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Insights with Sticky Holsters: Why You Should Add Medical Supplies to Your EDC

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Add Medical Supplies to EDC

Insights with Sticky Holsters

Why You Should Add Medical Supplies to Your EDC

Written By: Eric Rice             

Why do we consciously decide to carry a firearm? At the core, why do we choose to completely change the way we dress, look, act, and behave all to carry a firearm? For most of us, it is to save a life, whether it be our own, a loved one, a family member, or a complete stranger. In the Army we were told, “If we are going to teach you to take a life, we also need to teach you to save a life.” Many assume they can accomplish this by neutralizing the threat before any harm or injury has occurred.  If your goal is to save a life, shouldn’t you actually be able to save a life?

Along with carrying the supplies themselves, you also need the training to use them. Like a gun, medical supplies are the tools. You need training in the use of both firearms and medical supplies to save a life. The 2A community has started trending towards promoting this type of training. There are many companies that offer medical supply and life-saving training, some of more popular training companies include Sheepdog Response and Dark Angel Medical. When considering what company to hire, make sure the instructors have the appropriate credentials and have been properly vetted. Along with training, many companies have created great products to use and carry for civilian EDC use. Some examples are Blue Force Gear, Dark Angel Medical, My Medic, and Live The Creed to name a few.

In my opinion, if you are only going to carry one medical supply item, it should be a tourniquet (TQ). Its use requires very little training and is easily concealed.  There are many different kinds and types that provide all different levels of care and applications.  Some of the popular ones are a CAT, SOF-T, SWAT-T, and RATS.  I usually carry a CAT and a RATS. I carry a CAT for adults, and a RATS for my kids and/or dog. In addition, either can be used as a temporary restraint if needed. There are many places you can’t carry a weapon, but you can carry medical supplies anywhere, including on a plane.

Tourniquets stop bleeding to the extremities (arms and legs). Prior to the Global War on Terror (GWOT), medics/corpsmen were the only servicemembers with trauma care training on the battlefield. Most Soldiers only carried a simple bandage if anything prior to the GWOT. During GWOT there was a huge emphasis on self and buddy care. Individual Soldiers started receiving trauma care training and carried Individual First Aid Kits (IFAKs). As a result, “combat survivability is at an all-time high in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Ten percent of all injuries resulted in death, as opposed to Vietnam, where the fatality rate was 16.1 percent, or World War II, with a 19.1 percent fatality rate. . . . The study showed that uncontrolled blood loss was the leading cause of death in 90 percent of the potentially survivable battlefield cases and in 80 percent of those who died in a military treatment facility.”

If you are serious about carrying medical supplies having a tourniquet is the bare minimum. There was a study published in 2019 called “Incidence and Cause of Potential Preventable Death after Civilian Public Mass Shootings in the US.” You can find the link below. Some of the facts highlighted below show the extent of the injuries:

  • The average number of gunshot wounds per victim was 4
  • 64% of the gunshots were to the head and torso
  • Most common cause of death was brain injury (52%)
  • Only 12% of the victims were transported to the hospital
  • The Potentially Preventable Death (PPD) rate was 15%
  • The most common injured organs of the PPD victims were lung (59%) and spinal cord (24%)
  • Only 6% of the PPD victims had a gunshot to a vascular structure in an extremity (arms/legs)

What does all this mean? It means I will start adding chest seals (which I do carry, but not often) to my EDC kit. The cause of death for PPD victims with chest wounds was 10 times higher than those with gunshots to extremities (where TQs can be applied). Initial lifesaving care and application of a chest seal at the trauma site, combined with expedient evacuation to a medical facility, are paramount in reducing PPD in mass shootings.

You might ask, “how do I carry all of these medical supplies in conjunction with a firearm, spare magazine (speed strip/loader), flashlight, and knife?” There are lots of ways that don’t require a vivid imagination or a lot of money. With the expansion of concealed carry, of the retail market has expanded the availability of clothing, bags and other accessories designed to carry numerous items. Condor and Vertx shorts/pants are some that I use. These pants and shorts have additional pockets designed to carry a variety of items. My Condor Shorts have eight pockets (and NO they are not cargo shorts). In addition to clothing, EDC bags are extremely popular. I love the Vertx bags because of how discreet they are. Additionally, the good ole fanny pack is back in style (regardless what your kids say). In my low profile “waist pack” I can easily conceal a Glock 43, a couple TQs, chest seals, spare magazine and a knife. This is my typical gym set up. I would also recommend having a bag in your car. If you don’t want to go with a full aid bag (for car accidents or other mass casualty events) then a simple fanny pack slung over the back of a headrest is a great way to keep medical supplies on hand. Lastly, stand-alone belly band systems like the Sticky Holsters Belly Band and the Unity Clutch Belt are fantastic options.

I hope this article has highlighted the need to carry medical supplies as part of your EDC and has encouraged you to seek out medical trauma training. Please feel free to let us know what you think about the article and any tips you might have in the comment section below.

Carry on and be safe.

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