanks for that Nick. If those 3 items are minimum, is there an intermediate kit you would put together?

    There will be a monthly (I believe) medical emergency gun shot class at King33 in CT. You guys should do a video series about the class and give some advise. It would be best if everyone take such a class in case you yourself at the one with extra holes and need to direct someone else.

    • Why would they need a class like that in CT? They have gun control, no one will be shot there anymore.

  4. I think a future TTAG article should Nick-approved range medic kits – organized according to price. You could have the cheapskate under $50 kit, a $50- $100 kit, and the baller $100+ kit.

    • North American Rescue makes a fine one, the maritime assault kit. Not quite sure what’s so “maritime” about it, but it is excellent. A lot of it would be outside the scope of a un-trained responder’s practice (if there even is such a thing, perhaps there are even fewer restrictions placed on the untrained/uncertified). Also it is pricey at about $150. BUT… for a do-everything kit in a small package it is awesome. I carry one on long hikes when my medic pack is too impractical or when I believe there is a heightened probability that I may get into a situation where a medic pack would be unwieldy (like a gunfight or physical altercation).

      • I went to their site and found something a little cheaper and that might be a good choice for range bags and the like. Their Individual Patrol Officer Kit (IPOK). Comes in four different options. All of them have a CAT, Black Talon nitrile and gauze. One comes with an Israeli bandage and the other three come with some form of hemeostatic gauze. All priced between $40 and $90 depending on your preference in bandage.

  5. Quick-clot is effective, but heats up in the wound, sometimes causing burns. Really, an Israeli bandage and gauze is okay, especially considering the price point of the hemostatics. Celox is good, just not great for the price.

    I would add that any pocket first aid kit should have at least a pair of nitrile gloves; blood-borne pathogens are nasty.

    • The volcanic compoud in the original quick-clot is no longer used, and current varieties do not have a thermal reaction to the best of my knowledge.

      • My understanding is that QuikClot is still exothermic, but because the current version is pre-wetted the reaction is slowed and the heat generated is no longer sufficient to cause burns.

        • You may be right. I was told that the original compound was some crazy stuff that they extracted from volcanic sand (or something like that) and that they moved away from that because of the burns. BUT, that doesn’t mean what I was told was correct.

          Although from my point of view anyone complaining about the burning after someone just stopped their arterial bleed is in need of some perspective.

        • You are thinking of kaolin, which is anything but exotic. It is sold as “good white dirt” for geophages in the South (I’ve seen it available in gas stations around Auburn, Alabama.)

        • No. The current “Quik-Clot Combat Gauze” is heat free. There is NO exothermic reaction when it is used.

      • I stand corrected, then. That being said, though, since it’s a coagulant, there’s a (small) risk of causing distal clotting, which could result in an embolism later. This risk is increased with a larger wound.

        Again, price point is pretty important, especially when it comes to getting people to actually buy and carry an individual first aid kit. Most people don’t have bottomless pockets, and while plain old gauze is less effective, it is also much, much cheaper.

        • That’s one reason why I prefer gauze treated with clotting agents. While I agree that there are some risks involved in the use of these products, generally by the time you’re ready to apply them it’s severe enough that you’re already ready arrived at “f*ck it.”

        • At least as large an issue is limited shelf life (3yr).

          http://www.z-medica.com/healthcare/How-QuikClot-Works/FAQs.aspx

          7. Does it burn?

          NO. The first generation of the QuikClot granular product, made from non-hydrated zeolite, was discontinued in 2008 when the hemostatic gauze formulation based on kaolin was introduced. That earlier granular product could cause exothermic reactions if not used properly.

  6. @Spoos, I think you’re referring to the old Quick-Clot powder. The new QC sponge is supposed to have addressed the “burning” issue and is supposed to work very well. Celox is good stuff too, I like the smaller powder packets that can be used for deep lacerations, though I haven’t tried the sponge version of Celox yet.

    • Powders suck. Sponges or treated bandages are the way to go.

      Take a kid. Give them a garden hose and have them hold it close to their chest. Tell them to start squirming around while holding said garden hose. Turn the water on. Tell them to start screaming.

      Now take a sugar packet and attempt to pour the sugar into the mouth of the garden hose.

      Make it more fun by doing all this on a windy day.

      • Haha, good point but I was talking about powder use in reference to a deep laceration, not necessarily arterial bleeding of the “garden hose” variety. The Celox powders, often found in the camping section of many sporting good shops, do work very well for deep knee, leg, arm, and hand cuts. Either it be by knife, or a sharp edged rock, sometimes you need speed and a little extra “help”.

        A trick to using the powder is the not “sprinkle” it on. Open the packet, flare the opening, and then dump right into the wood. Using some of the gauze that you were using to apply pressure, you can “spread” the powder off any undamaged tissue and into the wound.

        I have found that kids are the easiest to assist… Some toughs guys, not so much!

  7. You’re more likely to save a life with your medical skills than to take a life with your shooting skills.

    Translation: If you carry a gun, take medical training.

  8. There are other clotting agents that do not cost an arm and a leg.
    IMHO a “Range gun shot kit” may be a euphuism for something, something, something else but IMHO if you have such a situation 911 is your goto for emergency response. Of course you can stabilize the patient, stop the bleeding, treat for shock, etc. but when the medics arrive those bandages are coming off as soon as he’s in the ambulance

    • Absolutely! 911 is the way to go, but if the meat wagon is 15, 20, 30 minutes away…I’ll settle for paper towels and duct tape if it will give me a fighting chance to get to the hospital.

  9. I always have an IFAK on my range bag, but remember guys simply having it is not enough you need to be able to use the stuff. It helps if the people around you do too in case you’re the one that gets hurt. Make sure those around you don’t try to use things they don’t understand, next thing you know someone will have a tourniquet around their neck because of a head wound.

  10. A tourniquet, a compression bandage and a hemostatic agent (QuikClot, Combat Gauze, Celox, ChitoGauze) … probably covers almost anything you’ll likely encounter. RE: QuikClot … the newer stuff has none of the heat problems and works great.

    The key is to actually have something available, as in “on your person at all times”. Money and space are always limiting factors. Don’t be too quick to diss the duct tape. A good length of it makes a decent enough hasty tourniquet to do the trick. Duct tape plus a package of gauze equals a compression bandage.

  11. 2 CAT Tourniquets, 2 or 3 rolls of Curlex, 2 Israeli Bandages and a small roll of low adhesive duct tape.

    Need more? You are treating a wound outside your skill set if you are not a combat medic or EMT. Keep pressure and make sure 911 is on the way.

  12. Nick, I can’t believe you ain’t heard of this group.

    http://www.darkangelmedical.com/About.php

    They even offer classes too (usually involving pistol defense/shooter response). Their facebook page even has some some good case studies on it from time to time: “You’re in the crossfire in a shooting at a Federal Building, you don’t have your concealed handgun, LEOs secure the scene, you notice you have difficulty breathing and you have pink frothy blood…… ” so on and on..

    • They have good stuff, but at $160 for the kit, its kind of pricey for what you get. On the plus side though, you do get an extremely small kit that is easy to carry. I bought their pouch and built my own kit as I already had some of the items (CAT, Israeli Bandage).

      Their pocket DARK for $80 may be close to Nick’s ideal, but the only negative in my mind is that they use the SWAT-T rather than the CAT for the tourniquet. Nothing against the SWAT-T, but the CAT is a bit easier to self-apply IMHO. If you are treating someone else, the SWAT-T is fine. the SWAT-T by the way is basically a long piece of rubber that you stretch as you apply, which when it contracts applies the pressure.

    • Dark Angel has some great kit. It’s more expensive than your $30 cheaperthandirt “IFAK” full of 4×4’s and triangle bandages, but it’s well worth it. If you go out and spend thousands of dollars on guns, ammo, and classes, you can afford to buy a quality IFAK and attend a course that shows you how to use it.

  13. I like the Olaes over the Israeli bandage, they cost pretty much the same for new non-surplus ones, and the Olaes comes with wound packing gauze as part of the design (which can be used for the exit wound on less serious wounds), along with a plastic sheet that can be used with duct tape (over even the bandage itself) for chest wounds.

    No argument against the CAT, I like them a lot, but I will say that the TK-4 style is slightly smaller and I can fit two in the space of a single CAT. So while they are harder to deploy you can get more usability. Particularly helpful since I’ve comes to the conclusion that honestly that even in a single person level kit, you ideally should be setup to handle multiple wounds. Even with a ND would can get a wound that effects both legs such as one a couple of years back involved a belt fed machine gun, and then we have the bilateral amputation at the Boston bombing. So for my kits I keep a CAT on the outside for quick access, and a TK-4 or two inside the kit.

  14. Any opinions on the SOF Tourniquet vs. the CAT? They seem comparable to me and roughly the same price.

    I’ve been compiling supplies for my own first aid kits and gunshot trauma kits just recently so I concur with Nick’s suggestions based on the research I’ve done.

    Here’s my trauma kit contents:
    -4″ Israeli bandage
    -25 gram pouch of Celox
    -H&H z-fold gauze
    -5 1/2″ trauma shears
    -nitrile gloves(2 pair)
    -SOF tourniquet

    Alternatively I might think of getting Quik Clot z-fold gauze (or Celox’s version) instead of the plain z-fold and Celox pouch. It would be one less item and as I have read elsewhere if you’re in windy conditions trying to pour Celox granules into a wound, it could be very difficult and you might get it in your eyes which would not be good. However if you have the room you could have all three.

    Many people probably don’t think of these, but if you’re ever shooting out in remote areas a long distance from a hospital you really should have one of these kits with you.

  15. http://www.officersurvival.org/ is a great source for trauma kits, etc. Jake at OSI has a ton of good advice and has well thought out products that actually save lives. No, I’m not affiliated with the company.

    Some simple to train on, simple to use items I like to see in a kit I use at work (I carry a gun for a living) are:
    1. a tourniquet
    2. quick clot z-fold gauze
    3. nasopharyngeal airway (easy to use, cheap, weighs very little, and is a proven lifesaver)
    4. petrolatum gauze (useful on its own, and when the package is taped down on three sides makes an effective dressing for a sucking chest wound)
    5. surgical tape (to use with #4, and for labeling casualties, etc)
    6. nitrile gloves — you may or may not have the need or time to use them, but they weigh and cost next to nothing, and could save your life in a whole different way than a tourniquet
    7. a “hasty harness” — because the first rule of rescue is to not become another victim. If you need to get a victim out of a dangerous spot, a hasty harness makes it 10 times easier, whether you have one rescuer or two. Don’t knock it until you have practiced rescue drills with one rescuer (or two) under simulated fire, trying to carry/drag someone and return fire at the same time. The harness is worth its weight in gold.
    8. Israeli bandage is good, but kerlix will do and keep the cost down. If you can swing it, Israeli bandage is da bomb for ease of use.

    That’s it. Other than that it is all about training and mindset.

  16. “NPAs are only useful if the patient is unconscious”

    I’m going to disagree there, as a seasoned Paramedic. NPAs can, and often are, used on people who are conscious. Infact, I did one just last night.

    Though I’d just as rather nasally intubate and get it over with 😉

  17. Nick, you’re growing on me, sir.

    The headline was harsh, but spot on.

    I’d skip the Celox too and just go with the Cat and the IBD as the two most basic items.

    Anecdotal story: Guns Save Life’s first lady came upon a rollover accident just occurred last Friday between Bloomington and Champaign.

    Black woman bleeding profusely and some guy just approaching her as Wendy came to a stop. She grabbed her IBD kit (IBD, tourniquet and NPA) and ran over. She saw the man wore a Chicago Fire t-shirt. “I’ve got an IBD if you need it,” she told him.

    “I’m using mine,” the guy said. After finishing wrapping her up, he looked at Wendy and saw she wasn’t kidding. “Attagirl for having one of those handy,” he told her.

    As she was leaving, another professional driver came up offering his IBD.

    All in all, it was an impressive show that afternoon for a product that was almost unheard of a few years ago.

    John

  18. I took ‘Bullets and Bandages’ at SigSauer Academy in Exeter NH last year:
    http://sigsaueracademy.com/Courses/ShowCourseDetails.aspx?CourseID=211

    While I don’t have any other classes like it to compare it to it was an excellent class, was fun and I feel I learned a thing or two – it was a great way to spend 3 days. Picked up a medical kit from Dark Angel Medical (as someone noted above.) Class was taught by Kerry Davis who owns Dark Angel Medical and both the in-classroom as well as on-range instruction by Kerry was excellent. I like the D.A.M. kit – not that I’ve had an opportunity to use it (and certainly hope I never have to.)

    • I assume you are happy with watching your spouse, mother, children or even yourself bleed to death waiting on an ambulance then huh?

      • Helping family, sure. Helping strangers, think twice before playing hero. Especially if your training has limitations, and the danger of transmissible diseases.

        • Something about knowing an innocent person needs immediate trauma care and just standing there doing nothing while they die doesn’t really sit well in my stomach. I still have to get up and look in the mirror every morning…

  19. Like the trauma surgeons say…EMTs are 10 years behind. Looks to me like this kit is meant to have on you at all times. Hence the name…Pocket Life Saver. But maybe you’re right….nothing is ALWAYS better than something…said no one ever.

  20. I know they have it on just about everything, but something about seeing “Gift-wrap available” on a Celox bandage just cracks me up.

    “Happy anniversary, honey!”

  21. I carry the Quikclot impregnated gauze. I wouldn’t carry the powder for a variety of reasons already mentioned here. One of the things I heard about Celox is that it might cause anaphylaxis in someone who has a shellfish allergy. Not sure if this is true or not.
    The most high speed kit is useless without training ( and I don’t mean watching a few videos on YouTube)

  22. As a practicing surgeon for past 13 years I have learned something about EMTs. They think they know everything, but are really not smart enough to know that they understand very little. This thread is just a bunch of “Internet experts” flapping their jaws. Nothing wrong with the SOTG kit. But like everything else you need training to use it properly.

  23. I took a week long Trauma medicine (EMT certified) class last year and I will be the first to admit I’m in no way an expert. I did learn however how to stop someone from bleeding out, how to use a nasalpharyngeal airway properly, use a decompression needle and properly install an IV. None of which I was certain of before the class.

    It sure beats simple first aid and it also taught me how to Triage so I could prioritize casualties.

    The class was taught by a very experienced ER doctor with a currently enlisted army medic as an assistant. Lots of experience (and a few grizzly pictures) between them.

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