Let’s start off by stating that we are not medics. We realize that we aren’t medics and so we went to the experts to see what they recommend as the absolute minimum in a medical kit. Our goal was to offer a minimalist kit that still allowed the user to treat common injuries found on the battlefield. While many other minimalist kits on the market may be smaller, they tend to be lacking in all of the items needed to tend to basic wounds. In short many kits on the market are small and yield a good profit for the seller but act as more of a placebo than an actual kit that can provide legitimate first aid. After getting ample input from multiple 18Ds (Special Forces medics), combat medics and physicians assistants we determined the kit contents. These contents were then run past each of the medics for their seal of approval. We then tested these kit contents in a live environment and came back with great results. Once we established our kit contents we designed a pouch around those contents and worked with TacMed solutions to have the contents shrink wrapped for a tighter fit.
Disclaimer: we know this kit is expensive as is the case with most medical products. Our goal was not to build a product based on price, but instead to build a product that can save lives. The kit is designed to turn seconds into minutes and give you enough time to get the patient to the next higher level of care.
HALO Chest Seal (2 pack)
- Designed to help with a sucking chest wound. Includes 2 per pack to accommodate for entry and exit wounds.
4″ Control Wrap
- Provides controlled compression of a hemorrhage (bleeding). Unique design increases compression over tradition ACE Wrap. Can also be used as a sling, bandage or aid as a splinting device.
Nasopharyngeal Airway Tube (NPA)
- Assists in establishing an airway through the nasal cavity when patient is unconscious
Sterile Lubricant Jelly
- Assists to insert NPA
2 x Z Fold Combat Gauze
- Haemostatic agent assist in stopping bleeding in major bleeders. We included two because larger bleeders such as a femoral bleed may require two if the first is not placed correctly or if the gauze comes lose during transport. This also adds more packing material to the wound cavity. This is a key item in stop all major bleeders.
2 x Compressed Gauze
- Used with the Combat Gauze to stop the major bleeder. The compressed gauze combined with the combat gauze can fill larger cavities and provide compression onto the major bleeder.
14GA 3.25″ Decompression Needle
- Used to combat tension pneumothorax or tension created in the lung cavity from a punctured lung.
- Gives you quick access to the patient’s wound.
We went along the current MARCH algorithm which stands for: Massive Hemorrhaging, Airway, Respiration, Circulation, Hypothermia (also head injury). This algorithm is designed to place massive hemorrhaging as the first priority in casualty care since it is considered the fastest killer when involving large arterial bleeds. This is followed by airway which rolls into respiration. The idea here is that you can’t have respiration with an occluded airway so that should be treated first. Finally it goes into circulation (or smaller, less life threatening bleeders) and then hypothermia. Each of the kit’s contents are designed to treat the various levels of MARCH, minus hypothermia.
The Combat Gauze, Compressed Gauze and Control Wrap are the essential kit components to treat a massive hemorrhage. Here we aren’t necessarily talking about an amputation or massive bleeder located lower down on an extremity that can be treated with a tourniquet. We are talking about a large cavity wound with a high volume bleed located closer to the groin or armpit area that cannot be stopped with a tourniquet due to a lack of ‘real-estate’. The Combat Gauze has a coagulating agent that is designed to stop the arterial bleed. The gauze does not work by simply placing it in the wound and holding pressure, it must be applied directly to the arterial bleed. This is where the compressed gauze comes in. The compressed gauze allows the user to soak up blood inside the cavity making the bleeder visible by sight or by feel, it also allows for pressure once the combat gauze is applied. Because we are talking about a large cavity a lot of gauze is required. The two Compressed Gauze and Combat Gauze combined are design to fill larger size cavities and still offer pressure. The Control Wrap is a unique bandage that offers more compression than traditional wraps. The Control Wrap has velcro breaks which allow the wrap to adhere to itself while you are wrapping giving you more leverage.
Here the airway is obtained through the Nasopharyngeal Airway Tube or NPA. This is designed to bypass the patient’s tongue that may be occluding an airway. The NPA is inserted through the nasal cavity and is a great medical device for patients with trauma to their mouth or who may be unconscious.
The HALO Chest SEAL and Needle Decompression (Needle D) are included to treat a sucking chest wound caused by a punctured wound (typically from a gun shot or stab). When a patient is shot through the lung and suffers a collapsed lung they will develop a tension pneumothorax. The HALO chest seal acts as an occlusive dressing while the Needle D helps to bring lung pressure back to normal.
Again, the included gauze and Control Wrap are designed to tackle any issues with circulation.
Hypothermia is a common killer on the battlefield and should not be overlooked. However, these kit contents do not have the items needed to treat a patient going into shock. In this case we recommend using a space blanket or other blanket to keep the patient warm. Keep in mind that if a patient goes into decompensated shock the chances of keeping them alive, especially in the field, are very slim. The bottom line, keep them warm!
The Delta Trauma Kit is available at http://refactortactical.com/delta-trauma-kit and can be purchased with or without the kit contents.