When a life-threatening emergency occurs whether, from an automobile accident, an active shooter event, or an industrial mishap, the most likely person to be the first on-scene is a civilian. Exsanguination can occur in just a few minutes and the ability of civilians to respond effectively to major bleeds is critical to saving lives. Even an EMT or paramedic with advanced training is likely to carry a simple IFAK on their person or in their vehicle, as major medical bags are too large to keep close at hand.
If you travel, hike, or camp in remote places, participate in shooting sports, work with heavy equipment, or have similar exposure to possible traumatic injury, there is no question that having an IFAK nearby can save a life—possibly your own or that of a loved one. An IFAK that is tailored to your own risk profile and level of training is probably the least expensive and most effective insurance policy you can have against needless and tragic loss of life.
Most IFAKs are contained in small sewn pouches that have room for the addition of band-aids and other traditional first aid items, but their main purpose is to treat severe trauma at the point of injury. Making your IFAK heavier or bulkier by adding minor first aid treatments is therefore not commonly recommended. When it comes to IFAK, the simpler the contents, the faster and they can be accessed and effectively applied. With that in mind, there is almost certainly a shortlist of contents that can make you an effective life-saving responder in an emergency.
At Big Bear, we sell premade IFAK kits.