The Blowout Bag (Tactical Med Kit)
A Blowout Bag or Individual Medical (Med) Kit is a very specialized piece of gear. It is not exactly a First Aid Kit in the normal sense of of the word but more a tactical piece of equipment meant to stabilize and keep a grievously injured person alive until advanced medical care can be applied. The stuff in a Blowout Bag isn’t typically used to patch up small cuts, scrapes or blisters, like a First Aid Kit, but to stop massive hemorrhage, maintain respiration or circulation. A Med Kit is the first line of care for a person suffering from large wounds or amputation caused by injuries such as gunshots and/or shrapnel. Severe bleeding from severed arteries can cause critical life threatening complications in just seconds and become fatal in a matter of minutes. Penetration to the upper torso can cause the lungs and heart to fail and get your ticket punched. For these types of injuries, the ability to stabilize the damage within seconds is critical for survival. A Blowout Bag, when used by the properly trained, gives someone a fighting chance to save a life.
For this article, we consulted with a few medics, putting together a kit based on their advice. However, we will not cover the use of its contents since having such items doesn’t necessarily make you’re qualified to use them. Many of the things we will mention may require specialized, advanced, tactical first aid knowledge to use safely and correctly. We strongly urge that you first seek proper training before you build or purchase your own kit, you never know when it may come in handy!
All of the gear in this Blowout Bag are contained within a FATPack 4X6″ Trauma Pack by Vanquest. We like the FATPack for a number of reasons. One, it can be attached to your kit with either Molle or Velcro. Another, its large grab handle makes deployment quick and easy even with one hand or with gloves. When opened, the stuff is secured in pockets and loops so they won’t dump out on the ground. The FATPack is made of super tough 1000 D Cordura fabric with a water repellent teflon finish. The Ripstop nylon interior is also water repellent. The zippers are heavy duty YKK non pinching RC class nylon.
It doesn’t look like much but just a few items can make all the difference in the world. These pieces are there to stop arterial bleeding, maintain airway and/or lung function from grievous wounds in field conditions.
A good Tourniquet is critical for survival anytime severe bleeding from limbs is encountered. This is one piece of equipment that all kits should have and everyone should be trained in their use. It is of the upmost importance to stop the bleeding and to prevent further damage. We used the C-A-T because of its proven track record with Military, Police and EMS.
To make the C-A-T instantly accessible, we placed it in a pouch made by North American Rescue and attached it to the side of our FATPack. The North American Rescue Holder can also be fastened to any Molle webbing on your gear but we felt it best on the Med Kit for simplicity and to avoid confusion. The C-A-T holder is made of 500 D Cordura which has been treated to reduce its IR signature. The elastic cap is very secure but can easily be opened with one hand or with gloves as well.