Blow Out Kits – One Medic’s Perspective

Updated with a few added links and some new to me information!



I was recently asked to write about what is commonly referred to as a blow out kit. The term refers to an individual medical kit carried to treat immediately life threatening extremity hemorrhage, tension pneumothorax (collapsed lung), and airway obstruction. These three things are responsible for most traumatic battlefield deaths. While all have long been components of civilian emergency medical care, the civilian treatment for exsanguinating hemorrhage, as well as its priority in the sequence of care, has recently been evolving to match with the current military experience.

Rather than discuss how to use the items in a blow out kit, I’m going to instead focus on the components that should be in the kit. More to the point, if you’re not sure how to use a specific item in a kit, I’m going to recommend that you seek out appropriate training, whether it’s a weekend class (such…

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