Going beyond an ordinary First Aid Kit, a Trauma Kit list should include (in my opinion) the following five lifesaving essential contents:
1. Trauma Scissors
2. Israeli type Trauma Dressing
3. Hemostatic Dressing
4. Open Chest Seal
We hope to never have to use such emergency treatment. However the reality is that there are times when you, I, or others may be at risk of traumatic injury.
- Anywhere that firearms are being used
- Ever operate a chainsaw?
- Lots of jobs, careers, entail some risk of traumatic injury!
- Automobile accident
Don’t ignore the possibilities. It could happen. And if it does, will you have a Trauma Kit nearby? By the time a 911 call brings first responders, a traumatic injury may have already taken a life…
Any trauma kit list should include trauma scissors. They are unique in their shape. The form-factor is designed for cutting clothing in order to quickly access the wound area. Will cut bandages and tape too.
There are LOTS of these scissors to choose from:
Trauma Pressure Dressing
A pressure bandage with elasticity to help stop the bleeding.
The Israeli Bandage is one of the most effective trauma kit contents to facilitate a major bleeding wound (along with proper wound packing).
Basically it incorporates a sterile non-adherent pad surface to cover the wound, and is attached to a length of elasticized material. It wraps with a built-in pressure applicator to help stop the bleeding.
I wrote an article, How To Use Israeli Bandage To Stop Traumatic Bleeding.
Hemostatic Dressing For Your Kit
There’s a wide variety of gauze products on the market specifically designed to stop bleeding. They work by accelerating the natural clotting process at the wound area.
For ordinary (less severe) bleeding, simply applying pressure for a time will stop the bleeding. A major traumatic wound however may require more than that. A hemostatic dressing is another critical content of one’s Trauma Kit.
A few examples include Clotting Gauze Strips or Rolls, or specific size Clotting Gauze Pad Sponge. One well known brand for this type of dressing is QuikClot. Another is CELOX.
I wrote an article about it: How To Stop The Bleeding With QuikClot
Open Chest Seal
Nobody wants to think about this. But if you’re in any environment where firearms are being used, there is a risk (however slight or great – depending).
An entry (and exit) wound in the chest area may puncture a lung, creating a ‘sucking chest wound’ which may lead to a tension pneumothorax. This will likely lead to death if not treated on site.
A Chest Seal prevents airflow into the chest cavity during inspiration while allowing air to escape through the vent channels during exhalation. The purpose is to re-inflate the lung so that breathing may occur. Look for bubbles on the wound hole for indications of lung puncture.
One such popular product is the Hyfin Vent Chest Seal.
Tourniquet – Must Have For Trauma Kit
Did you know that limbs make up about half of your body surface area? One might say that there’s a 50% probability that a major traumatic injury might occur on a limb.
Note: Military personnel, LEO’s, may typically carry a tourniquet on their battle belt or body armor (as opposed to buried in a kit or IFAK). This may save valuable seconds in an emergency.
A purpose designed tourniquet will perform much better than an improvised stick and rag (although you gotta do what you gotta do). No trauma kit list should be without a good tourniquet.