Trauma Kits: Do you have one nearby?

This is a discussion on Trauma Kits: Do you have one nearby? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Some of the trauma kits out there contain equipment for performing chest decompression (percutaneous needle thoracostomy). Unless you have been trained in this procedure, including ...

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  1. #16
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    Some of the trauma kits out there contain equipment for performing chest decompression (percutaneous needle thoracostomy).

    Unless you have been trained in this procedure, including actual performance in an anatomy lab (or similar), you should not even contemplate speculating about the merest possibility of performing one. Improper performance of a needle thoracostomy can result in life threatening complications.

    It probably also constitutes practicing medicine in most states (if not all).

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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    probably a good idea to get one. at this time I do not have trauma kits or other first aid materials
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    Some of the trauma kits out there contain equipment for performing chest decompression (percutaneous needle thoracostomy).

    Unless you have been trained in this procedure, including actual performance in an anatomy lab (or similar), you should not even contemplate speculating about the merest possibility of performing one. Improper performance of a needle thoracostomy can result in life threatening complications.

    It probably also constitutes practicing medicine in most states (if not all).

    Matt
    Are ya sure it's that hard? I mean, I saw Pulp Fiction where they fixed a heroin overdose by slamming a needle directly into someone's heart...fixing the pneumothorax isnt like that?
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  5. #19
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    Some of the trauma kits out there contain equipment for performing chest decompression (percutaneous needle thoracostomy).

    Unless you have been trained in this procedure, including actual performance in an anatomy lab (or similar), you should not even contemplate speculating about the merest possibility of performing one. Improper performance of a needle thoracostomy can result in life threatening complications.

    It probably also constitutes practicing medicine in most states (if not all).

    Matt
    True; however, those kits are sold for LE/Contractors/Soldiers primarily, and most of them are certified as an EMT of some kind.

    If someone wants to have one in their pack, then they need to take a class with it.

    If one is going to use those kits as a private person, it's likely all hell has broken loose and practicing medicine without a license is the least of the worries if you are doing a needle decompression on yourself or anyone else.

    For most people, in most situations, the basics are going to carry the day. If you are worried about inter-chest pressure, have a bolin/asherman chest seal in the kit and duct tape to secure it well...then get the BLANK to the hospital by calling 911 or carjacking someone into taking you ASAP.

    (Whichever is faster...)

  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    If one is going to use those kits as a private person, it's likely all hell has broken loose and practicing medicine without a license is the least of the worries if you are doing a needle decompression on yourself or anyone else.

    For most people, in most situations, the basics are going to carry the day. If you are worried about inter-chest pressure, have a bolin/asherman chest seal in the kit and duct tape to secure it well...then get the BLANK to the hospital by calling 911 or carjacking someone into taking you ASAP.

    (Whichever is faster...)
    I would have to agree with this. Getting to proper medical attention is going to do you more good than a field decompression anyway. I had a patient with a hemo/pneumothorax last month and I ended up having to decompress him 5 times during a 45 min flight to the trauma center. Clots form pretty fast in the catheters and then it is ineffective. The only real fix is a chest tube. I think it is much more important to have the basics for things like bleeding control and splinting for most people. Taking a class and knowing how to use what you have is much more important. Also knowing CPR should be a priority.

  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    True; however, those kits are sold for LE/Contractors/Soldiers primarily, and most of them are certified as an EMT of some kind.

    If someone wants to have one in their pack, then they need to take a class with it.

    If one is going to use those kits as a private person, it's likely all hell has broken loose and practicing medicine without a license is the least of the worries if you are doing a needle decompression on yourself or anyone else.
    True - your larger worries are:

    1. Creation of a tension pneumothorax where none existed before due to performance of the technique when not indicated.
    2. Injury to the heart muscle or cardiac vasculature from improper placement, perhaps leading to cardiac tamponade (which has been documented).

    Practicing medicine without a license is truly a lesser worry if you manage to kill the patient by improperly performing an invasive technique.

    As you noted, proper application of an external seal is far more appropriate for the layperson. Needle thoracostomy should only be performed at the direction (live or via standing order) of a physician, and only then by trained personnel. Movies notwithstanding, this is an advanced medical procedure which can cause death or serious injury when improperly performed. Even the proper mechanical technique can cause serious injury if performed when not indicated.

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  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jermedic View Post
    I would have to agree with this. Getting to proper medical attention is going to do you more good than a field decompression anyway. I had a patient with a hemo/pneumothorax last month and I ended up having to decompress him 5 times during a 45 min flight to the trauma center. Clots form pretty fast in the catheters and then it is ineffective. The only real fix is a chest tube. I think it is much more important to have the basics for things like bleeding control and splinting for most people. Taking a class and knowing how to use what you have is much more important. Also knowing CPR should be a priority.
    That's why we use 24 Fr. Trocars for chest decompression on our ambulance service.
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  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    Practicing medicine without a license is truly a lesser worry if you manage to kill the patient by improperly performing an invasive technique.
    What I was refering to was a situation which was so dire and far from civilization - like dancing with meth-monkeys out in the boonies - that it becomes necessary, you have bigger and better things on your mind than practicing medicine w/o a license.

    Still, for ordinary people, it's not really an issue.

    I'm going to get some training on how to use a needle decomp...but that's just "Money in the training bank" not something I intend on using unless the sky is falling, aliens are coming to kill us and so forth.

    In other words...I'm reaching for my bolin/asherman seals, duct tape and a cell phone LONG before I decide to stab someone with a needle.

  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    What I was refering to was a situation which was so dire and far from civilization - like dancing with meth-monkeys out in the boonies - that it becomes necessary, you have bigger and better things on your mind than practicing medicine w/o a license.

    Still, for ordinary people, it's not really an issue.

    I'm going to get some training on how to use a needle decomp...but that's just "Money in the training bank" not something I intend on using unless the sky is falling, aliens are coming to kill us and so forth.

    In other words...I'm reaching for my bolin/asherman seals, duct tape and a cell phone LONG before I decide to stab someone with a needle.
    Fair enough, on all points.

    Cheers.

    Matt
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  11. #25
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    I think it's always a good idea to have a trauma kit. They're cheap if you get them at a store that specializes in medical supplies and you can never be too careful.

  12. #26
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    I made one for work to go above what we have in our patrol cars (basic gauze, bandaids, medical tape, child and adult ambu bags, AED),
    I bought the bag and supplies myself: quikclot sponges, celox pads, emt shears, chem lights, duct tape, medical tape, rolled gauze, abdominal pads, 2 bolin chest seals w/valve, 2 solid seals, cpr mask, emergency blanket, protective masks, 4 tourniquets, alcohol wipes, antiseptic wash, several pairs of gloves, and I know I'm forgetting other stuff right now.

    I keep my kit in the car so its there around town and on trips with us. At work its in my front floorboard, in case things hit the fan.....because Fire Dept/Ambulances won't be coming into a scene until its safe and I may need that kit for me or fellow officer until they get there.
    I also take it to the range.

    There are some good pre-made kits out there that are not expensive and would be good for all of us to have. Also, I believe a tourniquet is something that should be in all trauma kits, and carried by folks hunting....small, light, and very valuable when its needed.

    As for knowing how to use this stuff....I got training in the academy and we do refreshers on cpr/AED each year, and my wife is a nurse and has taught me well LOL
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  13. #27
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    I keep a kit in the car, a smaller blowout kit in the kid's diaper bag, and there's a little one in the wife's purse (somewhere...). I don't carry one on me.

    I don't use a fancy prepared kit, I make my own. I put the stuff in a vacuum sealer like you see on TV to use to store food in the freezer. It sucks down all the bulky gauze and such into a smaller, denser package that carries easier.
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  14. #28
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    Good advice, but I prefer a simpler (and more portable) approach.

    I do keep a Quik-Clot dressing either in my cargo pocket (on weekends) or in my briefcase (during the work week). My wife has one in her purse.

    In addition, I carry a knife. With that knife, I can cut clothing to make any dressings, bandages, or anything else I might need. Need a tourniquet? Use your belt, a stick, and tie it in place with some strips of cloth. Need a chest seal? Plastic bags will do. Duct tape is useful - have a roll in each car.

    The bottom line is that with a little training and some improvisational skills, you don't really need much to keep people alive until EMTs show up. It's a lot easier to carry a small knife than a trauma kit.

    Of course, some of the young ladies wear so little clothing nowadays that you have to wonder if there would be enough to cut up to bandage them...but that's another story.
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  15. #29
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    I have a large trauma kit at home and keep a somewhat smaller one in the car Car kit contains:
    • Israeli trauma bandages (4,6 and 12 inch abdominal)
    • Kerlix (4 rolls)
    • Ace Bandage
    • Various size pressure pads and dressings
    • Chest Seal
    • Celox gauze
    • Tournaquit
    • CPR mask
    • Gloves
    • EMT shears
    • Duraspore tape in 3 sizes
    • Duct tape
    • Flashlight and Headlamp
      • Water and rehydration mix
      • General 'boo boo' kit including extra blister treatments and OTC meds
      • Emergency blanket


    I am rarely in a place where there is not fairly good emergency service, so my kit is designed to keep someone breathing and make sure they don't bleed out in the 15 minutes or so until an EMT arrives. The items required to do this can be kept in a small pouch, mine is larger to accomodate multiple victims. This is not an Armageddon kit, this is designed to deal with the kinds of problems I am most likely to run into while out and about or at home. These things include (in order of likelihood) Heart attacks, Heat exhaustion, Auto crashes, gunshot wounds.

    Skills are more important than materials since many of the first aid items can be improvised if you know what you are doing. Unfortunately for me, my skills are limited to a very old Boy Scout First Aid Badge and CPR training from the Red Cross. I haven't found the time to renew my training but have found the latest military life saving course materials on line and read them to find out the latest techniques.

  16. #30
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    My shooting buddy is a doctor,I should probably hit him up for some materials and training in application,I have had basic first aid in the Military,and Boy Scouts years ago
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