Individual First Aid Kit IFAK
An Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) is a medical kit designed to treat serious injuries like bleeding and trauma. It doesn’t contain band-aids, but rather a range of devices to address immediate life-threatening emergencies such as exsanguination, airway and breathing issues, hypothermia and more.
The contents vary for each IFAK, but most include a tourniquet and hemostatic agents to help prevent bleeding. This is a good thing, because bleeding is one of the leading causes of death on the battlefield.
Trauma dressings are used to control bleeding, protect wounds from contamination, and provide padding for injured tissue. They also help prevent pneumothorax, a life-threatening condition in which atmospheric air enters the chest cavity.
A trauma dressing consists of two parts: a gauze pad and a bandage. The gauze pad protects the wound from contamination, while the bandage forms a pressure wrap that helps apply direct pressure to the wound.
Hemostatic agents are products that promote clotting to stop bleeding from a wound. They can be used in conjunction with a tourniquet to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment.
Hemostatic Agents act on different coagulation and fibrinolysis pathways to promote hemostasis. They can be applied in various forms – liquid, powder or sheet.
They can also be absorbed by the body, causing blood to thicken. The hemostatic agent’s efficacy depends on its mechanism of action, its ability to absorb blood and its toxicity levels.
Nitrile Gloves are a popular choice for personal protective equipment (PPE) because of their chemical resistance. They are made from a synthetic rubber compound containing acrylonitrile and butadiene.
They are waterproof, oil proof and greaseproof and can withstand a range of chemicals and substances, including some acids. They’re also puncture resistant so that they won’t contaminate any surfaces or items you touch.
They’re a great alternative to latex gloves, which can irritate sensitive skin. They also offer a comfortable, form-fitting fit that’s ideal for prolonged wear.
Saline locks (also known as heparin locks) are devices that allow access to peripheral intravenous catheters independent of the infusion of fluids. They are flushed or filled with saline to prevent clotting before and after use, and then “locked” with heparin to prevent reopening of the cannula.
An important skill for a first aid kit is the ability to establish and maintain saline locks in the field. This skill can be used with a variety of different IV catheters, but it’s more commonly performed using an 18-gauge or 12-gauge catheter.
Chest seals are used to cover penetrating wounds from gunshots, stabs, and other deep puncture injuries. They’re designed to keep air from entering the chest cavity through the wound and prevent a tension pneumothorax, one of the top three causes of preventable death on the battlefield.
Chest seals are often used in the Individual First Aid Kit IFAK. They come in compact, rugged, and easy-to-open foil pouches to help you manage an injury quickly and effectively.
Nasopharyngeal Airway (NPA) is a soft, flexible tube that can be inserted through the nose to help clear an obstruction in one’s nasal passage. This is one of the most simple and effective items to use but can be one of the most overlooked.
Often referred to as the “nasal trumpet” or “nose hose,” this item is a must-have for any First Aid Kit. It can help prevent death if a patient loses consciousness and their tongue obstructs their airway.
Compressed Gauze is a roll of sterile, 6-ply gauze designed to control moderate to severe bleeding. Its high quality cotton provides maximum absorption and stability.
It is vacuum packed small for easy storage yet expands to cover large wound areas. This gauze can be used as part of a compression bandage to stop bleeding or as backing gauze for hemostatic dressings.
It is an essential item for any medical kit. Keep one in your home, car, first aid kit, backpack, Go bag, camping equipment and more. It’s also an ideal companion to our compression bandages for stopping serious bleeding.