One of the things that has seen a lot of use over in "The Sandbox" – Iraq and Afghanistan – and was imported back into the States by our service members is the concept of a "blow out kit", "individual trauma kit", or "improved first aid kit". In short, these kits – which are generally no larger than two AR-15 magazines side-by-side – are specifically designed and built to immediately address profusely bleeding wounds in such a way that the injured person can be stabilized until better-equipped / professional medical services can arrive. Combined with the knowledge of how to use them, kits like these have saved countless of our service members’ lives overseas, and there are actually examples of lives saved by them here in CONUS as well.
Much like fire extinguishers, knives, flashlights, and your sidearm, they are just one of those things that it simply does not hurt to have around. I have a store-bought one bouncing around in my trunk, and am considering buying / assembling another for the house.
However, one of you lucky folks who have donated to the Honored American Veterans Afield fundraiser I am running will not have to worry about that, thanks to an amazingly generous donation by Dark Angel Medical. This veteran-owned small business based out of Colorado is built around creating easy to use, affordable individual trauma kits – Direct Action Response Kits, in their parlance – and they have thrown in a Complete Kit in Multicam for the giveaway side of the fundraiser. (AR-15 magazine not included; only in picture for scale.)
This kit includes the pouch (which, of course, is MOLLE-compatible), a CAT tourniquet, trauma shears, nitrile gloves, HALO seals, nasal airway tubing, QuickClot combat gauze (not the loose QuickClot beads), compressed gauze, 4" Israeli bandage, and a sealed bag to hold it all together. It may not sound like a lot, but just those materials and the knowledge of how to use them can mean the difference between life and death for a gunshot victim, and things like that do not only happen "Over There".
If you want to go ahead and snag a kit for yourself, Dark Angel Medical also offers a Pocket D.A.R.K., which somehow manages to pack gloves, a SWAT-T tourniquet, QuickClot gauze, and a 4" Israeli bandage in a 4"x4"x1" pack suitable for hanging off your belt. Definitely worth a thought.
Oh, and if you ever happen to use one of their kits in a legitimate situation, send them the documentation on it; they will send you a replacement kit, free of charge.
One important detail I do not want to leave out is this disclaimer that is listed on Dark Angel Medical’s webpage before you can purchase any of their kits:
Purchaser’s Release from Liability Waiver
Dark Angel Medical, LLC
By purchasing this kit and all products contained therein, the purchaser warrants and attests that they have the necessary training, certifications and/or authorizations to properly deploy and use the kit’s contents and/or accessories.
The purchaser also assumes any and all liability for events arising from their use of the kit and will not hold any person or business associated with Dark Angel Medical, LLC nor the company of Dark Angel Medical, LLC, civilly or criminally liable.
This liability waiver holds true for whomever chooses the package containing the kit Dark Angel Medical donated, so please bear that in mind.
To expand on that waiver, I would not go so far as to say that blow out kits are useless without training, but it is entirely possible for you to cause more harm than good with one if you do not know what you are doing, and when your significant other is bleeding out on the floor next to you is not the time to be reading the instructions. Thankfully, one of the random pieces of training I picked up in the Navy was the appropriate use of the equipment in those kits (as a newly-minted Butter Bar, I was the Triage Officer on my first ship, if you can believe that), but I am still considering getting some refresher material in the near future.
In other words, if you select this package, and do not have training, I would strongly suggest getting it.
What else do I need to bribe you with to get you to donate?
(Note: Just like the MagHolders, this D.A.R.K. was scouted by Skas, so be sure to point some thanks his way.)