Today, IFAK is usually understood to mean “Individual First Aid Kit”, but long before the acronym “IFAK” came into use, the military was issuing small kits designed to treat or prevent various illnesses and minor injuries. Today’s IFAK is more of a trauma kit than a first aid kit, and rarely contains band-aids. Instead, it is designed to address immediate life-threats such as blood loss, airway and breathing issues.
While there is no uniform contents list for IFAKs, they are configured to address the most likely risks and are specific to the training that the person has received. In the case of a Combat or SWAT Medic, this might include materials for invasive procedures such as needle decompressions, airway insertions etc.—procedures that most teachers are not qualified to perform.
One thing that modern IFAKs have in common, is the inclusion of a tourniquet, and training on tourniquet use is becoming widely available (see our previous blog post on tourniquets making a comeback). Increasingly, hemostatic agents (blood-stopping agents) are also included, as many regulatory agencies have approved such items for use. Some are even available OTC. Bleeding is the most common preventable cause of death, both on the battlefield and in civilian life, hence the National “Stop The Bleed” initiative that is underway across the US.
When a life-threatening emergency occurs, in this case an active shooter, the most likely person to be the first on-scene is a civilian. Extreme blood loss 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.
Lightning X carries multiple configurations of IFAKs in stock, assembled in house and available for fast shipping in an “off the shelf” configuration. Our LXPB15-SKJ kit is most popular in this capacity, as we have outfitted over 10,000 of them to school districts nationwide. What many people don’t realize is that we can also customize our kits to meet your exact individual specifications. We stock many thousands of medical supplies in our 25,000 square foot warehouse and we are knowledgeable enough to assist you in building your own custom IFAK – be it one kit or a thousand. Contact us today so that we can help you be prepared in the event of a disaster. Don’t wait until another attack happens to address these crucial needs!