What’s In My Classroom Bleeding Control Kit // Prepared High School Teacher

, What’s In My Classroom Bleeding Control Kit // Prepared High School Teacher
, What’s In My Classroom Bleeding Control Kit // Prepared High School Teacher

In my classroom, I have a bleeding control kit because if I need it, then I will have it. I think every teacher should have one in their classroom. We can’t depend on a kit “somewhere” in the front office. That’s too far away in distance and time.

With a traumatic injury, there could be only three to four minutes available to stop bleeding. In the event of a school shooting, EMTs possibly would arrive at your classroom in about ten minutes at the fastest. In the Columbine shooting; some rooms were not reached for four hours, and victims died.

If you are the help until the help arrives, then it’s time to do at least two things that make you less of a victim – get supplies and training. This article covers exactly what is in my personal Classroom First Aid Kit / Bleeding Control Kit, and why I chose what I did.

What’s In My Bag, and Here’s Why I Chose Each Item

Every single item in my CFAK has been carefully selected. My dive partner Bill and I probably have spent hours choosing each item – seriously. Some items, like tourniquets, we have spent over 200 hours on research – reading, watching videos, and reading again.

About once a month, because we are still learning and taking classes, I add or change something, or add multiples of items I already have. All links are listed throughout and at the end of this article.

, What’s In My Classroom Bleeding Control Kit // Prepared High School Teacher
If you can find my bag easily, I have met my goal.
Very very unusually messy desk – yearbook deadline week.

Bag Choice

I carefully chose my bag ease of access – it has a chunky buckle that is easily operated even if your hands are cold, wet, or in the dark. It is red. I wanted it to stand out, and for it to be obvious.

Our school resource officers and deans know exactly where it is on my desk, because I have purposely shown and reminded them. There’s no doubt if they run in and grab it that they have the medical bag and not one of my several camera bags for yearbook class, which are black.

Mine is the Orca Tactical MOLLE Rip-Away EMT Medical First Aid IFAK Blowout Pouch (Bag Only). This was the one area I was willing to purchase a more reasonably-priced item, as long as the quality was sufficient. When the bag arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. All zippers work smoothly, and there were enough inside loops and pockets for everything.

A good article from Crisis Medicine tells why you should mark your kit what I call “Red4Med.” Basically, so you and rescuers can find it.

My bag has a cross medical symbol on it. This is for identification, and also, to deter thieves from thinking it’s a purse.

Bag Concerns

Initially, I was reluctant to mark it as medical because if students knew how expensive the contents are, or if there was a market for these supplies, it might be stolen. However, the benefits outweigh the risks, so, it’s bright red and clearly marked. So far, students seem completely disinterested in the bag. That is good. They’ve seen it, they know it’s there, they know what it is  – “First Aid Kit.”

Now I routinely mention to students in my classes that it’s there, just like where the pencil sharpener is, where the stapler is. I introduce it as another boring classroom supply, so if I ever need to ask someone to bring it to me, they will know where it is.

Not In/On My Bag

Quite purposely, I keep inexpensive plastic bandages in easy reach in my podium. They are a constant student request. That keeps students out of my serious Bleeding Control Kit.

Fancy molle (loops to hang things from) wasn’t something I felt I needed since everything is on the inside.

My bag does have internal pockets and loops to organize items. I open it and review where items are located every Monday, just in case I have to access it in the dark. I know where everything is by feel.

This bag is stuffed full, but it nicely compact. There is nothing outside to fall off or get caught. It is about the size of a football. If needed, either I or one of our athletes could easily throw it to someone across a crowd.

Our School Resource Officer – SRO – and I have discussed that if he needs it, I’ll throw it right at him, let it hit him, and it will drop at his feet. If he’s near a wall, it can be thrown at the wall and land at his feet.

I do have a second, larger bag in my room now that is designed to be worn as a waist bag for hands-free movement. I can put it on and run.

, What’s In My Classroom Bleeding Control Kit // Prepared High School Teacher
Gerber Strap Cutter – bottom right.

Cutting Tool

In diving, we carry safety scissors. They are long, and take a bit of dexterity to operate. For cruise ship dive trips, we switch to line cutters because we don’t have to declare them at customs.

For my school CFAK, I have a seatbelt-type Gerber strap cutter. In anticipation of the loss of fine motor skills, I chose to go with a very simple tool – it has one large hole for a finger. It requires only a ripping motion of the arm to slice through the fabric. Another consideration is eliminating sharp objects in the classroom that could cut or stab, or, more likely, be borrowed and not returned.

Benchmade also offers fine safety cutters and rescue hooks, and we have those in our range bags. They beautifully made, however, they are about twice the price of the Gerber strap cutter.

Why the Cutting Tool Is Inside

When I first took my kit to school, my ripper device was mounted on the outside. This is where we keep it on our vehicle version; it’s probably the first item you will reach for, so accessibility is key.

Initially I was concerned it could be taken and used as a weapon. Actually, you would have to work to cut yourself with it.

More likely is someone borrowing it to cut stray threads on their clothing and failing to return it, so I opted for moving it inside.

, What’s In My Classroom Bleeding Control Kit // Prepared High School Teacher

Celox or Clotting Agent

QuikClot Advanced Clotting Gauze with Kaolin, Two 3” x 24” Gauze Strips is in my bag.

Dr. Mike Shertz from Crisis Medicine – he teaches and trains tactical casualty care – calls this “fairy dust.” He says that with a wound squirting blood out at the pressure of a water pistol, whatever you pour in there is going to shoot back out. Packing hard and fast is his answer here.

I already purchased it before I heard his evaluation, so I’m leaving it in there.

Israeli Bandages

These are specially-designed bandages, sometimes called dressings, that have a securing device for applying pressure. Right now, I don’t have any in my bag. Maybe on my next paycheck!

They work by wrapping back and forth, and using a plastic slider to increase pressure and secure the bandage.

Here’s a good one; Israeli Bandage – Combat Emergency Bandage – Battle Dressing – First Aid Compression Bandage, 6 inch #3029

Elastic Wrap Bandages

These are stretchy wraps for securing a wound.

Since we have several bags – classroom, vehicle, and range bag – purchasing these in bulk was more cost-effective. I have two in my bag currently; I might increase that number to as many as I have tourniquets.

15 Bulk Pack Self Adherent Cohesive Wrap Bandages 2 Inches X 5 Yards

, What’s In My Classroom Bleeding Control Kit // Prepared High School Teacher

Tourniquets

There are three main types, CAT, Soft T, RATS. There are pros and cons to each. I’ve got some of each. There are dozens of quality videos on the specific uses of both types.

CAT is shown above – they have a “C”-shaped capture device for the windlass. The windlass is the twisty thing that increases the pressure. I’ve got the North American Rescue 2 Pack Genuine NAR CAT Tourniquet Gen 7 Black. I’ve been warned that there are counterfeits on the market, so beware.

Soft-T has a hard metal windlass and triangular capture device. I don’t have those in my classroom kit because I think they will be more difficult to manipulate in a stressful situation. It’s a bit harder to get get the end of the windlass into the triangle, and with wet slippery hands, it would be even more difficult.

The one I carry is from Tac-Med Solutions, and very high quality. SOFTT-W Tourniquet 1.5 – Black.

Rats is the skinny type of tourniquet that looks like a black rat tail. I have one of these in my classroom kit. Mine is the RATS Rapid Application Tourniquet System.

Tourniquet Misconceptions

After World War II, it seems tourniquets got a bad and undeserved reputation. Since they stopped bleeding so efficiently, sometimes treatment of heavily wounded troops who were not visibly gushing blood was delayed. Someone who was bleeding profusely would be treated first, while the person with a tourniquet waited hours and hours and ended up needing an amputation. That’s probably where the bad reputation arose.

I remember as a child, we were told to only use a tourniquet as a last resort due to an almost definite amputation resulting. That is not necessarily the case. And even if it were – given the choice of bleeding out and dying, or possibly losing a limb, it seems the better option.

, What’s In My Classroom Bleeding Control Kit // Prepared High School Teacher

Chest Seals

These are for penetrating wounds of the upper body and neck. I’ve read some conflicting ideas about whether or not untrained people should attempt to use these. I have them in my kit. As I continue my training with Crisis Medicine, I’ll be able to make the judgment call on whether or not I am qualified to use them. I do have them.

The ones I have are North American Rescue Hyfin Vent Chest Seal, 2 Count and I have read in a pinch, you can use the wrapping as more seals.

, What’s In My Classroom Bleeding Control Kit // Prepared High School Teacher

Gloves

Sterile gloves. Large enough for the largest hands that possibly will use them. If you are assembling a kit for a child to use, you might consider smaller gloves. Also, don’t forget about latex allergies.

We just ordered a pack of 25 gloves from North American Rescue due to the size availability, and description of durability. You can grab a few pairs from your school’s health science instructors, or pilfer a few pairs the next time you are in a doctor’s office. If you say they are for your classroom, they’ll probably be glad to give you a few pairs. Plus, if you have an annual doctor’s visit – that reminds you to replace them in your class annually.

The shelf life of latex and nitrile gloves is about four years. They don’t last as long somewhere hot and humid – and I’m in Florida… You should replace them every two hours of use, or immediately if they are ripped, torn, or contaminated.

Our school health science students practice removing them after smearing catsup on their hands. There are plenty of videos on YouTube about how to remove them correctly.

Survival Blankets

To retain body heat, reduce heat loss, and prevent hypothermia. We’ve got these spread throughout our kits ANMEILU Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets – 4 Packs or 6 Packs Space Blanket Survival kit.

, What’s In My Classroom Bleeding Control Kit // Prepared High School Teacher

Head Lamp

After a lot of research, my dive partner Bill chose the Black Diamond Head Lamp non-rechargeable version for both of us. Lithium batteries don’t give you a slow dimming but instead stop suddenly. He wanted us to have the advantage of noticing the light dimming. Then you would know to start conserving it, or replace the batteries.

It has a lock so it does not accidentally turn on in the bag.

Bill got the rechargeable varieties for our pet sitter and neighbor; they are testing them twice daily while feeding horses, and have the ability to plug them in nightly.

Charging a flashlight in my classroom is not a problem. However, not knowing the light is about to expire supersedes the ease of charging and cost of batteries. Sometimes it’s just not good to chose easy and cheap over the downfalls associated with your intended use.

Other Items

In my Classroom First Aid Kit, I also have a tiny roll of duct tape and a permanent marker for noting times.

I really am trying to keep the kit very very simple. I don’t need to address every possible classroom injury. In a non-shooting situation, EMT’s can come to my room quickly. There’s less need for me to stock splints and ointments and anything not related to stopping the bleeding.

Links to What’s In My Kit

Orca Tactical MOLLE Rip-Away EMT Medical First Aid IFAK Blowout Pouch (Bag Only).

Gerber strap cutter

QuikClot Advanced Clotting Gauze with Kaolin, Two 3” x 24” Gauze Strips

Israeli Bandage – Combat Emergency Bandage – Battle Dressing – First Aid Compression Bandage, 6 inch #3029

15 Bulk Pack Self Adherent Cohesive Wrap Bandages 2 Inches X 5 Yards

North American Rescue 2 Pack Genuine NAR CAT Tourniquet Gen 7 Black

TacMed Solutions SOFTT-W Tourniquet 1.5 – Black.

RATS Rapid Application Tourniquet System

North American Rescue Hyfin Vent Chest Seal, 2 Count

Pack of 25 gloves from North American Rescue

ANMEILU Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets – 4 Packs or 6 Packs Space Blanket Survival kit

Black Diamond Head Lamp

25 gloves from North American Rescue (Actually only four of the packs are in my pack – not all 25)

These links above are Amazon Affiliate links – and I may receive a small percentage of your purchase, but your cost is no higher. My purchases of these items were made long before I wrote this article, and my choices were not influenced by Amazon. I appreciate it if you use my links, and that helps me purchase more items for my classroom. Thank you!

Links to MyMedic

Affordable, quality products. This link and using my code “KimW” at MyMedic will save you 10%, and I earn a small percentage for stocking my own kits, but your price does not increase. They have kits already assembled if you want to save some time and research.

Links to Training

Once you have supplies, you need to know how to use them. Get training!

North American Rescue video training – warning – it’s rather graphic, but it’s what you really need to see.

Crisis Medicine – excellent training. History buffs and anyone who appreciates the backstory of whatever they are studying will appreciate the precise attention to detail. Also very graphic, and also what will serve you well to experience. Dr. Shertz from Crisis Medicine says the first time you see blood shouldn’t be when you have a loved one or student in front of you. Please use my link above and my code “DeepWH” for 20% off the Tactical Casualty Care TC2 online course.

Stop The Bleed Department of Homeland Security – The first course is very light. The second class is more in-depth, the third class is not online, but is in person.

There are other online courses, and tons more reference materials and videos online. If anyone comes across any that we can use for certification points; please let us all know. I do plan to submit my Crisis Medicine certificate to my own school district and see if I qualify for any of those hours spent taking the class as CEU’s – continuing education units for recertification purposes.

What to Read Next: Teachers: How to Order Bleeding Control Kits With Classroom Supply Money

Please comment below if you have any suggestions, questions, or comments. I appreciate your feedback and hope you found this useful. Kim

Updated April 16, 2019.

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