Monday, July 9, 2018

Erin's $30 IFAK Challenge

& is used with permission.
Last week Chaplain Tim challenged us to build an IFAK using only $30 and only using sources that anyone can find (like Walmart, Amazon, a Dollar Store, etc). Here's my submission, and let me tell you, I am not happy with it.

The main reason I'm not happy with it is because a decent tourniquet alone is going to cost $30 or more, and when I think IFAK I think "Infatryman's First Aid Kit" which to me means "bullet wound" which means "Needs a tourniquet."

With that objection noted, here's what I put together:

Adventure Medical Trauma Pak with Advanced Clotting Sponge

  • (1) QuikClot 25g Sponge (Zeolite)
  • (1) 5” x 9” Trauma Pad
  • (1) Pair Nitrile Gloves
  • (1) Hand Wipe
  • (1) 2” x 26” Duct Tape
  • (1) Triangular Bandage
  • (1) Package 4” x 4” Sterile Gauze Dressing, 2 dressings per package
  • (1) Package 2” x 2” Sterile Gauze Dressing Pkg, 2 dressings per package
  • (1) 3” Conforming Gauze Bandage
  • (4) After Cuts & Scrapes Antiseptic Wipe (Lidocaine Hydrochloride, Benzalkonium Chloride)
  • (1) Re-Sealable Bag for Bio-Waste and Sucking Chest Wounds

Reasoning: With a clotting sponge, trauma pad, gauze, and the ability to improvise a chest seal, this is most of what I think I'd need to handle any wound that I feel comfortable treating and is the core of my budget IFAK.

Cost: $18.93 with a $3.30 coupon, for a total of $15.60. ($14.40 remaining)

Israeli Bandage Battle Dressing First Aid Compression Bandage, 6 Inch 

Contents: (1) vacuum-sealed 6" wide dressing

Reasoning: The Israeli bandage acts as a primary dressing, pressure applicator, and secondary dressing all in one unit. Between it and the trauma pad + QuikClot combo above, I can treat multiple wounds or a through-and-through that is bleeding on both sides.

Cost: $8.89 with free shipping. ($5.51 remaining)

Ready America First Aid Pocket Kit, 33-Piece

Contents: See picture, above.

Reasoning: This rounds out the IFAK with band-aids for booboos, pain killers and antibiotic ointment.

Cost: $3.97 and free shipping for Prime members (which I am) when buying this with other items totaling $25 or more (which I am, with the Adventure Medical Kit and Israeli Bandage -- apparently the $3.30 coupon doesn't count against the $25 total).

Total Cost to Me: $28.92

Addendum: Adding a Tourniquet

If I'm allowed to go over budget by just $16.97, I can add a Recon Medical TQ. The addition of a tourniquet would make me feel a lot better about this IFAK, because then I can treat arterial wounds and traumatic limb loss.

DISCLAIMER: I have no idea regarding the quality of the product. It looks a lot like the North American Rescue Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) at half the price, but I don't know the design differences between the two brands or if this is a shoddy knockoff.

It does have a 5-star Amazon rating with over 1200 reviews and 87% of them giving it 5 stars. I recognize that this is not proof of quality, but that's a lot of anecdotal evidence by verified purchasers, many of whom claim to be in law enforcement, the military or fire/EMS. I would think that if it were junk, there would be far more negative reviews.

That said, I'd still purchase a CAT or a SOFTT-W over this one, simply because I know I can trust my life to them.

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