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Building a FAK vs Buying a FAK, hit or msss

Discussion in 'First Aid Station' started by lotsofstufftogo, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. lotsofstufftogo

    lotsofstufftogo Loaded Pockets

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    Im sure this topic has been brought up before so I thought Id bring it up again. I gusee I should preface this thread by mentioning that Im not an EMT or other medical professional, Im just an edc'er.

    I guess when I started to EDC one of the first things that went into my bag were some bandages and Tylenol. As time went on I began to think outside of the box, "what happens if I get cut with glass or worse suffer a gunshot wound". So I invested in some QickClot products which too have evolved from grains of sand like absorbent materiel to a sponge like substance. Fast-forward to 2006, I head in to my local outdoor shop and notice they have FAK's. Being the edc noob that I was I got first FAK I layed eyes on, fast forward once again to 2010 Im now in Walgreen's picking out Butterfly Sutures, Nitrile gloves, 4x4x4x4 gauze, etc none of these items were in any FAK I purchased over the counter. So far Ive racked up $40 in supplies for my custom FAK and Im still not completed. One thing Im very happy about is that $40 has purchased enough supplies to start a FAK for my bag and start a second FAK for the house (which I dont have one).

    Ive got a couple of questions for edc's with FAK's do you store buy or build your own FAK. Second question is it worth the price to custom build your own FAK.
     
  2. user_friendly

    user_friendly Empty Pockets

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    When regarding a FAK, think of it this way. How much is your life worth to you? If I hit a bad situation and I had me a good wound dressing, instead of a small piece of gauze, that extra buck or two will be well worth it.


    I personally don't skimp on first aid, but there are some things you can buy cheaper. A store bought FAK is a good starting point, but you will have to upgrade it to be a good one. Just my two cents.
     
  3. zev

    zev Loaded Pockets

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    While the contents of a off-the-shelf FAK might not be ideal one potential benefit is the external appearance of the FAK (red and/or red cross) which may be useful in emergencies for identification purposes.
     
  4. jfirebalrog

    jfirebalrog Empty Pockets

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    You can spend some serious money on first aid supplies.The deal with the premade kits is that they are mostly "boo-boo" kits,few have the things needed to handle much more than a small cut with minor bleeding.That said they can be useful as long as you understand their limitations.There are tactical kits that are designed to handle more serious trauma,but are limited in the minor things(don't want to whip out an Israeli bandage or Olaes for a kid who scraped his knee).Both kits are generally useless in medical emergencies(chest pain,allergic reaction hypoglycemia,etc.). Building your own kit allows you to tailor it's content to your training level,activities,and environment.I recommend having your kit separated into two or three areas,one for minor/comfort issues,one for trauma and one for medications.USNERDOC on youtube has a good set of videos on what he calls a level 1 kit that seems pretty balanced if you choose to go with one pouch due to size requirements.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P60_sELRkqw
     
  5. kimberfella616

    kimberfella616 Empty Pockets

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    Proviso: I am not an EMT either.

    I custom built our EDC IFAKS. I spent roughly $60 on each one. The major purchases were the pouch and a C-A-T for each pack. I have a few butterfly bandages, dressings, etc. I have not used QC for our IFAKS. I have Celox in those and Traumadex in our big kits. I also have KIO3 in both our IFAKS and big kits.

    Your home kit you should expect to pay at least double what you pay for an EDC kit. You can make it as simple or as complex as you want. e.g. in my home kit I have SAM splints, neck collars, blood pressure cuff, epi-pens, minor surgery kit, etc.


    I highly recommend your FAK be marked with an easily identifiable symbol anyway.

    Reasoning:
    In combat when you go down your IFAK is what *someone else* will go to in order to give you first aid. If they take out their tourniquet to stop your femoral from bleeding then what happens when they need one?

    Now this may not apply to everyone. Both myself and 'She Who Must Be Obeyed' both have IFAKs in our EDC. Therefore we know the procedures. Joe Blow walking down the street ma not. YMMV
     
  6. echo63

    echo63 Loaded Pockets

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    I Bought an off the shelf FAK because of the bag (and it was cheap)
    i have since spent about 3 times what it cost expanding it, adding more stuff that i use frequently (bandaids and other BooBoo stuff) and i am going to keep adding, modifying and improving it, until i have something i am happy with, then i will probably build another one for each car, and an expanded car kit for longer trips

    I am currently looking at buying a bigger backpack type kit, a friend of mine's parents both work in emergency medical jobs and are going to help me fill it with useful stuff (bandages, eyewash, burn dressings etc)
     
  7. cap6888
    • In Omnia Paratus

    cap6888 Loaded Pockets

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    Building you own is the way to go. My suggestion is to get what supplies you would like to have with you, and make sure you know how to use them all. Once you have these on hand, see what size pouch you will need. Don't think you have to use a "first aid pouch", just find one that suits your needs. My suggestion is to not get something that just fits what you will carry, give your self a little wiggle room. Personally, I am not a fan of the Aloksak/ziploc bag method because getting things in and out of it are not that easy (especially if you are doing it one handed). But you have to choose what works best for you. As far as price goes, I think in the long run you will end up saving money. If you buy a prepackaged one, you will inevitably have items you have no use for and will have to go out and buy other things anyway. Here is a link to my EDC FAK. I have updated it a bit, I use a slightly larger pouch now and I have added 3 prefilled 10cc syringes of saline.
     
  8. Corbs

    Corbs Loaded Pockets

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  9. jwhite75

    jwhite75 Loaded Pockets

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    Look into the Adventure Medical Kits on Amazon. I like the .9 kit. It is an excellent start and can be easily added on to. At around 30 bucks I think it is the best allaround out there. In My opinion.
     
  10. itsrob

    itsrob Empty Pockets

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    I second this. The .9 kit is a great start.
     
  11. minew

    minew Empty Pockets

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    I bought a FAK to start out... it was 30 bucks and came with a ton of usefull stuff! But when I started realizing it didn't have certain items to suite my outdoor lifestyle I decided to have the bought one for home use and to build one to cater to my needs! The pouch alone cost more then the pre-made kit but it's well worth it when the time comes to have the supplies I need on hand!
     
  12. Atlas

    Atlas Loaded Pockets

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    Personally, I always thought pre-made were incomplete. After I became more health conscious, I made my own. It's not much, it couldnt deal with major trauma, but its enough for my hikes or just to keep around the house.
    [​IMG]
    (sorry for picture quality, leatherman fuse for size reference)
    [​IMG]
    50 assorted bandages: large, antiobiotic, waterproof, etc
    5 3X3 Gauze
    2 pairs of Nitrile gloves
    1 pack of antibacterial wipes
    1 IcyHot Gel
    20 Cotton balls
    1 roll of first aid tape
    1 tube of triple antibiotic
    20 advil caplets
    5 advil liquigels
    1 tube of carmex
    1 large 5X9 ABD pad
    1 vial of saline solution
    1 bottle of new-skin
    25 cotton swabs
    30 alcohol swabs
    1 bandage roll
    2 hydrocortisone packets
    2 sunscreen packets
    2 insect sting relief packets
    4 non-asprins
    4 nyquil pills
    4 dayquil pills
    3 penecillins
    2 disposable lancets
    1 Tweezer
    1 safets scissors
    1 large waterproof/crusproof box
    1 Gold bond foot powder

    any recomendations?
     
  13. cap6888
    • In Omnia Paratus

    cap6888 Loaded Pockets

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    Very nice kit. I think the one thing many people fail to plan for is proper cleaning of the wound. Sterile water is probably the best thing to use. Obviously the copious amounts that would truly be needed is weight/size restrictive. But a small bottle would be a very good start if you can fit it in. Personally, i carry pre-loaded 10ml syringes of saline. But i am able to "allocate" these from work with out any fuss. So a small bottle is probably a better option. I believe you can get small 250ml bottles that don't take up too much space.
     
  14. Mcameron

    Mcameron Loaded Pockets

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    what i have done with all of my first aid kits is i buy a pre-made FAK as a "starter" and then i typically remove and go through everything in the kit and inspect it and discard any breached seals or out of date materials.....then i see what is generally missing from the kit ( and trust me, i have never seen a premade kit that was 100% complete)...then i will typically find a better bag/case to put everything in, which isnt necessary, but i really dont like cheap plastic cases.

    this way i can save a bit of money and i now have the familiarity of a custom FAK.
     
  15. Atlas

    Atlas Loaded Pockets

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    I agree..i was never a fan of carrying my FAK in a "tacticool" pouch or ziploc bag..I wanted to guarantee that it would remain dry so i invested 10 dollars in a waterproof, otterbox type box. it is a bit bulky to carry in a pack, but when its as something as first aid..ill cary the few extra ounces. As for irigating wounds, I do have a small bottle of saline, but i also carry a watter bottle for that purpose only.
     
  16. VinnyP
    • In Omnia Paratus

    VinnyP Loaded Pockets

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    My in car kit is in black bags but clearly marked on one side which is on show if anyone looks in and needs to find it. But plain on the reverse. If I go to help at a scene of carnage people seeing the first aid kit immediately want you to start but I like to have a bit of time to assess and triage before showing my hand so I can keep the plain side outermost.
     
  17. al66pine

    al66pine Loaded Pockets

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    Vinny, good idea re FAK emblem showing on one side only.
     
  18. W1IM

    W1IM Loaded Pockets

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    I agree, for some reason people like alcohol swabs for cleaning wounds. This ends up stinging a lot and also damaging tissues and prolonging healing time. You want to be able to wash away debris, not just apply an ointment and then bandage. Sterile water or saline do this just fine. You can purchase small bottles of eye wash in pharmacies which work well for portable kits. Just make sure you are getting saline only and nothing with medication in it like some eye drops.
     
  19. ObiHann

    ObiHann Loaded Pockets

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    cleaning a wound is best left to people that are trained to do so. You can very easily push more debris into the wound and further into the body if you are not careful. In a metro area, your main concern should be controlling the bleeding, the hospital can handle cleaning the wound in there own controlled environments.
    A good example, I cut my forearm open on glass, and inside the deep cut is shards of glass. When you start to clean the wound with water you can easily move some of the glass shards deeper into my arm, the hospital will then have spend much more time removing the glass, possibly dealing with nerve damage caused by your cleaning.
     
  20. ObiHann

    ObiHann Loaded Pockets

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    Bottled water works just as well if you have to clean the wound. A bottle of sterile water or solution is no longer sterile as soon as it opens and hits the wound, at that point it contains environmental contaminants as well as whatever is in the wound. Bottled water is just as safe.