At first glance, the relatively few contents of this belt mounted trauma kit may seem to be too limited to be effective. Once you understand the reasoning behind the components selected for this kit, you’ll realize just how powerful the kit really is. The first thing you’ll notice is that this is built to address life-threatening trauma, not your everyday boo-boo’s. I’ve seen many kits on the market that are advertised as trauma kits, but are sorely lacking in the components needed to address the life-threatening trauma. It’s extremely important to understand what is contained in a trauma kit, and the types of injuries that kit is equipped to handle.
In the Marine Corps we were always trained to perform self-aid first, and then buddy-aid. In the midst of a traumatic injury you don’t want to have a complicated kit to try to figure out. Depending on the severity of the injury your imminent death could be seconds away. Having a simple kit with only the necessary components will enable you to deploy that kit quickly, and treat your injuries. Severe bleeding, otherwise known as a hemorrhage accounts for close to 80% of combat deaths. You need to be able to stop the loss of blood quickly, and efficiently.
North American Rescue has addressed this very issue by putting together a system called the Belt Trauma Kit. This compact belt mounted kit provides you with only the essential gear needed to stop severe bleeding. Unnecessary components in a kit will only slow you down in the midst of chaos. The Belt Trauma Kit was designed to be mounted on a belt system, whether that is a duty belt, gun belt during firearms training, or for search and rescue personnel. The kit will accommodate a belt width up to 2.25” and able to be mounted either vertical or horizontal depending on your gear layout.
By having this kit on your belt you’ll have the essential hemorrhage control components within arm’s reach. Let’s take a closer look at those components contained in this kit.
The Complete Kit (reviewed here) contains the following components:
- 1x Combat Application Tourniquet
- 1x CAT Pouch
- 1x Combat Gauze Hemostatic Dressing
- 1x Emergency Trauma Dressing – 4” flat
- 1x Bear Claw Nitrile gloves, 1 pair, size large
- 1x CPR Face Shield
- 1x Belt Trauma Kit Pouch
First and foremost let’s take a look at the Tourniquet. In a previous article we discussed in detail the importance of having a tourniquet, and the advantages of the new C-A-T 7 Tourniquet. When ordering the Belt Trauma Kit if you choose the complete kit you will get one of the new C-A-T 7 Tourniquets contained in a tourniquet pouch which attaches to the main belt trauma kit pouch. The tourniquet pouch will also fit previous versions of the C-A-T tourniquets.
The Combat Gauze Hemostatic Dressing is superior to any other gauze wraps on the market. Typically rolled or folded gauze is used for packing wounds and securing gauze pads to a wound. The issue with the standard gauze wraps is that once they reach their capacity of absorbing blood you need to either replace the dressing or add additional gauze to the wound. With the Combat Gauze Hemostatic Dressing the gauze is impregnated with a hemostatic agent similar to Celox or Quik-Clot. With the combat hemostatic gauze once you start to pack the wound the blood will react with the hemostatic agent and begin to clot immediately. This is a huge advantage to have when your life is at stake. Yes, you’re going to pay a little more for the Combat Hemostatic Gauze, but when we’re talking about saving your life or the life of another, you can’t put a price on that.
Also included is an Emergency Trauma Dressing. Combined with the Combat Gauze this will allow you to effectively apply a pressure dressing to the wound once it has been packed with the hemostatic gauze. Again we’re going for simple here, pack the wound and put pressure on it. The trauma dressing in a pinch could also be used to secure a field expedient splint in the event of a fracture.
Although not really considered trauma from the aspect of blood loss you’ll also get a CPR facemask included in the kit. I know when I think of a trauma kit the last thing I would think of is a CPR facemask. The facemask may just seem like some super sexy tactical ninja medical item, but it’s probably going to be the most useful for the average civilian. Your odds of treating a gunshot wound outside of the military is slim, although with the rise in active shooter events and terrorism that may change. Your odds of having to give someone CPR is way more likely. I suggest you go and get CPR/First Aid/AED certified if you have not done so already. You can find Red Cross CPR classes being held almost every weekend so there should be no excuse for you to not be prepared to administer basic CPR and First Aid, especially if you have a family.
Last but not least in the kit are the Nitrile Gloves. This is more for your benefit when working on somebody else. This will protect you from blood born pathogens in the event you have to treat somebody you don’t know. Take a few seconds and put the gloves on before going to work on saving a life.
Get this kit, or build your own custom kit at North American Rescue here.