August 10, 2009
Shirt-pocket trauma kit
PoliceOne Contributor Jim Guffey
By PoliceOne Contributor Jim Guffey
Image courtesy of Jim Guffey
To survive some calls you need to be able to carry everything on your duty belt. Below is a little kit I carried in my shirt pocket and would have given me the ability to survive three major types of gunshot wounds if the worst ever happened. The materials were simply a plastic sandwich bag, a KOTEX sanitary pad and a tourniquet from a snake bite kit. Here’s how you do it.
The tourniquet: Find a snake-bite kit that has a tourniquet in it at any sporting goods store. The one I got is big enough when opened all the way to go over my thigh. Obviously, this is for any arterial or venous bleeding.
Sanitary pad: I used KOTEX brand because it is small and square, the perfect size for a shirt pocket or extra handcuff case. These pads hold close to ten times their weight in blood. Perfect for serious wounds. Get the plain variety. You don't need scented ones.
Plastic bag: In case of a chest wound, tension pneumothorax, simply put the bag over the wound and press down with both hands. The plastic will keep air out and, if you leave pressure off the bottom of the bag, it will allow air in your chest to escape.
This kit won’t win any prizes and it isn’t pretty or high-tech but if you have it with you it just might save your life.