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The Tourniquet

Tourniquet Boston Bombing 1

Boston Firefighter James Plourde carries an injured woman away from the scene after a bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April 2013. The woman has an improvised tourniquet on her left leg just below the knee.

By Warrior Publications, June 2, 2016

Tourniquet: A device, typically a tightly encircling bandage, used to check bleeding by temporarily stopping the flow of blood through a large artery in a limb… French : tourner, to turn (from Old French).”

The Free Dictionary

A tourniquet is a binding that is applied to an injured limb to stop arterial blood flow resulting from a severe injury (characterized by bright red spurting blood). Although it has been used on battlefields since at least the times of the Roman Empire, after World Wars 1 and 2 the tourniquet became a questionable, even dangerous technique that was to be used only as a last resort, if at all. Despite the apparent absence of any medical studies, the tourniquet was said to cause such severe nerve damage that it often resulted in amputations.

Warning: there are some graphic images in the following article. Read the rest of this entry

IFAK: Individual First Aid Kits

The newest US Army IFAK; the folding insert containing the items slides into the pouch, which has two flap openings on either side.

The newest US Army IFAK 2; the folding insert (bottom) containing the items slides into the pouch (top), which has two flap openings on either side. The pouch is carried on the rear lower back of the tactical vest.

by Warrior Publications, June 10, 2015

While updating and reorganizing some first aid kits around our house, I did some research on military-issued individual first aid kits (known as “IFAK” in the US military).  These are specialized types of first aid kits and their primary role is to stop severe bleeding wounds, such as those inflicted by bullets or explosions.  While this may not be of great interest to the average civilian, any one who uses firearms on a regular basis (such as hunters) should make note of these kits and their contents, for emergencies such as accidental shootings or discharges of firearms.  I think they should also be of interest to people who live in remote rural or wilderness areas where it can be difficult for medical services to access.  For example, a person could experience a severe bleeding injury while using axes or chainsaws for gathering firewood, etc.  It’s also a good idea to get as much first aid training as you can, and to have a small first aid kit assembled and ready to go in your vehicle, pack, etc. Read the rest of this entry