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using petroleum gauze as chest seal - what size?

Discussion in 'First Aid Station' started by thegrouch314, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. thegrouch314

    thegrouch314 Loaded Pockets

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    If I was going to use petroleum gauze instead of chest seals in an IFAK (to cut down on cost), what size would you recommend? 4x4in? 6x6? I have no idea how big an exit wound would be. I know I could use more than one but it'd be easier just to get the right size in the first place and I don't want to carry unnecessarily large dressings.
     
  2. CodeBru1984

    CodeBru1984 Loaded Pockets

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    I use 5x9 petroleum gauze in my M-FAK, which is in addition to a set of HyFin chest seals.

    To store them, I just fold them in three, and secure them opposite my CAT, behind a packet of Quick Clot.

    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    #2 CodeBru1984, Aug 21, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
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  3. HardToHandle

    HardToHandle Loaded Pockets

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    Good question. I have thought about this in the past.

    #1 - if you really think you need them, buy the right tool, as you have already identified (I have Hyfins, less than $30 a pair)

    #2 - reference #1, I have never seen a chest seal/expedient needed for penetrating chest injuries but was trained 20 years ago to use petroleum gauze and then a decade later to use AED pads (all multi use items)

    #3 - my concern has always been 00 Buck creating three or four separate exit wounds (unlikely scenario , exsanguation being a bigger threat is my assumption); the mechanism of injury will be the major determinant
     
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  4. thegrouch314

    thegrouch314 Loaded Pockets

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    I thought about buying chest seals but I'm not likely to need them, they're the least likely to use out of all the trauma items and I'm not trained in how to use them. I figure that petroleum gauze I can claim was improvised, a specialised product less so
     
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  5. volvoboy

    volvoboy Loaded Pockets

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    This is a good example where we have to decide what we can carry, what we can afford, and what is the likelihood of running into specific problems that we want to be prepared to deal with. Outside of my time running with a volunteer rescue squad I've never had to treat a penetrating chest wound (and I'm 66 years old). I also don't carry a firearm. I do have a set of chest seals in my big trauma bag in the car, but carry petroleum gauze in all my other kits.

    The interesting thing is that much of what I've seen recently about using petroleum gauze for a chest seal is that it is recommended that you use the foil wrapper for the chest seal, not the petroleum gauze itself. Here is one example:

    https://brooksidepress.org/TCCC/lessons/lesson-3-treating-chest-injuries/section-ii-treating-open-chest-wounds/3-07-seal-the-open-chest-wound/
     
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  6. thegrouch314

    thegrouch314 Loaded Pockets

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    I was told by an instructor to open the packet and use the gauze against the wound with the packet over it because the gauze isn't airtight.
    I'm sure there's many different improvised chest seals and methods though, this is just the way I was shown. Alas, since it isn't technically part of the course I was on, there's no guarantee.it would be covered under good samaritan laws
     
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  7. JIM

    JIM Loaded Pockets

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    I find it just doesn’t work as well: it easely comes off. I used defib pads but now we have hyfin vented seals.

    Also keep in mind the time aspect: you can slap on a hyfin and move on further treatment or to other victims.
     
  8. TJones

    TJones Empty Pockets

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    EDIT: Only just watched the video. I don't bother with gauze over it, and I'd use duct tape for adhesion. They can change that over at hospital.

    A more DIY method of making a vented chest seal is to use the method Volvoboy and thegrouch314 mentioned.

    If you get a packet, place it over the wound and tape down 3 sides of it it will allow air to escape via the untaped side under positive pressure (breathing in and expanding the lung), and then will seal off the wound when under negative pressure (exhaling), stopping the lung from collapsing again.

    The absolutely fantastic Olaes modular bandage is a great addition to you IFAK. It's a good bandage that also breaks down in components - 3 metres of gauze for packing (non-haemostatic), pressure bar doubles as an eye cup and there's an occlusive plastic sheet that you would use like I outlined for sucking chest wounds.
     
    #8 TJones, Sep 3, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  9. joshwhoha

    joshwhoha Loaded Pockets

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    As mentioned, duct tape and heavy plastic, tape on 4 sides for full seal, 3 sides for vented. Not fancy but prehospital medicine isn't supposed to be... That being said I do carry a pair of HyFins in my ankle trauma kit.

    I second the Olaes bandage, shamefully underrated.
     
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