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Friday, November 21, 2014

My Portable Trauma Kit

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
This is the final part of my medical kit saga. In part 1, I talked about what I had for treating wounds at home. In part 2, I showed you what was in my BOB first aid kit.  In today's article, I will show you my portable trauma kit, which is designed to be "grab and go" for bugging out but is still separate from the BOB itself.















The pack itself is a Red Rock "Rover" sling pack that started out as a get home bag but ended up being too small. On the side is a Mora 840 Clipper in carbon steel, put on the pack when it was a GHB and kept on because knives are always useful.

Outside

In the top pocket are latex gloves and masks (although not N95 respirators, as I can't get those to fold into the pocket.)




Also included are two "heavy duty" maxi-pads in a plastic container. Not only can they be used for their obvious purpose but they are useful improvised bandages. Blood is blood, after all...




The bottom pocket has a first aid kit, some bandages, and a bottle of unopened (and therefore still sterile) Bausch & Lomb Soothe XP eyedrops.




The five 10cm x 10cm bandages were scrounged from a German auto accident kit. They're old, but they're unopened, and bandages don't go bad.




The first aid kit is mostly bandages, though it also has gauze, alcohol wipes, and some antibiotic ointment.


Inside



I've tried to organize things with the most important stuff up top, but that hasn't always worked. Some things just have to end up on the bottom.




First layer: 


Here's the first handful of stuff:  an Adventure Medical Trama Pack with QuikClot (same as in the kit at home), some surgical tubing that's good for a variety of uses; a cordial-size bottle of Jim Beam (antiseptic and sterilizing agent), and... some bags of sugar?

Sure. They're useful if someone is hypoglycemic or suffering from diabetic shock. It's easy to administer in granulated form, and it costs me nothing to carry these.

Next handful of stuff, still on the top layer:
  • Israeli Bandage, 6 inch version
  • another tube of sterile eyewash; 
  • a mylar emergency sleeping bag (like a survival blanket, only it covers the entire body);
  • ADC Adsafe CPR pocket respirator. This is mainly in case I need to give CPR to someone who might be sick; this device has a one-way valve that is supposed to reduce cross-contamination. (Does it work? I dunno. But it gives me peace of mind, and for less than $10 I'm happy with the investment.)
  • Notably missing: another CAT Tourniquet. I have one at home, and one in my GHB, but I need another one here.  This highlights the importance of going through your gear on a regular basis and making sure you have everything you think you have. 
Second layer:


These are things which I hopefully won't need in a hurry. The possible exception is the Sawyer Bite & Sting kit, but it's BRIGHT YELLOW and immediately underneath very orange pocket respirator, so I have faith I can get to it quickly.
  • Surgical tape
  • Box of tampons (see maxi-pad, above)
  • LED Mini Maglite
  • Extra batteries for same, with ends covered by electrical tape
  • Box of safety pins
  • Ace bandage with velcro closure. 
Bottom layer:

Top and bottom are items in individual pockets. In the middle is the bottom layer of items; this is mostly gauze and wound compresses of various widths and thicknesses (also taken from the German car accident box).  Per Brad Henson's excellent suggestion, I took one of the triangular bandages out and put it in my BOB first aid kit. 


This is what's in the top pocket:  a SAM splint and something called a catheter strap. This was sent home with mom after one of her operations; I figure anything which will hold a tube securely in place is a useful thing to have.



A burn compress (again from the German kit) and older version of the Adventure Medical Dental Medic Kit




Concluding Thoughts

Do you see what I've forgotten?  Another bottle of hand sanitizer. I've since added it to the kit. 

Deliberately excluded are things like scalpels, sutures and the like, because I'm not trained in their use. Should I ever learn how, I will add them, but right now I think I'd do more harm than good with them. 

I'd like to point out that I've been building this kit since 2009, in bits and pieces. I can guarantee you that I have less disposable income than most of you (I don't have a steady job -- I work freelance), so if I can put this together, so can you.  

I hope this gives you inspiration for building your own kit. 

The Fine Print


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