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Departments : First Look

Portable First Aid

Trauma kits from Tactical Medical Packs let you carry the essentials for tending to major injuries right in your pocket.

July 01, 2007  |  by - Also by this author

When the Secret Service asked Dr. Maurizio Miglietta to develop a kit its protective agents could carry to help them treat wounds, he created a compact bag of items he'd want on hand to treat injuries in an emergency. Now he's made the extremely portable vacuum-packed pouch available to law enforcement officers.

As head of trauma surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York and an NYPD and U.S. Secret Service surgeon, Miglietta understands how immediate medical attention can improve the odds of survival and recovery for major injuries. Waiting for a surgeon or a medic could prove deadly.

"You have everything for [treating someone] shot, stabbed, or injured in an explosion and it fits right in your pocket," says Miglietta of the TAC-PACK.

The original TAC-PACK includes latex-free gloves, roll bandage, gauze, abdominal pad for extensive bleeding, N-95 respirator mask to temporarily aid breathing amid smoke or dust, triangular bandage, tape, occlusive dressing to act as a second skin on deep wounds, and a CPR microshield for sanitary mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. And unlike the extensive medical kit you might keep in your car trunk, you can take this kit with you wherever you go.

"I believe it's an essential life-saving tool that everybody should have," says Ben Rosenshine, Miglietta's business partner and president of the company. Rosenshine speaks from experience. Just a few weeks ago he had a chance to use the TAC-PACK himself to save a life.

While on vacation with his family in Florida, Rosenshine witnessed a car crash in which a motorcycle rider without a helmet flew over his handlebars headfirst into a car windshield. Rosenshine opened up the TAC-PACK he was carrying in his pants pocket and used the gloves and other items inside to administer aid until the paramedics and police arrived.

"The thing about a TAC-PACK is it's a very intuitive thing," says Rosenshine. "If you see somebody bleeding, you'll tear it open and figure out what you need to do with the stuff that's in there."

Different versions of the pack provide more specialized equipment. The TAC-PACK QC has all of the items in the original TAC-PACK with the addition of Z-Medica's QuikClot sponge to quickly clot and stop bleeding. The Individual Battle PACK also contains QuikClot, as well as a tourniquet, chest seal, and other advanced medical products intended for battlefield conditions. There's even a HUNTER-PACK intended mainly for emergency treatment of gunshot, knife, and puncture wounds that includes a signal whistle and thermal blanket.

Regardless of which pack you choose, Miglietta stands by his design. When asked if there are items he wasn't able to include in the original TAC-PACK that he'd like to add for everyday use, he says as far as he is concerned, it contains everything necessary for emergency medical attention.

"I have the option to make my own specialty bags for my own use because we pack them," says Miglietta. "But I have not changed it from my original design. It works the best, to my mind."

He takes a TAC-PACK with him everywhere, usually in his suit pocket. "It's always nice to carry a gun on you," says Miglietta. "It's not until you really need it that you realize how glad you are it's there. There's no excuse not to wear it."

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