I have sutures but I will probably never have to use them, I keep them in the larger kits, just in case. I’m not against carrying them, I just don’t think you are going to have the time to suture yourself if you get into an altercation and you are assessing injuries, etc. Fred Perrin takes a different approach and carries a Surgical Stapler, which is a fine idea. Suturing and Stapling is going to hurt…a lot, and that should be remembered as well. With Steri-Strips, you just clean it with a swab of disinfectant and pull it closed and cover it and get going out of the area, etc. If it requires more advanced medical attention, you can receive that when you get to safety.
For a “street injury kit” that you can stick in a pocket or hang from a piece of ParaCord or ball chain…use two different sized Butterfly Bandages, some small dressing - gauze, some Antiseptic Swabs that are sealed and some 3M Steri-Strips for hard to close wounds. If you slip and cut your finger to the bone, you can clean it (Antiseptic), close it (Steri-Strip) and cover it (Large Band-Aid or gauze bandage). Or, if someone else cuts you…you can do the same thing.
It all depends on what area you are in and what you are preparing for. A Hunter in snake country – his kit is going to be drastically different from someone who is in an area where there are no snakes and probably no possibility of being shot by a firearm or a broadhead tipped arrow.
I consider my larger First Aid Kits to be able to serve as a basic kit to help in any situation. But smaller kits may be carried for specific reasons, like wounds/injuries you might receive if you are attacked, while defending yourself, etc.
A kit that is a little bit larger would contain the same things but might have a pack of Quik-Clot and one or two small – to medium sized dressings more suited for trauma, “small battlefield dressings.”
Altoid Tins make good mini-survival kits that you can drop in a pocket and carry on a daily basis. Likewise, you can make another “Tin” that just has your First-Aid Kit in it which will serve as this basic kit and you can jam a good amount of gauze in there, etc.
I am experimenting with a small, nylon (heavy-duty) wallet at the moment. I have been able to get a good amount of basic stuff in it. If you wear a fanny pack or a “Photojournalist” Vest, you can stuff the pockets with all sorts of gear, including First Aid Kits in “miniature” form.
From the 3M website:
· Less scarring when compared to staples or sutures.
· Enhances patient comfort and less chance of infection than with sutures or staples.
· Fast application.
· Comfortable to wear.
· Reduces likelihood of skin irritation.
Fast application and securing the wound closed is what I’m after, the other things are nice attributes, but I’m looking for the quick and proper fix and then leaving an area, etc.
The media makes hundreds of millions of dollars milking tragedy and they call it "News." They have a right to be in business and they have a right to make money, but they also have a special responsibility to society as well and I think for the most part, they shirk this responsibility constantly.
The reason I say that is because I don't want to be seen as milking tragedies like they do. I do have an agenda in all of this and that is to make people aware that you don't have to be in a bonafide "War Zone" to need survival gear now.
I'm not using tragedies to push banning anything, nothing like that. I see that all the time when it comes to weapons legislation and I know and can prove most of that are lies...I despise it.
I'm using tragedies as a direct lesson as to why you should consider purchasing some things and keeping them on hand in case of an emergency.
In cases of severe bleeding that cannot be stopped by direct pressure, one of three things will happen.
· You will make it to a trauma center
· or someone equipped and competent to take care of you
· or you will die.
Terrorism has now touched our country (you will see this theme repeat itself over and over now). Even if you live close to an excellent trauma center (I live about eleven miles from the first Shock Trauma Unit, located in Baltimore City…) there is no guarantee you will make it there in a mass casualty situation. Surviving trauma is all about time, time is precious. The ability to stop severe hemorrhage can save your life; it can stave off shock, shock can kill you even if Professional Care has been given if you have lost a lot of blood. They can save you and you can die days later, the human body can just crash and burn even after being “saved” which is what Dr. Cowley, the Pioneer of Shock Trauma, discovered. He Pioneered the concept of Shock Trauma and what frustrated him was the fact that people could be “saved” after tremendous blood loss, just to die later on for no apparent reason. It is beyond the scope of this article to go into exactly what he discovered, suffice it to say, he discovered it.
So, the less shock you have to go through, including through blood loss, the better off you are going to be when you reach Professional Care.
Quik-Clot should not be used in cases where direct pressure can stop the bleeding as far as I know. Understand that Quik-Clot is for when everything goes wrong and you or someone with you cannot control the hemorrhage and that hemorrhage becomes life threatening. Then and only then should this be used.
This is one of those things that you hope you never need but if you ever do, you will need it desperately. Like the old saying goes, “better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” You should have an individual pack of it for every member of your family in the kit, just in case you have to control severe bleeding and direct pressure won’t do it. This will buy you time, time to get to a surgeon.
W.R. Mann at Real Fighting Dot Com has forwarded me a CD-ROM on Quik-Clot with some graphic footage on it.
Test of Hemostatic Agents
“Black Hawk Down” Model
Without going into graphic detail, let’s just say that a femoral artery and vein were bisected on a swine, on video, and when the Quik-Clot was used and a bandage was applied with pressure… After a very short period of time, the bandage was removed and the top layer of the Quik-Clot was not red, the blood did not come through and soak through the Quik-Clot or the bandage. That is simply…nothing short of amazing.
Quik-Clot is available from Real Fighting Dot Com, click on the link for ordering Quik-Clot from W.R. Mann.
This item is such an excellent deal for the money. I purchased one of these at a gun show once and the bag had all sorts of loose threads, 50% of the liquids in it were out of date and entirely useless. I had to replace so much stuff in it. But, that was fairly easy to do because there was not a whole lot of stuff in it really.
I went to another table that same day and purchased other supplies to go in it. I paid a little over $50.00 for this little black bag patterned after an “M3 Medic Bag” and really got ripped off in the extreme if you ask me. Silly old me, it never occurred to me that someone would sell you something to save your life and half of the stuff in it would be out of date and basically useless.
So, after I discarded all of the out of date nonsense in it, I was not left with much of a first-aid kit. But I stocked it over time and filled it with some good supplies.
Well, there is good news to all of this. I have another one now. If you want one that is stocked very well and you don’t want to pay $300.00 for a Company’s Name so you look cool with Yuppie Hiking Friends, this is the place for you.
JRH Enterprises. Robert is a good guy and he’s offering an excellent kit at an excellent price. I’ll detail that in a moment so you can see what you get for about $50.00, it’s a steal.
Let me tell you the only complaint I have about the kit. The Iodine expires 10/03, October of this year, I am writing this in April. It has a few months left on it…
THAT’S IT! What a long laundry list of negativity, right?
BIG DEAL! So you have to throw one, small bottle of Iodine out! Replace it with a larger bottle of Betadine and you’re good to go anyway!
If you could find something comparable at a local drug store, this kit would probably cost you about $150.00 or more. And you would probably never get a bag that is this handy. You would be saddled with something that is designed to sit in a kitchen drawer or the trunk of your car and not be quite as mobile and handy as this bag is.
A casual stroll through a local drug store left me with the impression that it would be at least $150.00 to duplicate this kit. For example, there was a Johnson & Johnson First Aid Kit in a plastic box. It was $19.95 and it did not have a whole lot of stuff in it at all. Most of it was just Band-Aids of various sizes.
The beauty of ordering something that you only have to tweak a little bit and then you can have lifesaving equipment is very attractive. And the fact that it does not drain your bank account is also a real plus, isn’t it?
So, what do you get for $50.00 because money is tight and times are hard?
JRH Enterprises “M3 Medic Bag” Contents:
Four pocket Medic Bag
“Wire Cage” for large bottles of Hydrogen Peroxide and large rolled bandage, helps to keep everything from shifting, keeps large bottles upright.
One bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide, 16 FL. OZ. (1 Pint)
One roll Elastic Gauze 6” X 5 yards (Stretched)
Two Elastic, Cotton Bandages, Rolls, 6” X 5.5 yards
One First-Aid Field Dressing, 11 ¾” Square.
One Large, Khaki Muslin, Triangular Bandage used for slings, etc.
One Surgipad Combine Dressing, 8” X 7.5”
Two packs of two each, 4” X 4” 12 ply Sterile Sponges
Two Intersorb Dry Gauze Bandages
Two Gauze Roller Bandages, 2” X 6 yards, two separate packages
Two Gauze Roller Bandages, 1” X 6 yards, two separate packages
One Bandage, Gauze, Elastic Compress, 2” X 5 yards
One Instant Cold Pack, disposable after use
One 4-0 Surgidac Suture Pack, Polyester
One 2-0 Synthetic Absorbent Monofilament Suture Pack
One 1 FL. OZ. Iodine Tincture (bottle)
One 2 FL. OZ. Germ-X Hand Sanitizer
Two pair of Surgical Gloves, not sterile
One small bar of soap, not surgical soap
One small roll of Surgical Tape
One pair of heavy duty shears for cutting bandages and clothing
One small, straight pair of hemostats
One plastic pair of forceps
One tongue depressor
One package of cotton swabs
One eye pad bandage
One device which appears to be an airway guide. (I need some additional training for this and other devices like it as well)
The rest of the package contains a large number of hand Benzalkonium Chloride towelettes, Alcohol Prep-Pads, small packs of Aspirin, Burn Gel, and Antibiotic Ointment pads, etc.
You can buy this kit here at JRH Enterprises.
There is this chilling passage in Dr. Bruce D. Clayton’s “Life After Doomsday” that immediately comes to mind when I think of these kits, here is the quote from that excellent book:
“When you pick up a scalpel, though, remember that you are walking a very thin line between medical treatment and manslaughter. Such an extreme measure as amateur surgery is justified only when professional help cannot be obtained and it is certain that your patient will die without your intervention.”
I suggest you consider that passage very carefully for quite some time. The actual Kit is a good one for general use that might not even include something so terrible as trauma surgery. It might just be something so simple as suturing a hard to close wound after cleaning it because there is no Doctor, let alone a hospital, to be found anywhere.
There are other considerations as well. What if you are in the middle of some horrible incident and you do find a Doctor and he has nothing to work with? A lot of Doctors do carry emergency supplies in their vehicles, etc., but it could very well happen “the way the world is” now that they could be separated from that equipment. Basically, anything can happen.
On Doug Ritter’s “Equipped to Survive” site, which is just about the finest of its kind, there is a first hand account, a Doctor at Ground Zero on 9-11-01. Go read it, it’s well worth your time.
So, don’t think I’m on some “Doctor Trip” or something, they’re just tools and they could be lifesaving tools under the right conditions and it’s not like they are $1,200.00 and you’re spending all of that money for something that might not ever happen. Furthermore, this Kit does not take up much room at all.
JRH Enterprises has the kit for $35.00 and it is well worth it and you get a good package deal if you purchase the “M3 Kit” at the same time.
Here is the Kit with contents:
One pair of straight scissors
One #3 scalpel handle
One pair of medium sized, curved hemostats
Two pair of medium sized, straight hemostats
One pair of straight forceps (tweezers)
One large needle with rounded tip
One dental – surgical type angled probe
In the pocket contained in the Kit:
Two sterile scalpel blades, two separate packages
Two suture packs, 3-0 Synthetic Absorbable Monofilament
Two alcohol Prep-pads
Two Povidone – Iodine U.S.P. Prep-pads
A very handy kit indeed.
The Sawyer Extractor Kit is the only one that makes sense to me. When I was a kid in snake territory, I carried a Cutter Snakebite Kit. I do believe that was the name of it. It was two rubber halves that joined together and those were the suction devices used to suck the poison out. It had a razor blade and some other basic things in it but we now know that is not the way to go when it comes to field treatment of a poisonous snakebite.
The Sawyer Extractor has a syringe type of device. A regular syringe would draw when you pull back on the plunger. Because you might have to use the Sawyer with one hand, it draws when you push the plunger into the body of the device.
Pressing down into the wound after a rattlesnake has bitten you is going to hurt like hell, I’m sure of that. But the various size attachments that come with the Sawyer can be matched to the size of the bite. What this does is, the poison has collected in a pocket(s) under your skin. Before the venom can spread to surrounding tissues, you can press down with the Sawyer and proper attachment and this will contain it and when you push on the plunger, it starts to pull the venom out of the pocket. Snakebites swell rapidly as far as I’ve been told so if you can get the Sawyer on the bite as soon as possible, you might be able to get most of the venom out before it can spread.
I remember seeing a man on Ripley’s “Believe it or Not!” Who tested snakeproof boots and leggings. He was using extremely large Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes in the boot demo I watched. The amount of venom that shot across the top of that boot from both fangs could have almost filled a whiskey shotglass. So, understand, if a snake of that size bit you, even using a Sawyer means you are in real medical peril. You have to remain calm. Some rattlesnakes are so large, even a best case scenario where the Sawyer works very well would still leave enough venom in the wound to equal being bitten by a much smaller rattlesnake in my opinion.
And that is just my opinion. I have had some close calls with poisonous snakes but have not been hit by one yet.
In the Sawyer Kit you find the actual syringe-like Extractor, several different attachments for various size bites, a disposable safety razor, pain-killer swabs for bees, etc., and alcohol prep pads.
As far as I’m concerned, if you live in snake country, you should have one of these in your pocket when you venture out among the snakes. One in the home and one in the vehicle.
The older kits that relied on “Cut and Suck” techniques can actually make snakebite much more worse than it originally was. They advised to cut the flesh to expose the venom to suction and removal. The only problem with that is, when you cut into the flesh, you expose more flesh to the venom and it can transfer the venom to the surrounding tissues much faster.
That is why the Sawyer Kit is so valuable.
From the MERCK MANUAL online:
“Venomous snakebites are medical emergencies requiring immediate attention. Before treatment is begun, it must be determined whether the snake is venomous and whether envenomation occurred, because a venomous snake may bite and not inject venom ("dry bites" occur in about 20 to 30% of pit viper bites and in about 50% of coral snakebites). When no envenomation occurs, or if the bite is inflicted by a nonvenomous snake, the bite should be treated as a puncture wound. In all envenomations, it is wise to contact a regional poison control center.
In the field: The snakebite victim should move or be moved beyond the snake's striking distance. The victim should avoid exertion and be reassured, kept warm, and transported to the nearest medical facility as quickly as possible. The injured part should be loosely immobilized in a functional position just below heart level, and all rings, watches, and constrictive clothing removed. Stimulants should not be administered. Tourniquets, incision and suction, cryotherapy, and electric shock are contraindicated. The pressure immobilization (crepe bandages) method is not recommended in the USA for pit viper bites because local necrosis may be increased. The Extractor by Sawyer, applied directly over fang marks, may be of value in pit viper bites if applied within a few minutes of the bite and continued for 30 to 60 min.”
As you can see from the information on that website, being bitten by a rattlesnake is not necessarily a death sentence. Snakes tend to get rather mean and nasty after eating, ask anyone who owns a constrictor and ask them how they act after feeding sometimes.
Point being? If the rattlesnake just ate, he might have less venom or hardly any at all because he used it on his dinner. You might also run into a poisonous snake that only has one working fang too.
According to the MERCK statistics (We all know about those horrible damned things, right?) you have a 20 to 30 percent chance of not having the venom injected into you.
Get a Sawyer Kit, they’re only about $15.00 to $20.00 and it could save your life and a whole lot of pain and trauma during recovery as well. The kit is slightly larger than an Altoids Tin, don’t get hung up on “Tins Only” if you live where you might need more stuff! The Tin is an excellent addition, but don’t ignore reality either.
I mentioned it earlier, this one was black and I’ve had to use a lighter and burn all sorts of loose threads of nylon in it and spent some time sewing it and reinforcing it in places. I also added a Fastex buckle to each side because the flip out section had a tendency to flip right out anyway.
This has an assortment of prescription allergy medications for my Wife and Son as well as extra inhalers for my Wife. Quick-Clot, multiple “Trau-Medic” type of dressings, small bottle of Betadine. You name it and if it is legal and useful, it is probably in there. I wish I would have found the JRH Enterprises M3 Bag way back when, I could have saved myself a load of trouble. I could have bought the Field Surgical Kit and the M3 from JRH for the price of the one M3 Bag I got at a gun show.
It took some time to write this and assemble it all. Well after I started crafting this, SARS broke out and everyone is worried about that now. I think being concerned about SARS is normal, I think we might want to take a page from the Japanese in the future. Much has been written about how they wear surgical masks when they are sick. While this might seem strange, it makes a lot of sense. Being courteous in this fashion might indeed stop the spread of sickness. Using surgical gloves if you handle a lot of money from strangers might ultimately be a good idea as well during such times. That is up to you.
Keeping a steady stream of Vitamin C in your system to boost your immune system is a solid plan of action along with simply keeping your hands clean, wash your hands.
Keeping face (surgical) masks and gloves as well as large Muslin (cloth) triangular bandages and bandanas in your kit is a very good idea as well.
I cannot and will not be held responsible if you skin your knee, shoot yourself, fall on a spork or do something accidental, negligent or possibly stupid and then you decide to treat yourself because, “The guy on DonRearic.Com said I could.”
The human body is a paradox. One man can be shot in the face, point blank with a .44 Magnum and survive and someone else slips in the tub on half a bar of Dove and they break their neck and die instantly. Or drown because they have been knocked unconscious or have been paralyzed…
It is just like so-called, “Lethal Martial Arts Techniques.” Most people that die in hand to hand combat on the streets in this country are not killed by the punch, they are killed because they are knocked unconscious or they get bowled over and they crack their skull on the pavement. Look it up.
I’m not a Registered Nurse, Emergency Medical Technician, Former Army Combat Medic or a Navy Corpsman. I am not a Doctor, nor do I play one on Television.
If you choose to travel down this road, I suggest that you seek out Professional Basic, Intermediate and Advanced First-Aid / First Responder Training from a reputable source like The American Red Cross or a local Community College. As a part of that, learn CPR. All of these things are incredibly important because they give you something that a First-Aid Kit, no matter how well stocked, cannot give you and that is knowledge.
This website is about interesting things and lifesaving things. All too often we dwell on how to take a life in order to preserve our own and we don’t talk about what happens when we get injured. It does not matter if you get injured from some crackhead stabbing you on the street or if you did it to yourself in your own Ford in a moment of stupidity or negligence. You have to save yourself long enough to get to Professional Medical Care. Do not kid yourself that you are a Doctor when you are not and use these things only when your life depends on it. Don’t cut yourself in the kitchen and pour Quick-Clot in the wound because you don’t like Emergency Rooms and sutures suck. Get yourself to the ER immediately. These things, like Quick-Clot, are for extreme circumstances where you will DIE if you do NOT use it. Not because you “think” it’s “OK” to use it. Understand?
Back to the Main Index