Posted: 9/19/2021 12:26:34 AM EST
What would you put in there? I know, "is the kit for an individual or a platoon?" "How many people will it service?" "What is the skill level of those who will use it?"
If I were to ask the same question of a general IFAK, things that everyone would be listing is Israeli bandages, Quick-klot, a CAT tourniquet, a good chest seal, gloves, a pair of scissors, and...and...and...
I know there isn't much specificity here. Let's just say someone was a US Army Medic for a platoon and going out with the platoon. What, burn related, would he have in his kit? I'm not sure if I can provide much more specificity, although I know I haven't provided much.
Silvadene or generic. It is OTC now and is great for first and second degree. Sterile gauze and sterile water, IV caths and LR or NS for fluid resuscitation. Pain meds, pain meds, pain meds.
Second skin gel and dressing
Some of those large sheet dressings for really bad burns
Gauze pads and rolls
If it's for real, life-threatening burns, you need just four things:
a stupid amount of IV fluids + means to administer
means to keep the patient warm (hypothermia kills when you don't have skin)
clean, dry sheet of some type to put the patient on
pain meds (ketamine and morphine)
After the first 12 hours or so, you would benefit from a foley catheter to measure urine output. And antibiotics. And dressings, probably a plastic surgeon, and a bunch of other stuff. But the list above is the burns equivalent to the little GSW kits you mentioned.
Do a search for the ABLS provider manual if you want more detail.
I disagree with using/carrying cold packs or those gel burn sheets. They'll make a serious burn patient hypothermic.
Just want to chime in here, nearly a year late (shame on me for not reading this section often).
Waterjel works wonders for good size burns as a field dressing. They’re definitely not a boo-boo item.
I did a big stupid and had about 8 square inches of 2nd degree burn on my forearm. Being at the house, I was able to get a freshwater rinse/blast to remove the debris (from rolling in the grass/dirt). Had a couple year expired tactical waterjel in my truck kit. Fuck me sideways boys, that thing was better than any sex.
The liquid portion did provide excellent physical relief and dramatically reduced the mental duress. Although as soon as I got it on and my wound wrapped, I crashed real hard from the adrenaline.
Wore that dressing for a few hours until I got wound-care type stuff from the store (huge preparation failure on my part). It did not stick at all, did not make a mess, just did it’s job. Absolute wonder.
After that, I now keep a 4x4 of it in each IFAK, and two in the truck kits. Have a handful in the house kit. Also got a bunch of their ketchup packet size liquid-only stuff, to use on small burns with bitchstickers or normal gauze (they were like 50cents a pop, so why not), put two of them in each IFAK and a handful in the truck.
The commercial version seems to have just as tough packaging as the tactical, but twice the liquid. IMO this is unnecessary, as I thought the somewhat dried out tactical had too much liquid still. Although on a severe or larger burn, using that liquid with normal bandages might be what gets you through the day. Get the tactical ones (brown wrapper) if you can. I believe they also have a NVG legible package, and metal bits for xray.
Pictured below are the main things I tried in the following five weeks or so while healing up.
First, the classic petrolatum gauze. This didn’t work for shit as a wound care dressing. They’re a legit first aid item as far as I’m concerned. Hard to apply, messy, does not allow drainage, way too big (3x36”) that wound.
Second, the woven nonstick pad, top right. These are a better dressing for half healed. They are very coarse, and stick after about 5-6 hours. Not recommend for a fresh wound. Excellent drainage and air flow. Absolutely must apply with neosporin to prevent sticking. Easy to apply, the neosporin will make them cling.
Third, the moist burn pad. These were excellent on the fresh burn. They are not a long term dressing. Far too moist. I used them for about 4-5 days. They don’t stick. Easy to apply, as they kind of suction on.
Finally my favorite of the bunch, the simple absorbent pad. Fairly resistant to sticking when used with neosporin. Nice and cushiony. Absorbs well for decent drainage. Good for 8 hours.
Because I’m a tradesman, doing real work all day, I had to have a solid bandage that was comfortable and protective. Whichever of those main dressings I used, they got backed up by a folded up paper towel, all held in place with a thing of 3x36” rolled gauze (get bandaid brand, or you’re wasting your time) around my arm just tucked the loose end under a wrap. Then used a small ace bandage to keep everything in place.
I would remove my ace bandage at break, as well as taking the gauze off at lunch, for added air flow. Used Dawn to scrub the wound after showering each day, and a fresh dressing and gauze. No ace bandage for sitting at the house. In the morning, a fresh dressing, and reuse the gauze. New ace bandage every 2-3 days.
IIRC this picture was 2 weeks in.
Be prepared, and don’t be stupid. I paid dearly for my stupidity.
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