Trauma is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. To this day, it remains the number one cause of death for individuals under the age of 47. Studies show that blood loss, or the consequences thereof, accounts for nearly 40% of these trauma deaths and about half occur at the scene of the injury or en route to the hospital. Many of these deaths may have been prevented had the bleeding been controlled in a timely manner. As a matter of fact, uncontrolled bleeding is the number one preventable cause of death in trauma patients.
As we all know, bleeding can result from a wide variety of causes, and it can happen anytime, anywhere. An injured person, who is bleeding excessively, could die within minutes if his or her bleeding is not stopped. Thus, it is crucial that each and every one of us be able to stop or control a bleeding wound before trained responders arrive. Even though a trauma first aid kit might be within reach when an accident occurs, many of us may find ourselves paralyzed and unable to act. This could simply be due to lack of knowledge when it comes to using these kits or uncertainty of what to do in these situations. To help overcome this problem and empower the untrained public to act when help is needed, North American Rescue, a prominent supplier of life-saving medical/rescue solutions out of South Carolina, has recently launched their Audio Bleeding Control Kit. This kit is unique, as it is the only one on the market to provide users with step-by-step aural instructions on how to use the kit appropriately and stop a bleeding episode.
We at Medgadget were given the chance to check out this kit, and below is a brief review.
The Audio Bleeding Kit is made of a white, glossy cardboard box (L 12.5 in. x W 9.75 in. x D 2.6 in.) and weighs around three pounds. This makes the kit conveniently portable and easy to store. Also, the glossy surface allows for easy cleaning, which is important as the control box is reusable and may end up living inside a car trunk. Inside the box you will find three color-coded packs: green for minor bleeding, yellow for moderate, and red for severe. Each pack contains all the necessary supplies to stop the bleeding type it is designated for. The contents of each pack are listed on the side of the box. Once you use any of these packs, a replacement pack can be purchased from the company’s website.
What sets this kit apart from traditional bleeding control kits is its audio guidance. Aural instructions are provided by the easy-to-use audio keypad that plays pre-recorded instructions designed to help the user utilize the kit effectively to control bleeding. Three replaceable AA batteries power this audio box and it comes ready to use.
To use the kit, you open the box, switch it on, and select the desired language (English or Spanish). After identifying the severity of the bleeding at hand, you hit the corresponding play button. The kit will subsequently provide you step-by-step aural instructions in a clear and calm voice. You can control the volume level and turn it up so it stays audible in a noisy environment. In case you cannot keep up or miss an instruction, you can always stop or rewind to listen to an instruction again. Also, there are written instructions and illustrative drawings on the inside of the box, for those who prefer to read and/or have visual cues. The only drawback that we found was that the kit does not tell you how to recognize the severity of the bleeding and pinpoint a “life-threatening” injury. However, it is valuable to recognize that anytime an arm or leg is bleeding and you are not certain of the severity, the use of a tourniquet (from the severe bleeding pack) is the best course of action to ensure that the bleeding is stopped.
We found North American Rescue’s Audio Bleeding Control Kit to be well designed and user-friendly. Fortunately, we did not need to use it in a real-life scenario, but if this kit proves to be effective in such circumstances, it could definitely be the difference between life and death for someone.