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News: Custom First Aid Kit: Saves lives, Trains soldiers

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Custom First Aid Kit: Saves Lives, Trains Soldiers 1st Lt. Ryan Pace

Staff Sgt. Tyler Gerrits (left), 1st. Lt. Shaun Murphy (right) and Brig. Gen. Keith Thurgood (sitting) review part of the Improved First Aid Kit; Gerrits, Murphy and combat medics of the 2/127th Infantry taught a class to Thurgood and other Soldiers on the Army's latest First Aid Kit-as well as techniques and improvements that they have used.

by 1st Lt. Ryan J. Pace
143rd Transportation Command Public Affairs

KUWAIT- Soldiers depend on the improved first aid kit to save lives- recently members of the Wisconsin National Guard customized the Army's improved first aid kit (IFAK) to make soldiers more efficient as combat life-savers.

Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry Division, following months of deployment, have created what they refer to as, "the plus-ed up IFAK."

The new IFAK promotes a more combat ready approach to the Army's newest medical bag.

The new kit allows Soldiers quick access to essential items like field dressings or intravenous materials- in order to throw them to other soldiers while fielding fire; The IFAK is a direct resolution to obstacles soldiers have encountered during previous experiences on missions.

"The new supplies contained in the IFAC are the latest the Army has to offer, and they work well," says Gerrits. "During the start of our deployment, we did not have the IFAK's, so we had each soldier use his one-quart canteen pouch as a first aid kit."

New inclusions to the combat pill pack, for instance, encourage several new approaches to utilizing materials in the heat of battle—when time is of the essence. The pill pack mainly has served as minor pain medicine and early antibiotics to help combat the serious infections that can occur after battlefield injuries.

New medicine, to complement the pill pack, and additional supplies help Soldiers approach the highly-employed bag in a more formidable fashion. The latest of 2/127th's improvised kit includes the chest needle, additional tourniquet, field dressings, field medical card, and a new bandage.

While the bag is still in development, Murphy provided insight into the reasoning behind the new version: The new IFAK design provides a common-sense approach to first aid and supports a survivability-focused Army.

"I think that we will see more blood stopping capabilities in the future, said Murphy, "It is hard to predict, but the Army has done an outstanding job analyzing our injury patterns and quickly fielding excellent equipment."

The guardsmen continue to stay on top of the latest advancements of combat medical care and encourage other units to do the same. By providing combat lifesaver training, using the new kits as frequently as possible, and promoting first aid awareness- many soldiers have been saved and may continue to be in the future.


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This work, Custom First Aid Kit: Saves lives, Trains soldiers, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:12.18.2006

Date Posted:12.18.2006 14:06

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