Monday, May 31, 2021

Miscellany: Battle of the Pocket Trauma Kits

If you believe the news, there are almost 20 million people with a concealed carry permit in this country. However, I'll bet that very few of them carry medical gear, even though you are way more likely to need to stanch a wound in a victim than to create one in an assailant. Gunfights are rare - car crashes, sports accidents, and other occasions causing traumatic injury are not.

I have a full-on trauma kit at home, in my car, in my office, and when travelling, but I will cop to not lugging one around when I'm walking through Publix. For on-body carry, I make do with a CoTCCC-recommended tourniquet on the belt and an EDC trauma kit in the pocket. Here are the pros and cons of a couple that I've tried:

PHLster Pocket Emergency Wallet ($60, sleeve only for $20)

Contents: Compressed gauze, mini compression bandage, nitrile gloves, and a small WoundClot gauze pack

This is an elastic sleeve with two partitions (meant for medical stuff) and one small partition (for gloves). As packed from PHLster, it combines several practical bleeding control items in a package that will fit into a large pocket - think cargo pockets, jacket pockets, and some front pants pockets, but not your skinny jeans.

PROS: The sleeve keeps the items together in the pocket well and compresses them down to the narrowest possible size. The kit's contents are useful.

CONS: There's no way to attach the sleeve to a belt or other gear, and it's a pain to take items in and out of the sleeve. Somewhat expensive for what it is.

LTC EDC Pocket Trauma Kit ($75, pouch only for $35)

Contents: SWAT-T tourniquet, QuikClot dressing, nitrile gloves, and a "micro first aid kit" (with band-aids, wound closures, wipes, and antibiotic ointment)

Live the Creed created this pouch, which consists of two elastic-sleeved compartments in a folding wallet format with a hook-and-loop tab keeping it closed. 

The fully stocked kits were sold out, so I ordered just the pouch, and filled it with my own items for the test (a SWAT-T, Celox Rapid Z-fold gauze, and some nitrile gloves).

PROS: MOLLE compatible, so it can be mounted to a belt or bag easily. Pull tab and foldout design makes it easy to to access and use the kit's contents. A SWAT-T fits perfectly inside one of the compartments.

CONS: Compresses items less than the PHLster sleeve, so the package is slightly thicker overall and harder to get out of a pocket.  The compartments are narrower than the PHLster sleeve, so fewer items fit. Finally, the full stocked kit from LTC seems overpriced and contains items that belong in a first aid kit (e.g., band-aids), not a trauma kit.


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