Let us be clear: First aid kit and Bleeding control kit are not interchangeable nor the same.
First aid kits are used primarily in treating minor injuries like minor cuts, scrapes, blisters, burns, and sprains.
While bleeding control kit is to help control life-threatening conditions that involve bleeding. These may be from gunshot wounds, motor vehicle or road traffic accidents, industrial accidents, or stabbing (knife crime).
In this article, we’ll discuss what a bleeding control kit is, the items included in the kit, and who should own one. Later on, we will tackle how to use a bleeding control kit in a first aid emergency.
What is a Bleeding Control Kit?
A bleeding control kit is a specialised trauma kit designed to provide first responders and bystanders with the supplies needed to stop life-threatening bleeding. Bleeding control kits are also known as ‘trauma kits’ or ‘Stop the Bleed kits.’
These kits help stop heavy bleeding and hemorrhaging and do not necessarily treat burns, frostbite, or minor cuts and abrasions.
Bleeding control kits are a great addition to workplace and public access emergency readiness programs. Even in households or farmsteads, remote areas, or hard to reach locations – these kits make important additions as emergency kits.
Choosing the right bleeding control kit is very important. Did you know that victims who have severe bleeding can die within 5-10 minute from when the wound occur?
Here are some FACTS you need to know.
- In 2019, an estimate of almost 1,200 road crash deaths on Australian roads. The overall death toll from traffic accidents is an increase of 5.3 percent from 2018.
- Hospitalised injuries also increase the same year. The most recent annual count of hospitalised injuries was 39,300. A quarter of those people has a ‘high threat’ to ‘life injuries.’
- As of December 31, 2020 record, 170 fatal injuries resulting in death in the Australian workplace.
- Injury resulting from trauma is one of the major contributors to deaths and permanent disability in Australia.
- Overall, approximately of 5 million people die every year around the world from accidental and non-accidental trauma. This is according to the American Association for the Surgery and Trauma.
Trauma doctors and professions around the world pushed for bleeding control kits to be put in public spaces. These will include schools, airports, stadiums, shopping centers, and other public spaces where lots of people gather. Bleeding control kits are also put on remote beaches in case of serious unintentional injuries.
What is in a Basic Bleeding Control Kit? (and how to use them)
1. Permanent marker
This tool can be used when writing on a variety of surfaces. These include paper, tape, tourniquet flaps, compression bandages, and skin to record the time aid was given. Doing so will help first aid responders get the crucial information they need to provide the best medical care.
2. Latex-free gloves
In most situations that require a bleeding control kit, it will likely involve touching heavily fluids. Sterile gloves offer the wearer (and the victim) some protection from infection and bloodborne illnesses like HIV and hepatitis.
3. Trauma shears (Scissors)
In high-stress events where the first responder needs to get into the wound to treat it, use trauma shears or scissors. It is quicker and safer to cut away the clothing using trauma shears than to move the patient around.
These are probably the most important component of a bleeding control kit. Tourniquets are a critical piece that stems from arterial bleeding in a victim’s extremities. When using tourniquets, remove them in under an hour if possible. This method will help emergency medical services to know the condition of the limb when they arrive.
5. Compressed bandages
Compression is the one thing that is common in all attempts to stop bleeding. Compression bandages work in sustaining the pressure on a wound while your hands are free to attend to other bleeding injuries.
6. Chest seals
This type of dressings is made specifically to treat one kind of wound, and that is the sucking chest wound. These often come from a gunshot, stabbing, or other puncture wounds. Without chest seals, a wound hole will make a new pathway for the air to travel in and out the chest. These can cause the lungs to collapse.
7. Space emergency blankets
Severe trauma can result in shock and hypothermia. A ‘shock’ occurs when there is not enough blood circulating in the body to keep organs and tissue functioning normally. While hypothermia is a condition where the body decreases a person’s ability to form clots due to coldness. Use of space blankets to keep the body warm delays the onset of shock and maintains the body’s ability to clot.
Who Should Own a Bleeding Control Kit?
We certainly that everyone should have their own bleeding control kit. These kits should be readily accessible to aid casualties of traffic accidents, hikers in remote locations, or victims of violent crime. More bleeding control kits need in industrial settings, law enforcement Vehicles, schools and universities, and large public venues. Even small groups and family settings are good candidates for a bleeding control kit.
Carry a personal bleeding control kit anywhere. There are smaller sizes available or made one for yourself. Having one can give you peace of mind should a need for it arise.
Bleeding control is a life skill that each of us should have. It protects us and others from bleeding out and having lifelong disabilities.
With the growing importance of bleeding control, trauma and public health experts continue to push for bleeding control education. The demand for courses for the general public specific on this topic also increases.
There are training organisations offering classes in bleeding control as part of their first aid and CPR training. Going beyond learning basic first aid, bleeding control will teach you how to assess a scene for safety. You will also find the source of bleeding, apply a tourniquet when appropriate, pack large wounds and use hemostatic dressings.
Anyone interested in gaining confidence in bleeding control and kit use is encouraged to seek out first aid training.