03 Oct 2013

Medical Emergency Stories From Everyday People

PAK Contest

In honor of National Preparedness Month and the launch of our new line of Chinook PAKs (Personal Aid Kits), we asked people to tell us a story of how they were either prepared or unprepared to handle a medical emergency. We had a lot of really great stories, so thank you to everyone who shared! As I read these stories, a reoccurring theme was either a huge sense of relief when medical supplies were readily available or a huge realization that they never wanted to be unprepared again. No matter where you are or what you are doing, please, never be without a basic first aid kit.

What were the most common types of injuries?

55% Severe Bleeding

25% Cuts & Scrapes

12% Breaks & Sprains

5% Cardiac Arrest & Stroke

2% Burns & Other

What were they doing when they were injured?

21% Camping, Hiking or other Outdoor Activity

20% Car Accident

19% Accidents of Life (falling off ladders, kitchen accidents, etc.)

11% Natural Disaster

9% Hunting & Fishing

9% Slip & Fall

4% Military or Tactical

4% Riding a Bicycle

2% Other

How can I be more prepared for a medical emergency?

We have just launched a new line of compact, waterproof, affordable medical aid kits. Their modular design allows you to custom create your medical aid kit, preparing you for your lifestyle. Click here to learn more about Chinook PAKs (Personal Aid Kits)

Some of the best stories

On a hunting trip in a National Forest, one of my friends, while splitting kindling, managed to sever off the top third of the first knuckle of his left thumb, diagonally halfway through the nail bed.  I immediately went to my truck and grabbed my trauma box, fabricated a pressure bandage around the wound, and stopped the bleeding.  After a frantic search (by flashlight) one of the others in the party found the detached portion of the thumb.  I gently cleaned off the piece of thumb with a gauze pad wetted with sterile saline. We then wrapped the piece of thumb in another piece of saline-wetted sterile gauze and placed it in a clean sandwich bag.  I drove my patient the 1.5 hours to the closest hospital ER.  Thumb piece was re-attached, and the patient ended up with a little nerve damage, but otherwise full use of the thumb.   –   John M.

While mountain biking in Germany I took a corner a little to aggressively. I went off the road and into a tangle of bramble. While my bike was okay and I suffered no major injury, I was covered in small cuts and had a few deeper more serious lacerations on my legs and arms. Since I was not prepared with either a medkit or a cellphone my only option was to bike home. Once I got back in the populated area I made it about 10 blocks before the German Police came to inquire as to why they were receiving phone calls about a crazy bloody man riding a bike in their AO. I wasn’t prepared for even the most minor of injuries or to call for help. While I got off easy this time with a free ride from the German Police, it could have easily been a much more serious situation. I will never be that unprepared again.   –   Richard T.

My youngest son slammed our  heavy backdoor very hard one day and somehow the end of his middle finger got caught in it when he did and “snip” the tip of his finger came off including part of the nail. There was quite a lot of bleeding and not having a kit nearby or one that could help with that type of emergency , I quickly wrapped it in a wet washcloth and rushed him to the doctor. One of my teenage daughters went thru the large pool of blood on the floor to try and find the tip to see if it could be reattached . She did [ and almost fainted doing it ]  but it was far to mangled. It looks mostly normal now but he still has irritation from it everyday as the skin on the end is always being pulled down when he grabs something. It really makes you wish you were better prepared.   –   Mary T.

A couple of weeks ago I was helping my friend, a retired Navy Master at Arms, and his family move into their new house. He was getting some boxes from his brothers house while his wife and I loaded up the truck at the their storage unit. After his wife and I got done off loading at the house her oldest daughter came running in yelling that her little sister (5 yrs old) was attacked by a dog and it “tore her arm off.” I sped off to the scene in my Jeep while my buds wife followed in her truck. When I got there I grabbed my first aid kit and ran to the scared 5 year old who had a 5 inch long and very deep laceration to the lateral side of her upper arm with severe bleeding and adipose tissue pressing out. I applied a gauze dressing and a TK4 on top of it to make it a pressure dressing. Her mom loaded her in the back seat of the truck and I ran them to the hospital while talking her mom through follow up aid. Poor kid was released from the hospital that night with 7 stitches and a new fear of dogs. Luckily the dog was unable to do any permanent damage and the girl is recovering smoothly. I realized that day that removing my trauma jump kit from my Jeep was a huge mistake, although I hadn’t used it in 3 years I needed it that day. The bandaging in my minor first aid kit was insufficient in my mind.   –   William M.

I am a cub master for a local Cub Scout pack. One on a camping trip one of the boys was running and ran into a barbwire fence. He blocked it with his hands but we were a good 3 miles from camp. Lucky I had my combat life saver bag with me. I was able to stop the bleeding and patch him up till we could get him help and go to the hospital. He needed 21 stitches. Good thing to always be prepared.   –   Justin M.

Driving back from Howthorn, NV to Las Vegas. A car ahead of me rolled over and I seriously thought when the dust cleared I was walking up on fatalities.  They were all alive because of their seat belts but it took 40 minutes for ems to arrive from the nearest town 70 miles away. I Had NO kit!!!! All of them were bleeding from deep lacerations, two had broken bones and the driver was going into shock. This was 2 years ago and I still think about how bad I felt that I didn’t have anything to help. No gloves, nothing to stop the bleeding and nothing to splint the broken bones. All I could do was treat the driver and keep her from going further into shock. These poor folks bleed and had to try and keep broken arms still for 40 minutes.   –   John G.

Hurricane Ike was a wake up call. Allot of small injuries from cutting and moving wood & debris. Everyone on the street was banged up just from the cleanup. Nobody had anything to treat the wounds. We were restricted to our street for almost a week and without power for 21 days.   –   Mike O.

Just recently my oldest son & I were headed out on an overnight  camp out & while hacking our way through a section of dense undergrowth he tripped & fell slicing his upper left arm open on his machete. I was carrying an emergency med kit on my backpack which contained an assortment of medical supplies, including several Israeli bandages & packets of Quik Clot. He was bleeding pretty badly but, thankfully, not from an artery. The Quik Clot stopped the bleeding almost instantly & the pressure from the israeli bandage kept it stopped as well as clean. When I got him to the ER he required 10 staples to close the wound. The doctor who treated him was amazed at the quality of  his post accident treatment prior to reaching the ER. I guess most victims showing up in the ER are bandaged with whatever piece of cloth or random rag happens to be at hand. My son thinks I saved his life, certainly though, my level of preparedness kept his accident from being much worse than it already was.   –   William M.

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