Saturday, August 15, 2015


YOU MIGHT ALL WONDER why I always carry a small camouflaged pouch attached to the front of my Silangan Predator Z backpack? You might also wonder what is inside that? On first impression, it is an item used and issued to the military. Yes, it is. In fact, it is issued to individual soldiers belonging to the United States Army. If you think I am military, you are absolutely wrong.

I could not do about its appearance. Maybe I could alter its color later on but, no, as of this writing, no. Not today and the photographs attests to its military origin. Please be kind and be patient as I will digress of what really is this thing? I could assure you that there are absolutely no explosives stuffed inside. It is just a box that could save a life or lives. It is just an IFAK or the Individual First Aid Kit.

Now you can heave a sigh of relief. It is a first aid kit but not an ordinary one. It is really a trauma kit designed for bullet and shrapnel wounds that causes hemorrhaging and difficulty in breathing. Would it be applicable in my environment or on my outdoor sorties? Maybe yes or may be no but I would rather be optimistic that it does. You would never know. Would we?

It might as well that all the items inside are retained. You add a few things and it becomes an improved IFAK. Besides, the only thing that you hate is the appearance. Is it not? But you would disregard it when you begin to know the wonderful items found inside it if I start to disembowel the pouch. But let us start with the Pouch first.

According to The Prepper Journal, the IFAK Pouch alone costs around $9.99. But wait! Included is the IFAK Insert which is attached to the pouch by a coiled cord. It is a set then. The IFAK Insert have several elastic holders and is designed like an organizer with velcros to secure the items when folded. The pouch, on the other hand, has a flap which can be closed with a PVC clip lock and has a drain hole at the bottom. The IFAK can be attached as rugged kits to a MOLLE webbing.

The first item you will see once the IFAK Pouch is opened is the Combat Application Tourniquet or CAT and is priced in eBay, Amazon and other sites at $26.50, which is the most expensive item of the IFAK. It is produced by North American Rescue and features their Red Tip Technology. It is an efficient one-handed tourniquet operation with hook and loop closure for securing a wounded arm. This is a very important item set and a must-have in an IFAK.

The IFAK Insert, when unfolded, contains the original items like an Emergency Bandage Kit, a Compressed Gauze, an Adhesive Surgical Tape, a Robertazzi Nasopharyngeal Airway and Patient Examination Gloves. All are secured neatly in their places by elastic holders. The additions are inserted in empty elastic holders and lipped side-by-side with the aforementioned items.

The Emergency Bandage Kit is housed in a sealed sterilized pack and consists of a Trauma Wound Dressing and a 4-inch Hemorrhage Control Bandage. It already consolidates a Pressure Applicator, a Non-Adherent Pad, a Plastic Secondary Dressing, a Stop-and-Go Release Apparatus and a Closure Bar. It is made by First Care Products of Israel. Its price tag is pegged at $5.30 at Rescue Essentials. A very essential piece of emergency medical equipment.

The H&H PriMed Compressed Gauze is vacuum packed for easy storage but expands to cover large wound areas. The Compressed Gauze is a perfect companion to the Israeli Bandage so it could stop blood loss and save lives. It has a width of 4-1/2 inches of 6-ply cotton-fluff bandage roll which can be stretched at 4 yards. It is made in China and distributed by H&H Associates, Inc. of Virginia, USA. Available at Rescue Essentials at $2.40.

The Adhesive Surgical Tape is made by 3M. 3M Durapore is the gold standard in surgical tapes and it has a dimension of 2 inches and 10 yards. The silk-like clothe tape features strong adhesion for securing dressings or devices. Strong, highly adhesive and non-irritating, hypoallergenic Durapore silk surgical tape features maximum comfort and bilateral tearing for quick application without the need for scissors. Individually sold at $2.15 at Rescue Essentials.

The Robertazzi Nasopharyngeal Airway, manufactured by Rusch, is made of soft Ultrasil material that provides greater patient comfort than other rigid plastic nasal airways. It is sold at $3.25 per kit at Emergency Medical Products and does not contain latex. The airway tube is 9.3 mm (28 Fr) thick and has a length of 125 mm. It is very flexible for complete patient comfort, rounded tip allows for gentle insertion and the soft material avoids damage to nasal passageway.

There are four pieces of Patient Examination Gloves inside the standard IFAK. The gloves are of synthetic vinyl with polymer emulsion coating. Features a soft, stretch feel that provides comfort, total dexterity and added durability. Contains no natural rubber latex proteins or allergens. An individual glove has a thickness of 8.4 mm and 9.6 inches in length and all are in cream color.

The IFAK is designed primarily as a self-aid and a companion-aid and provides interventions of incurred wounds, serious or not. It increases individual survivability during exposure to a high-threat environment and is expandable to include other additions. The complete IFAK weighs one pound (2.2 kilos) and costs $265.00 per unit according to the Rapid Force Initiative.

Now, let us know the items I added.

  1. Trauma Shears. It is made by Salim1 of Pakistan. It can cut through clothing and other tough materials. It has yellow handles with stainless-steel cutters, weighs 40 grams and is priced $6.00 at Alibaba. One pair.
  2. Emergency Rescue Blanket. For securing patient against hypothermia. A strong foil-like material in golden color that has a dimension of 160 mm by 210 mm and is neatly folded inside a sealed plastic. Donated by Death Valley Magazine during a humanitarian mission in Cebu. One piece.
  3. Triangular Handkerchief. It is a cotton neckerchief commonly used by the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and is in a light blue color. For cravat bandage purposes, it can also be used as an arm sling or a splint strap. It is also neatly folded inside a sealed plastic. One piece.
  4. EyeMo Eye Cleansing Formula. One 7.5 ml bottle. Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline in Tianjin, China. For eye irritations. Can be bought locally over the counter.
  5. BD Persist Skin Prep. Two pieces. Swab sticks containing 10 % povidone iodine and 70 % ethyl alcohol. Made by Becton Dickinson Infusion Therapy Systems Inc. of Utah, USA. A very good replacement to a bottle of betadine, especially when space is wanting.
  6. Mediplast Plastic Strips. Instant waterproofed adhesives to cover small wounds. Three pieces. An over-the-counter item.
  7. Bluecell Fastening Wrap Strap. Wraps anything smaller than a wrist with velcro. Would complement with bandaging and quite useful in securing scattered items with a quick wrap. Blue color. One piece.
  8. Identification Card. The edges can pry a tip of a surgical adhesive that a gloved fingernail cannot.

Am I competent to use this against an injured person? No I am not, if there are others who are, then I will just be an assistant. If none, then you will have to suffer. Just joking. The truth is, I have little knowledge in the treatment of injuries, sprains and fractured bones. If being trained by the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation in 1993 qualifies as “little knowledge”, it does make a difference when I am alone by myself or just you and me, is it not? Except for the RNA insert application, I can manage to treat injuries with these wonderful items.

And now you know what is inside my IFAK.

Document done in LibreOffice 3.3 Writer


Anonymous said...

I like to get one of these. Deuter (my backpack's manufacturer) offers modular side pouches. I like to convert it into an IFAK, and attach it to the side of my pack.

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