Let’s talk about my IFAK or the Individual First Aid Kit. This is something I believe every person who handles a firearm should carry around with them. We should be able to save lives, not just defend them. With that being said, let’s review my kit. Please keep in mind that I am not a medical professional and that this article is in absolutely no way an authoritative replacement for actual hands-on training. Please get training first and foremost.
The idea of the individual first aid kit is, first of all, to design it around portability and convenience. You want to make sure that this is on you whenever you are carrying your firearm. That means making sure it is designed around the mission that you are using it for. If it’s an Everyday Carry (EDC) kit, it might be something very bare-bones, and that is okay. It needs to be easy to carry. If you are carrying a heavier tactical load, you may have something on your belt line or your backpack – and these can afford to be much bigger and heavier. Whatever it takes, make sure that you have this on you when you need it.
- Country of origin : China
- Model Number : MA41-002
- - Two Inch patch area across front of pouch. - Wide handle for carrying or rapid removal. - Two D-rings on the back for shoulder strap. (shoulder strap is not included) - Import
- - Tri-fold design. - Multiple pockets and elastic loops for storage. - Double zipper closure. - Addition 2" webbing, with pull-tab for quick/temporary closing.
The IFAK is specifically designed to stop massive hemorrhaging and various other injuries that may occur due to gunshot wounds. One thing to note: You want to make sure that you are only carrying what you are absolutely comfortable carrying and able to use proficiently under very extreme stress. This means not stuffing random objects that you bought online once upon a time and forgot about into your kit only to try to employ them in an emergency. You could potentially do more harm than good. You are trying to do less harm, not more. Do no harm – make sure that you are proficient with every single item in your kit.
Now, what does my IFAK look like? The effect that I like to keep on my main tactical kit is a rather large one. Some may be smaller depending on your needs. I like to over-prepare, but maybe you choose to do differently. In fact, every IFAK is going to be different. Every IFAK is going to be built around a different purpose and proficiency. Bear in mind that this is entirely subjective and just mine. As for my IFAK, I like to use the Condor Rip Away Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) pouch. This thing has velcro on the back. I like to mount this on the very back of my backpack to a MOLLE panel with velcro on it. It has this nice handle that hangs down to grab it with either one of my hands.
- - Tri-fold design.- Multiple pockets and elastic loops for storage.- Double zipper closure.- Addition 2" webbing, with pull-tab for quick/temperory closing.
- - Two Inch patch area across front of pouch.- Wide handle for carrying or rapid removal.- Two D-rings on the back for shoulder strap. (shoulder strap is not included) - Import
This is important – consider that one of your hands may be out of commission in the event of an injury. Your IFAK must be accessible, easy to grab, and easy to reach. This really should be a top priority when you’re designing your kit. As for my Condor Rip away EMT pouch, there are some fancier ones out there, but I just like this one because it is affordable and has some really nice storage solutions. The condor has three different sections for various needs.
Let’s dive into what is inside. The first thing in the kit are gloves. You want to have some sort of nitrile or latex-free gloves such as these. I usually like to roll them up in a ball and stuff them in there wherever is convenient. It would be best if you had gloves because you are trying to mitigate the spread of contaminant materials and biohazards. That means not spreading anything onto you as well as onto whatever wound you’re trying to treat – whether it’s you or somebody else.
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The next item is a pair of trauma shears. You do not want to have to remove somebody’s clothing or your own when they’re bleeding out in a very hectic situation. You need to get to that wound as fast as possible if the clothing obstructs it. You need to remove it quickly, which is the best way to do that.
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The next thing to note are alcohol wipes. These are very important for cleaning up a wound site to prevent infection and better see what the wound looks like so you can better treat it.
- STERILE - Each pad is gamma sterilized, individually wrapped, and sealed to keep it sterile and to prevent leakage or drying out
- 2-PLY, ABSORBENT - Saturated with 70% isopropyl alcohol for optimum protective action
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- 400 medium, 2-ply alcohol prep pads
The next thing that we have is a tourniquet. Tourniquets are very important for stopping massive hemorrhaging wounds that cannot be stopped by pressure alone. These are made for use on limbs (arm, leg, etc.). You do not wrap this anywhere else around you – not on your torso, not on your neck, etc.
Tourniquets are applied between the wound, and the heart tightened down with a windlass. This Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) tourniquet is recommended. They are easy to apply not only to somebody else but also to yourself. That is very important, so please keep that in mind. That may be an issue.
The other one that I really like to use are the soft wide tourniquets. These are another very popular choice. The main reason I do like these is that they do fold up to be very compact. I find that they are harder to apply to yourself, but they are perfect for EDC. These work especially well if you’re trying to save space in your IFAK.
Another thing to note: Please buy all of your medical supplies from a reputable manufacturer and seller. Some of these CAT tourniquets have copies floating around there on the internet. These cheap knockoffs are completely not up to spec with the manufacturer’s original design. The plastic windlass on these can break if they’re not made very well. The CAT tourniquets do an excellent job and are very proven not to do so. I highly recommend going to North American Rescue (NAR) as your primary source for most of your life-saving equipment needs.
- Product Type: First Aid Kit
- Country Of Origin: China
- Item Package Weight: 0.158 Kgs
- Item Package Dimensions: 17.78 L X 7.62 W X 2.54 H (Cm)
Next up, we have a sharpie marker. Believe it or not, this is the next thing on my list because you need to write when you applied that tourniquet to yourself or somebody else. This is so that a first responder can reference it when you’re taken to a hospital and have that information to go off as they deal with further treatment of the injuries.
Hemostatic Agent or Gauze
Next up, you want to have some sort of hemostatic agent or gauze. I’m using the Celox rapid z-fold gauze. This gauze is perfect for stuffing into an extensive wound and bleeding out quickly and cannot be treated with a tourniquet or pressure alone.
- Celox Gauze Z-Fold is the newest creation from the Celox range; it is very easy to work with and compact.
- Celox granules are bonded onto the gauze, giving the Celox Gauze Z-Fold the same effective technology as the original Celox Gauze roll.
- Celox Gauze Z-Fold is suitable for severe high pressure bleeding & hemorrhage.
- Controls moderate-to-severe bleeding.
- Sterile; single use only.
Next up are chest seals. Chest seals are an essential part of your IFAK. These are used to occlude any sort of puncture in the chest or thoracic cavity. This is used to prevent tension pneumothorax, the collapse of a lung due to uneven pressure.
You want to make sure you have at least two of these inside your kit because there’s likely an entrance wound. There is also probably an exit wound, so make sure you have at least two. That brings upon the points of decompression needles. Decompression needles can be very useful if you know how to use them to decompress any overbuilding of pressure in the thoracic cavity.
However, I do not personally carry them because I am not trained adequately on them. Another one to note is the Nasopharyngeal Airway or NPA. These are tubes that are inserted through the nasal cavity. They are used to stabilize the airway while a patient is being treated and taken away for further treatment. These come in various sizes or gauges for each individual’s nose. I personally opt not to carry them for that reason and again for the lack of training that I have on them. Remember, not harm.
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Emergency Trauma Dressing
Another essential item is some sort of emergency trauma dressing. These are dressings wrapped around and applied with pressure to any wound directly to help prevent the bleed and stabilize it. These are essential. You want to get at least two like I have here in different sizes. Be sure to get one for limbs, one for an abdomen, or a head wound. Make sure that you have enough of these to actually apply pressure accordingly to whatever wounds you anticipate.
- EXTRA LARGE 6" ABSORPTION: Large 6" Non-Adherent Pad, Unfolds to Over 7 Foot Long Elastic Wrap
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Another very useful item is the Tegaderm film. This is a waterproof but breathable barrier that can be applied to any wound, especially any burn. It is transparent and allows you to see better what the wound looks like. This is great for monitoring wounds as well as preventing them from getting any sort of infection. It is like a large clear band-aid, and it is also perfect for securing existing gauze or bandages and covering them up so that they are also watertight sealed.
Another item I like to carry are strips. These are small bandages used to bridge gaps over wounds and help assist with moderate closure of them. They’re not a replacement for stitches, but they work in a pinch to help further close up those nasty wounds. I also think that ruled gauze is a perfect multi-purpose tool in your kit. This can also be used to stuff into wounds if need be or wrap around them, or further secure other dressings by wrapping.
I also carry some flat pads of gauze because these are great little patches of gauze to cover the wounds and then be further secured by some other device if need be. Speaking of which, I like to carry some sort of small roll of duct tape or medical tape with me to secure any sort of dressing that I’ve either used, applied, or improvised. This is a very underrated and useful tool to have in your kit.
I also like to carry a small pair of tweezers just in case you need to remove any small minor objects that are embedded or in the way of you treating your patient. Please bear in mind; if you do have something that is deep in a nasty wound, you do not want to try to remove it!
We’re also starting to move into the minor first aid territory of our kits. This is not an absolutely critical part of your kit, but I do think that if you can get away with it, please try to pack some basic essentials for minor injuries. That’s probably the most likely thing you’re going to be treating, whether you’re the range or anywhere else. I really like to carry Neosporin with me, of course. That is what goes on the wound as soon as I clean it to help prevent any infection on a minor wound.
Next, we have band-aids. This is pretty self-explanatory. They are great for minor cuts and scrapes. I also like to carry various assorted sizes of safety pins on Me. These are great for securing dressings in place if needed.
Medication (Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Pepto-Bismol, Electrolytic Tablets)
Next up, let’s talk about medication. I like to keep some over-the-counter items for discomfort and pain treatment. One thing to know, if you are giving medication to somebody else, no matter what it is and how safe you think it is, you absolutely need to have their consent. They need to be made aware of what you’re giving them and what the dosage is, and you absolutely are responsible for verifying that they have tried these medications in the past and not had any issues with them.
So first of all, I like to have some Ibuprofen with me. This is simply for inflammation and headaches. Keep in mind that Ibuprofen is an NSAID. It does slow down clotting, so if someone is bleeding, never give them Ibuprofen or any other NSAID.
Next step, for that reason, I do carry Acetaminophen. This is not an NSAID. iI is safe to give to somebody who is bleeding for pain relief.
Lastly, I do like to carry a little bit of Pepto-Bismol just in case your tummy hurts. This is pretty self-explanatory, and as we are rounding out the very end of our kit here, there are some essential accessories that you may want to include primarily.
I like to have some sort of emergency blanket if your patient or yourself has been injured. A shock could create a terrible hypothermic situation, let alone if you were outside the elements. This is still an essential survival item to have on the opposite end of the spectrum. We also want to deal with heat casualties. We want to make sure that we are always prepared for people suffering from heat exhaustion, whether you or somebody else around you.
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For that reason, I’d like to carry Nuun tablets, which are electrolytic tablets that you can drop into your water and restore electrolytes.
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- Box contains one tube of each flavor: Lemon Lime, Tri-Berry, Citrus Fruit, and Orange. Four tubes and 40 servings total.
That’s my IFAK in a nutshell. My effect may look very different from yours, and that’s okay. Each IFAK is designed around the user’s purposes, needs, and skills. You need to make sure that you’re designing it and tailoring it to yourself. Don’t use what I’m doing as a complete template for yourself. Use this as inspiration for whatever you do moving forward. I really appreciate you all tuning in, and until next time I see you. Be safe!
Last update on 2022-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API