When I first started to carry a firearm, the last thing on my mind was a medical plan in case I got shot, or to treat someone who had been shot. In the world we live in today, there is no telling when or where you might run into a life-or-death situation that will require medical treatment while paramedics are on the way. I looked up medical kits, and medical training online, and I found a medical training class to take (in the near future). Then I started to look up medical kits that would include supplies for gunshot wounds. After a good hour of searching I found many YouTube videos about “blow-out kits” or “trauma kits” which are commonly used in combat for gunshot wounds. A blow-out kit is small, with just enough items to treat a gunshot wound to the arms or legs, but trauma kits can be equipped all the way up to treating a sucking chest wound. NOTE: Before using a medical kit in a trauma situation, be sure to pursue proper training on how to use these items. The Arms Guide is not a source of medical instruction.
Trauma Kit Contents
In the trauma kit that was given to me by my very close friend after he returned home from overseas, I found a number of items that are simple but do a great job at giving basic first aid. I recommend people have at least the following equipment in their trauma kit. These components can cost between $40 and $80.
1. Combat gauze—used to pack (stick into wound cavity) a gunshot or similar wound, preferably some that has a blood clotting agent to help stop bleeding. This may not be included in some standard kits.
2. H & H gauze—used as backup to combat gauze for large wound cavities.
3. A roll of cloth tape
4. Israeli Bandage—like an ACE bandage, but with a pad to soak up excess blood and a pressure point to help control bleeding.
5. Tourniquet—an item placed above the wound to cut off blood flow, mostly used for arterial bleeding wounds.
6. Halo Chest Seal—these are placed onto the entry and exit wounds of an injury victim’s chest to prevent air from flooding the chest cavity and crushing the lungs.
7. Decompression —used to relieve air pressure in a chest cavity from a sucking chest wound.
8. Nasopharyngeal Airway—used to create an open airway, by inserting a tube through the nose.
Below is a picture of a US Army improved Medical kit.
The Trauma Kit as provided by the US Army is a bit large for everyday carry. So, when I received mine, I took out all of the contents, and vacuum sealed them, which cut the size down in half.
Larger Trauma Kits
In today’s market, there are endless possibilities when it comes to trauma kits. The items listed above are only part of the entire medical bag that I carry in the car every day, which includes items such as SAM splints, an IV bag, and a stitching kit. This larger kit stays in the car so that if I come upon a medical emergency, I have the gear to be able to help treat a variety of injuries.
Ideally, in any self defense situation, one would hope to come out unharmed. However, there is always a chance that you or someone else may receive a life threatening injury. With proper training and equipment, you may save your life, or that of the person next to you.
Featured image courtesy of Princeton.edu