We own some land miles from anywhere. When you own land, you need chainsaws and other dangerous tools that could easily sever an artery. Way out there, we're far from a hospital, emergency services, and even cell reception. While we do have a few neighbors, it would take many minutes to find help when seconds count. I like to be prepared. I carry a multitool, pepper spray, a flashlight, and bandaids in my EDC kit. Recently I got to use my bandaids when K cut her finger open on some splintered wood. It felt good to be equipped and able to help.
I've heard a couple of horror stories lately that inspired me to get a tourniquet. One guy saved the life of a co-worker when a chainsaw kicked and nearly cut the co-workers arm off. The man and his arm were saved by the tourniquet.
Another guy in the Amazon reviews of the tourniquet I bought cut his wrist in an accident while using a circular saw. fortunately he was prepared, and managed to slow the bleeding enough to survive while he waited for a life flight.
Another common way of severing arteries is in a car accident. I've seen several in my time, even a crash at 20 miles per hour is terrifyingly loud. I've been in at least 2 accidents in my life and many close calls. So far I've been fortunate to have no serious injuries.
There are tons of tourniquets on Amazon available for less than $10 a pop, but they're made in China and lack any certifications. I decided to go with a North American Rescue. It's the official tourniquet of the US Army, approved by the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care and used by many first responders.
To see a list of other devices approved by the CoTCCC click here.
To buy yourself an orange NAR tourniquet like mine, click here (amazon affiliate link)
Chest Seals are used to treat something called a sucking chest wound. I go out into the woods and frequent places where people carry firearms. These are caused by gunshots and puncture wounds. We all know that in the US, firearms are common and many people carry them in public places, legally and illegally. While I'm personally not overly concerned about gun violence, or an accidental shooting, these events happen in our country every single day. It just makes sense to be prepared and I came across them while looking for a tourniquet. They are often sold together in an IFAK or Individual First Aid Kit. To buy some chest seals, click here (Amazon affiliate link).
If building an IFAK you may also consider adding a collapsible CPR mask, latex gloves, trauma shears - used to quickly cut away clothing that may need to be removed to assess an injury or wound, and gauze both regular and hemostatic, which can help wipe up blood and in the case of the latter stop the bleeding.
If you do frequent rural areas often, you should consider reaching out to the Emergency Services Dispatch in the area to find out of they use What3Words addresses. What3Words is an app that can locate you when you're far from a known address.
Having stuff is good, but useless if you don't know how to use it. I've taken a first aid course that included CPR but I think it's time to take a few more classes to make sure I know how to use these tools should I ever need to.