I am honored to present a guest post from my 15 year old homeschooled son, Keegan, who will be elucidating the varieties and levels of immediate first aid kits to increase prep proficiency for the coming bad times. -Bill Buppert
Put yourself in this scenario. Two people have a head-on vehicle collision and the people are in critical condition and are going to bleed out before the EMT’s can arrive. What are YOU going to do? The importance of medical kits has increased significantly since it is not a safe world any more. Soldiers in Afghanistan now have advanced medical kits so they can give themselves aid. From WWII to modern day, medical kits have advanced by light-years saving many lives. The different levels of medical kits go up to level 5. Lets start with level 1 EDC (Every Day Carry). Many people don’t carry these on their person, but some people do. Level 2 is an IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit). The kit is made to aid one person. Level 3 is a medical kit that can aid 2-3 people. Level 4 is a Combat Trauma Bag. Basically, it’s a large messenger bag that, depending on how you pack it, can aid 4-8 people. Level 5 is a portable hospital, which explains itself. People seem to be turning their eyes away and ignoring the facts of self-preparedness, but the few who are ready will survive.
First, the EDC level 1 kit is a very personalized kit that fits the needs of your work place and family. Many people do not carry EDC medical kits, which should give you all the more reason to carry one yourself. The EDC kit usually contains one package of quick clot one tourniquet and one pair of medical gloves. You can go to your local surplus store and buy a pack of quick clot for around 15 bucks and a tourniquet is anywhere from 15 bucks to 30 bucks. The gloves are dirt-cheap. It’s cheap, it’s effective, and it works. Personalizing your kit depends on if you have any allergies or have medication you need in an emergency.
Next, the level 2 kit is an IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit). Soldiers in Afghanistan carry these and the point of an IFAK is to treat the soldier that got hit so the medic doesn’t run out of bandages or tourniquets or quick clot. The contents are one Israeli bandage, one pack of quick clot, one pack of compressed gauze, one pack of medical tape, one pair of shears, one airway tube, and one needle. Pricing these depends on where you get them online. They are about 30-75 dollars depending on the grade. However, if you go to a surplus store a nice kit is 40 bucks. The kits soldiers carry now, compared to WWII, are night and day.
Furthermore, the level 3 is for 2-3-people, it is more advanced and carries twice as many supplies as an IFAK. The pouches vary. It’s personal preference. Now if you are buying one of these bite down hard and say ouch because these kits can go anywhere from 50-150 dollars. The advantage to having a more advanced kit is that it can treat more people, which means more lives saved. Medical kits are best for bugging out because they are medium in size and will treat the people in your group. Being able to carry twice as many supplies is a nice advantage and puts your mind at ease knowing that you won’t run out of supplies.
Moving on. Level 4 is a Combat Trauma Bag, roughly the size of a messenger bag that can treat 4-8 people. Level 4 is for the more advanced in the medical field or someone looking for more options. Advantages are that you can keep anti-itch cream allergy medication, snakebite kits, and so on. Stocking these bags can get very spendy very fast. Most people just buy the standard kit, but it’s better to get everything slowly so it’s personal for your wants and needs. Being able to treat 4-8 people is a massive advantage considering most people will not have one. That means you need to take charge and do what’s right.
Last is the Level 5, the portable hospital. It gives you so many options and treats many people depending on how much you stock the backpack. Blackhawk makes a very durable S.T.O.M.P. II medical backpack that will fit anything you need in it and then some. Now portable hospitals go for around 500 bucks, but you can fill it for a little less and the unnecessary stuff you don’t need doesn’t go in. What if you have elders in your group? You will have to pack their medications. What if there are people who have asthma? Professionals in the medical field should use portable hospitals or military, otherwise you could do more harm than good.
There are disadvantages to all of the levels of medical kits. Level one has only treatment for one person. When it’s used and you need it again, it’s not there. The level 2 can only treat you and is very limited. The level 3 kit is medium size and there are few disadvantages to it. Level 4 is extremely hard to carry around and it’s bulky. Level 5 is very heavy and bulky and you can’t put it in your car because of the chance of it getting stolen. When the lights go out, the phones are dead and people need your help, grab your medical kit and get to work. You can’t bring people back from the dead, but you can save lives. When that time comes will you be prepared to take it on?