Trauma Kits – Personal
Patrick O’Neil, PA
Personal Trauma Kits have gained more attention after the Las Vegas shooting in 2017. More people are starting to realize that a traumatic event can occur anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you are on a school ground, movie theater, shopping mall, church or attending a concert. Any place where people congregate can become a target for a crazed individual that wants to make some headlines in a horrific manner.
The equipment placed in the kits should cover the basic items we use and train in for Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC). Why? Because a shooting, bombing, or stabbing is identical to a combat wound and this is the best way to treat these sorts of wounds.
Equipment Needed in the Kit
Chest Seal (vented)
14 gauge, 3-1/4 inch needle for chest decompression (if you have been trained how to use it)
If you haven’t read up on TCCC, you might want to do read one of our articles or watch one of the videos related to that subject before you start buying a bunch of supplies. You can find the article at https://www.prepper-skills.com/blogs/Tactical_Combat_Casualty_Care
The Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK)
The military came up with an outstanding Trauma Kit that is issued to every single member that deploys into harm’s way. This kit is a huge advancement in treating individual trauma for penetrating wounds (bullets, knives, shrapnel) that cause a lot of bleeding and life threatening injuries.
The PRO is that this is a complete package. I have treated patients with their own IFAK and nothing else. I didn’t need to dip into my big aid bag at all and was able to evacuate them using only their supplies. That tells me the military is doing it right.
The CON is the IFAK is fairly bulky. It’s great if you are wearing body armor or a vest and can put this bulky item on your kit. It’s not so convenient in the civilian world. For those that carry a backpack, it is useful as it can be attached to the outside. Remember, it’s not a useful kit if the individual isn’t going to carry it around with them.
The Ankle First Aid Kit
I REALLY LOVE these first aid kits. I personally think everyone should be carrying one of these on their person. I love them because I wear it. If I go to the drawer where I have my car keys and my wallet, the ankle kit is also there. When I walk out that door, it is on my ankle and I am ready no matter what environment I am in.
The PROS are it is small, it is concealed, it is out of the way and not cumbersome, and this is something that can easily be carried every day in every environment. One of the biggest drawbacks regarding trauma kits is people don’t carry one on their person. This allows for that in a very easy manner that does not draw attention to the wearer. I can negate the possible equipment shortage issue by wearing one of these on each ankle, but I personally don’t think that would be necessary unless I am wearing one for my wife also. (see the comment in the CONS section about high heels). There are also several different options to choose from ranging in price from about $26 to $65, without equipment.
The CONS are it carries a minimal amount of lifesaving equipment. You can’t wear this with high heels and a skirt. (I am working on a version that looks like a police Ankle Monitor so the wearer will look more like a Hollywood star). All kidding aside, in this situation it would be very easy to simply slip the ankle kit into a purse for easy access to the equipment. You don’t want it simply in there loose. For those that like to wear “skinny jeans” this probably won’t work either. The ankle holster can “imprint” on tight fitting pant legs so you will need to purchase pants accordingly.
Examples of Ankle First Aid Kits and approximate costs
Ankle First Aid Kit (AFAK) - $57 for holster only. It has three vertical pockets and one horizontal pocket. The horizontal pocket can hold a chest seal, while the vertical pockets can hold tourniquet, gauze, shears, compression bandage, and hemostatic agents. The stocked version is $122 and comes with a (1) 4" Wound Stop pressure bandage, (1) Celox Rapid Ribbon, (1) TK-4L tourniquet (1) HyFin compact chest Seal (1) H&H Reinforced Combat Medic Tape (flat fold), (1) pair nitrile gloves and (1) H&H decompression tool
Ricci AMS - $38 holster only. Very similar to the Rescue Essentials product in design.
Rescue Essentials Tactical Ankle Med Kit - $66 for holster with SOFTT-W tourniquet, 4” Emergency Bandage and 2 pairs of gloves. $28 holster only
Tuff Ankle Tourniquet Rig - $29 holster only. Holds quick clot, combat gauze, latex gloves and tourniquet
NAR Ankle Holster - $40 holster only. For $125 you can have the ankle holster, CAT tourniquet, Emergency Trauma Dressing and Combat Gauze
ODM Ankle Mount - $29 comes with SWAT-T tourniquet, Combat reinforcement medical tape, petrolatum gauze, conforming gauze, black nitrite gloves
There are several nice ankle kits on the market, but I have not been really pleased with any of them. Every situation is different and every person has different needs. I am currently in the design phase of creating one of my own for production that will meet what I think will be a complete kit. Once the patent paperwork is done, look for it here. I think you will like what you see.
In the meantime, for those of you that are unsure what you should be using, just drop me a line in the Contact Us section. We can discuss your needs and help you personalize a kit for you and/or the members of your family. That way, you only get what you REALLY need….and not what a manufacturer THINKS you need.
Remember: Trauma training is great, but it doesn’t do you a lot of good if the equipment was left at home or is in your vehicle out in the parking lot. You must have it easily accessible when you need it.