Quick disclaimer, I am not a licensed medical person. I have used and know how to use via training and experience the items that are being reviewed. The review includes only 3 products all carried by a single company, which HAS NOT paid for this review in product or monetary means. What this review does not cover is the CPR mask which is, in my opinion, the VERY first and most important item to have in a medical bag. I am testing several brands at the moment and will release a review shortly.
Medical innovations change frequently from day to day in some cases. There is much disinformation regarding some very important medical technologies, among these are the use of tourniquets. Understanding how to properly use a tourniquet will SAVE LIVES! As will the use of Israeli type bandages and roll-able combat splints. Let’s look at the history and facts behind modern tourniquets, Israeli bandages, and SAM roll-able combat splints.
Modern combat tourniquets come in several shapes and sizes, however, over the years the CAT or combat application tourniquet has come to be relied on the most. The CAT name is licensed by the Composite Resources Inc., (the designer of the CAT style tourniquet) as a result when I say “tourniquet” understand what I am referring too unless I state otherwise is the CAT style tourniquet! This style of tourniquet was first produced in 2005 and sold to the United States military, since this time several studies have shown that when a tourniquet is used in the field it has 80% positive result when used. This means that instead of losing all patients due to rapid or extreme exsanguination (eg., blood loss from a wound to an extremity) now 80% of those people who have had these tourniquets used on are living!
Israeli type bandages are based on the simple idea that a wound that is experiencing extreme exsanguination or rapid blood loss can be reduced to allow for additional medical intervention. They are designed with a pressure bar in the bandage allowing for added pressure to be applied while the bandage is applied to assist in stopping blood loss. Additionally, the bandage type allows for application and use of reverse wrapping, eg., applying with the pressure bar directly on the wound and then reversing the wrap to tie the bandage into place and keep it secure. The inventor (an Israeli combat medic) came up with the idea in the early 1990’s and it was then marketed by the Belgians and adopted by the United States military and subsequently by EMS and emergency services worldwide following this. These are now considered standard fare for emergency responders bags and my bags all have at least one with some having several.
Lastly, we have the SAM combat splints, these were designed by yet another combat medic (who became a doctor) saw a need for these in the Vietnam War, the design was finalized in 1984. This splint was designed for two purposes, to be lightweight easy to carry, large enough for legs and able to be x-rayed through as well as easily cut and formed to the desired shape. The resulting product was an amazing approach that is also carried by the US military and most EMS in the United States today. I carry two in my main bag as they are unfortunately too large for my smaller trauma kits. It should be noted that my individual kits are designed for the absolute barest needs and NOT for extensive medical procedures.
I will say that if you can afford to do so, invest in the name brands of these, unlike other items, these are absolutely worth every penny invested. Now, does this mean that Recon Medical versions are less capable? No, in fact, because I am on a very regimented budget, my goal is too present products that allow you to fill roles needed without breaking the bank. This is why I believe that Recon Medical products are in fact not only capable but also worthy of being in my pack and the others I have put together. I am not alone in this, there are dozens of active medics in EMS who I speak with regularly that use Recon Medical supplies.
Why do I recommend Recon Medical, the reasons are twofold.
- Quality, the products are made extremely well and throughout my testing, I have not had a failure in the products tested. (for testing I used two each of the items mentioned above)
- Pricing, these versions cost half of what the name brand products cost, this means you can easily have two of each compared to one of the others for the same money.
Each mentioned product is linked following the first paragraph for ease of locating. The links below are for your reading pleasure if you choose, each of them was used in ensuring correct attribution and information when writing the article.
I would suggest that everyone gain an education in the use of these items, and no, NONE of these were taught in medical schools prior to 1995 or so. Additionally, unless you were a trained TRAUMA medic, EMT, a medical person simply having some medical knowledge does not suffice in understanding the proper use of these items. You will notice that I did not get into details on HOW to use each one, I will of course gladly disperse any knowledge I have, I simply will not do that here. As always my goal is to help you become better equipped and do so at a price point that helps in these times of climbing prices and name brand madness promoted by other similar blogs and websites. Unlike other blogs and websites I choose to test all products I get my hands on and do so well, training my children and loved ones while testing in many cases. I have direct hands-on personal experience with the use of two of the above products and can attest to their beneficial function.
Free the mind and the body will follow