The best battle is the one not fought. If you can’t avoid conflict, save as many lives as possible. Therefore, for a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, it is important to have an effective weapon and a properly equipped military first-aid kit. An individual first-aid kit significantly increases the ability of a fighter to provide self-help. This first aid kit offers emergency care for the two main causes of death on the battlefield: severe bleeding and respiratory failure. Each military first-aid kit in the Armed Forces of Ukraine multiplies the soldier’s survival rate. It is also important to know what exactly the military first-aid kit of the army of the Armed Forces of Ukraine includes because you should not forget the main rule of assisting “do no harm.”
We will answer how to supplement a standard first aid kit and what should not be put in it. At the end of the article, you will learn how to choose the right hemostatic tourniquet.
When preparing equipment, it’s important to balance its weight and the minimum needed items. The items listed below, included in the army first-aid kit, are the very minimum of what can save health or lives. The enhanced set is determined individually.
A sterile bandage is used in many cases: burns, fixing a limb, fixing tampons, stopping bleeding, dressing wounds, applying fixing or pressure bandages.
The bandage should be tight enough to securely fix on the body, without seams, pressed along the edges to prevent falling apart into threads, with even weaving, well absorb moisture, sterilized without bleach, and no damage on the packaging.
A more advanced version of the bandage is used in the armies of most modern countries. The emergency bandage is also called the “Israeli bandage” it is designed specifically to help fighters independently apply a hemostatic bandage even with one hand.
The dressing complex consists of an elastic bandage with an absorbent pad. Above it, on the reverse side, there is a plastic fastener that helps fix the bandage effectively. The emergency bandage is packed in a sealed sterile package with brief instructions.
A very versatile tool both in peacetime and in wartime. The plaster should be hypoallergenic, wide, in the form of a coil, and viscose. Such a plaster does not stick to clothes or hands; unlike a fabric patch, it is easy to tear off the segment with your hands.
A special sterile bandage is impregnated with a hemostatic agent, which is used to stop bleeding. The bandage is tamponed into the wound in hard-to-reach places (inguinal fold, axillary zone, etc.). Hemostatic bandage replaced the hemostatic powder as it was ineffective in combat.
Features of a hemostatic bandage:
A pair of regular latex or nitrile medical gloves. There are no tricky ways to use gloves. They protect the wounded and the person who assists from infections and contamination. In the field, there is not always time and opportunity to devote time to hygiene and putting on gloves correctly without damaging them, but their presence is a must in the first aid kit.
A thermal blanket or isofolium is a polyethylene foil 1.5×2.5 m in size with an aluminum coating, which has many uses familiar to every survivalist or extreme tourist. The main purpose of a thermal blanket in combat conditions is to cover the victim and retain up to 90% of body heat. In some cases, isofolium can be used to transport the wounded.
The thermal blanket is cheap, light, strong, and elastic, so it probably has 1001 uses. Here are some of them:
CAT type tourniquet is an effective tool for quickly stopping bleeding in the upper and lower extremities. Such tourniquets are used by the US armed forces and most of the European armies. CAT tourniquets have passed seven generations of innovations, and with each generation, the design and materials of the tourniquet have improved.
In addition to marketing features like the “10 Great Inventions” award and a lot of fields and medical effectiveness tests, the CAT tourniquet has several quite practical advantages:
Steel military tactical atraumatic scissors with plastic handles.
These shears are specially designed for use by emergency personnel and military medics. The shape of the shears is perfect for cutting clothing or footwear without the possibility of injuring the victim.
This type of scissors has a special and recognizable design that allows them to cut clothing without getting stuck or clinging to it easily. Shears are guaranteed to cut most types of fabrics, as well as the following materials:
The most common permanent marker indicates the tourniquet’s application time and important information about injuries. Since a soldier can be (and be injured) in various weather conditions, it will be advantageous if the marker is solid enough, with a tightly attached cap.
The nasopharyngeal airway is a flexible tube made of special silicone. A trumpet is inserted into the nasal passage to allow air into the airways.
If an injured person loses consciousness, the tongue can sink into the throat due to the relaxation of the jaw muscles. This can cause airway blockage and even death by suffocation.
The nasopharyngeal airway hose creates a free channel for breathing in an unconscious person.
The kit should always include a package with a special lubricant used when inserting the tube and to prevent damage to the mucous membrane.
There are no strict standards for manufacturing pharmacy bags, but the main requirement is convenience and moisture protection. If we consider the army first-aid kits used by the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in more detail, we have the following characteristics:
The easiest way to make your first aid kit more effective is to put more of everything:
This extra set will help provide individual care at the highest level, as there may be more than one injury.
As additional funds that can be placed in the first-aid kit, the following are distinguished:
It is quite easy to increase the effectiveness of an individual first-aid kit; making it less useful or harmful is also not difficult. So think twice before putting the following in your first aid kit:
A tourniquet is the most important tool in an army first aid kit that can save a life. When large arteries are damaged, the count goes on for minutes. How quickly and effectively the tourniquet is applied depends on whether the victim survives. Therefore, information on how to choose the right tourniquet can be extremely important.
Competition in the army support sphere has honed the standard design for modern hemostatic tourniquets. The most popular company manufactures them is CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet). There are several generations of this tourniquet. Generations 6, 6.5, and 7 are considered the most modern and effective. CAT tourniquets are trusted by the armies of most countries of the world.
Many companies began to manufacture new tourniquets, and some simply copied them. SOF manufactures sufficiently high-quality analogs. They have all the advantages of CAT tourniquets and offer some quality differences: metal collars and fittings instead of plastic ones and denser nylon. These qualities suggest that SOF tourniquets can be used more than once, although the manufacturer does not indicate this.
By choosing a CAT or SOF tourniquets, you can be sure that:
In addition to brands officially used in the world’s power structures, there are a lot of Chinese replicas, the quality of which is practically not controlled in any way. For this reason, buying Chinese-made tourniquets is not recommended. You can buy one well-made copy of sufficient quality, but having purchased a batch of such products, half of them may be unusable.
Unfortunately, we still spend years in military development and field testing figuring out more effective methods of killing. At the same time, a lot of work is being done to save lives. One of the results of such work is a modern individual army first-aid kit. We get the optimal set of tools that can save the life of a soldier and fit in a small bag that does not burden movement.
The military first aid kit is essential to save the lives of Ukrainian soldiers in the fight for independence. Each of us can bring closer the long-awaited victory and Ukrainian liberation from invaders. We can save the lives of the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by providing them with the most necessary.