My good friend Mark E., who has contributed some excellent narrative frequently to the blog, has started a new CO business venture: E3 Solutions. His first product, the “PTK” or Personal Pocket Trauma Kit is what I will be reviewing today.
Having a viable trauma kit (not first aid/boo-boo kit..we are talking about shit to save your life not make your “owwie” feel better) around and readily available is an essential for every CO IMO. I tell all my students, if you are going to carry a firearm for self-defense, have a fully stocked trauma kit handy and know how to use it. Even if you don’t carry a weapon for self-defense, having the ability to stop serious bleeding if you are wounded, say in a car accident or maybe out hunting or hiking, could be a literal life saver for you or any unlucky soul you might come across. For this reason, I advise having a trauma kit handy in several locations, not just one..i.e your home, your vehicle, your gun range kit and of course, on your person, when you can.
For all the benefits a trauma kit offers, the one con is that for the most part, due to the quantity of materials and weight involved, they are often designed to be carried anywhere but on your person. Sure, you see them all the time on soldiers in the field in a MOLLE pack or on a belt, but for a civilian to strap on the same gear or pack would be a bit disconcerting to some I am sure, not to mention very conspicuous. But what if a civilian could have an “abbreviated” version of that trauma kit that could fit inconspicuously in a pants cargo pocket? That way, when it was needed, no more running to the backpack or vehicle, it’s right there to use! Enter the “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” PTK 1.0.
Now before I get into the specifics of the kit itself, I would be amiss to not tell you to first learn how to use one properly. Sure, the general directions sound easy enough on a pack of Quick-Clot, but I assure you, when blood is gushing out of a vein or artery and pain and adrenaline have combined into a nasty little cocktail of near hysteria and utter despair, those same directions might as well be Mandarin Chinese. I am not saying you need an EMT Certification to use a PTK, but you DO NEED to know the basics of Trauma Medicine with an emphasis on stopping Arterial Bleeding, both by Coagulant (Quick-clot or Celox) and Tourniquet, not to mention the ever so important skill of reducing and treating Shock, which has killed more people than bullets ever dreamed of. I highly suggest you seek Professional, Hands-On Training for this skill set, as a book can only go so far. Check out Texas’ own Lone Star Medics. These guys are the real deal and offer Real-World Applicable medical trauma training for the armed civilian.
OK, so on to the kit inventory. First off, is the Quick-clot 25gr 1st response Clotting Sponge. Pretty simple piece of kit: take the sponge and apply it to the wound with a lot of pressure to start stopping the bleeding. This is much simpler, easier to use and more streamlined for individual use than the Celox granules IMHO. Next up is what I would call your “Auxiliary” or “Backup” option if the bleeding cannot be stopped with the sponge alone; a SWAT-T Tourniquet/Pressure Dressing. There is an excellent You-Tube link on E3 Solutions for this piece of kit, I highly suggest watching it. Also in the kit is a 2 pack of 12 ply 4×4 Gauze Pads (to cover the wound), a pair of well made Red 5.5″ EMS Shears (to cut clothing, bandages, etc.) an XL Pair of Nitrile Gloves (to protect yourself against blood borne pathogens) and to keep everything in one place, a handy cardboard stabilizer, and all of this housed in a sturdy, re-closeable, poly storage bag.
Since I promised Mark an actual “field review” of his kit with critiques, I intend to fulfill my promise. I will tell you though, since I am always honest with my readers, on my last “outing” in the field, I or none of my associates experienced any life threatening, traumatic injuries that required the use of the PTK (Thank God!) I had to improvise as far as using the kit on an injury (Similar to pre-deployment work-up training, we designated a random operator as a casualty, “Single gun shot wound to upper thigh” would be yelled, for example. At that point, the team goes into action. I also must apologize for not having any good photos, due to the nature (and location) of my last outing, no cameras or even smartphones, were allowed in the AO.
I will approach this critique, to make things simpler for the reader, in a Pro/Con type commentary. The reader needs to be reminded, (as I had to remind myself often) is this is a BARE BONES Trauma/Blowout Kit. It was designed to stop major, arterial bleeding from a traumatic injury such as knife or gunshot wound. It was not designed to address every traumatic injury you may come across (broken bones, neck injuries, etc.) Having said that, there are a few things the kit still needs to make it a viable kit IMHO.
- Kit fits and rides well in a cargo pocket, little shifting
- Due to stabilizer, Kit is easy to access, all packages can be torn open with one hand and teeth.
- Shears are sharp and very functional, cut through denim and canvas very easily.
- SWAT-T Tourniquet very easy to self-deploy for self-treatment, can be done with one hand (with some practice).
- Since shock is ALWAYS an issue with any traumatic injury, an inexpensive, compact, foldable, mylar blanket needs to be added to the kit.
- A small roll of duct tape needs to be added, since in a pinch, the wound will need to be wrapped and the patient transported. This also gives the operator more options to self-treat and get mobile to an ER.
- Replace the gauze pads with an Israeli Dressing. This would be much more universal in application.
In Summary, the PTK 1.0 is an excellent Blow-Out/Trauma Kit to have on your person. Get yours today and check one more thing off your “Oh Shit, I wish I had that”!! inventory list.
Stay Prepared, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!