When a tire blows out, it leaves the vehicle undrivable. You can think of the human body the same way in that when it is injured deeply enough, it can put a stop to any forward motion and even lead to death. While it is basically a first aid kit, a blowout kit is more than that. Coming from a military environment where not having the right items can be a matter of life or death, a blowout kit is the thing standing between you and death, not just a bandage for a little boo-boo. So here are the essentials in a blowout kit you need to know.
Items to deal with hemorrhaging
When looking at the essentials in a blowout kit, hemorrhaging should be the main focus. Injuries happen and not all are life-threatening, but an injury which produces a high enough level of blood loss which can’t be stopped with simple gauze and pressure is an indicator of a life and death situation. Hemorrhaging is technically any time blood loss occurs but there is obviously a difference in how you would treat a cut where the bleeding stops with a few minutes of pressure and a wound where the gauze is soaked through with blood in a matter of seconds. Here are the basics you need on hand for dealing with the latter:
- Gauze: You will still need this to help apply pressure and contain some of the bleeding.
- Pressure dressing/wrap: This will help to hold the pressure in place until you get to a hospital.
- Hemostatic agent: This is usually a powder which helps blood to clot quickly and stop or reduce the blood loss.
- Tourniquet: A tourniquet can be used on a major limb to stop blood loss but there are important precautions to remember such as marking the time it was placed and remembering to loosen it every half hour for five minutes to avoid lasting nerve or muscle damage if the device will be in place for more than two hours. A tourniquet can be a device you purchase, or it can be a makeshift item made on the fly.
Items for obstructed airway
Another major injury that is hard to handle without the right essentials in your blowout kit is an obstructed airway. This can be caused by a variety of things from food in a choking victim, a tongue sliding into the back of the throat in an unconscious individual, or something more traumatic such as blood from a more intense injury. This is where an NPA comes in handy. This should be a part of your blow out kit because there are really very few safe ways to open up someone’s airway in most cases. While the head tilt may work for removing the tongue of an unconscious person, a more traumatic injury where blood is in the airway absolutely requires an NPA. An NPA, which stands for Nasopharyngeal Airway, is a soft tube made of rubber and it is inserted into the nasal cavity to allow for air flow and breathing when the throat passages for breathing are blocked. It is important to follow all guidelines when using one and to familiarize yourself with the process prior to an emergency.