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  1. One overlooked skill is deploying the SOF-T tourniquet on yourself using only one hand. If you are shot in the arm, you will have to:
    – open your first aid kit,
    – remove the tourniquet,
    – remove the shrink wrap from the tourniquet,
    – unroll the tourniquet,
    – place as high up as possible on the wounded extremity,
    – and then tighten the tourniquet. (you may be dead by the time you get all this done).

    What you can do to make it easier on yourself. Remove the wrapping in advance, store the tourniquet on your belt or other external location where it can be easily reached by either hand. Unspool the tourniquet to the maximum diameter and then fold on itself. This way you can quickly prepare it by whipping it out.

    The RAT tourniquet is also easily deployed using only one hand.

  2. J.V.:
    The pre-prepared kits try hard, but they rarely fulfill your needs….
    They can also be expensive when you can buy the same items it contains “over the counter” for far less.
    Prior Planning Prevents P*ss-Poor Performance!

  3. A good article but much too advanced for the average layman. Someone untrained in the use of these items could end up doing more harm than the original injury. Would you want your next door neighbor doing any of these procedures on you?

    I do agree that you can assemble a really good aid bag OTC for less than the pre-filled commercial bags – but you need to weigh the convenience factor into the mix. Having said that, I will admit my kit contains many advanced items – well beyond my limited skills – not for my use but for a doctor or other medical professional who might be available to render aid.

  4. The problem is; this is like ” A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma”. If you are in a SHTF situation you would have to carry a pharmacy store with you to cover everything you might need. If you and a couple friends are in the wild country for a week or a month you would need a couple backpacks and a Sherpa to carry it all. There is no “right” medical kit, IFAK, etc. that will fill this need that can still be carried where you will need it when the need occurs. Assemble your kits and have them ready but when something bad happens your kit will be at home because it is too big to carry around with you all the time. I have pondered this until I am blue in the face (asphyxia LOL) and there simply is no right answer.

    So here is my solution it works, kinda, in normal life but won’t be sufficient when TSHTF or WW III starts. My complete IFAK: Tourniquet, Israeli bandage, quick clot gauze. That’s it, fits in a small bag, easy to carry. Why? Because the most likely thing to kill me or someone around me is a bleeding wound that cannot be stopped easily, Kill you in a minute or two. Everything else falls into the category of you will survive it and either go get help at the clinic/hospital or maybe help comes to you OR it is the worst case and you cannot be saved because the trauma is so great that nothing short of full medical care is going to save you.

    Don’t need any bandaids or Tylenol or anything else.

    1. Of course you are right. And you could have listed another 10 or 20 things that are also light and should be carried. And then another 10-20 things that would really be good to have with you and then another 10-20 things, ad infinitum. I’ve been there, done that. I have a IFAK in my car, my motor home, my bathroom, my backpack, m y day pack and even one in my fanny pack. I have a really big IFAK in a really big bag in the laundry room. But most likely none of them will be with me when I need it and worse if I’m bleeding to death my tourniquet and trauma dressing will not be there just some tylenol and bandaids. You see it is a problem and everyone glosses over it because we like to make kits and can justify everything in the kit and it fills a need within us. But it is useless either sitting at home or if you have it with you it doesn’t have what you need. THAT is the point. Usually when I have a headache I ignore it and ditto for pain. I get cut a lot working and pretty much ignore that too. Mostly I use the bandaids to appease the grandkids.

  5. Great info…as to the Pneumothorax issue, there will also be a bit of JVD(jugular vein distention) as to the BP cuff and stethoscope, be sure you know how to read them …and PRACTICE!!!

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