Mr. Bluejeans and I take a serious approach to first aid. Working on a farm (ok, when we start working on the farm) can be a dangerous job. We’ve always been sure to have first aid kits on hand. They aren’t M*A*S*H status but they are sufficient. House, cars, camper and now the farm all require a kit located in a strategic place.
According to Wikipedia: First aid is the assistance given to any person suffering a sudden illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, or to promote recovery.
Each kit contains the usual, you know, swabs, gauze, band-aids, tweezers, magnifying glass for the blind… just call me Hawkeye Pierce. However, each area where we keep a kit is treated as a separate entity so we create the kit accordingly. Out in the workshop? Clotting agent please. In the house? Burn gel for sure… don’t ask. You get the idea.
Recently Mr. Bluejeans ordered a RATS tourniquet from Amazon (in the future we will be ordering a CATS tourniquet to compare the two). No, we aren’t administering first aid to rats. Although they may want to think about having some kits of their own after we bring in the barn cats…
The RATS tourniquet was created by Jeff Kirkham, a Green Beret who designed it using feedback from soldiers who fought in battle. They determined a need for a simple, effective application that a single person could make work using one hand if necessary. The RATS tourniquet does just that.
Me being me, I just had to try it out. Not on myself of course but on my ever obliging partner Mr. Bluejeans. For this demonstration I’ll call him B.J. Hunnicutt, which is kind of fitting. Please keep in mind we are NOT doctors and as with any medical device – you should seek complete knowledge from its manufacturer and/or your doctor or from You Tube like I mostly do 😛 Just don’t ask Klinger, he really doesn’t care. Here is our first shot at trying it out:
Here we see B.J. Hunnicutt holding the metal cleat in one hand. The bungee, which looks like a large rope to me but again I’m blind… should be threaded through to form what the instructions refer to as a “three finger loop”. Your limb DOES NOT GO THROUGH THE THREE FINGER LOOP. Yes, I shouted. Just imagine a swarm of helicopters overhead and it won’t seem so rude.
Lay the cleat on the injured limb and slide bungee through loop. Wrap length of bungee around the limb and thread the bungee back through the three fingered loop and pull until snug.
Wrap the bungee back on itself like a bobcat pretzel and continue wrapping the limb until the bungee is used up to about a 2″ width. With every wrap you should stretch the bungee so it pulls tight and cuts off blood flow but DO NOT PULL IT AS TIGHT AS IT CAN GO (more helicopters) as it can cause permanent damage, hence my above warning to educate yourself on this technique before using it.
Hook the end of the bungee into the cleat to secure the tourniquet. Now step into our tent, have a glass of moonshine and let Major Charles Winchester III regale you with boring stories of his youth.
All silliness aside, I’m glad that Mr. Bluejeans keeps our first aid kits so thoughtfully stocked. Of course, none of us want to have to use them but it’s certainly good to know they’re there when we need them…like that glass of moonshine.
What surprising thing do you have in your first aid kit?