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Cajon Pass Tragedy: 3 things you should keep in your car at all times


I just woke up to the news that the Cajon Pass has been affected by a white out that left 17 people injured and involved in a multiple vehicle accident on I-15.


Though these things can’t always be avoided, they can always be prepared for.  As a emergency services worker I have been involved in the treatment and care of multiple traffic crash accident victims, and I can tell you that the injuries that are usually involved in these types of instances can be horrific. As a pure matter of survival, there are three things you should always have with you in a motor vehicle that will give you the best chances for survival if you are suddenly involved in a crash. The number one cause of death in a traffic crash is internal bleeding. This usually comes from the huge changes in velocity that internal organs are subjected to, the “Delta V’s”. Second is shock, and third is bleeding out from arterial bleeds.


There’s not much you can do to treat the Delta V injuries, but there is plenty you can do to treat yourself or others for bleeding or shock. Here are three things you should keep in your car at all times.


  1. Tourniquets. Not just one, several. You could technically need four to save yourself, depending on how badly injured you are. I know combat medics who take a bagful of tourniquets with them on patrols just because they are so valuable for serious bleeds.
  2. Hemostatic Gauze. This stuff is great but it’s expensive, and while you can’t put a price on your life, there are cheaper alternatives to the combat gauze that is sold exclusively for human traumatic injuries. In any event, hemostatic gauze can be a lifesaver for plugging those holes that can’t be controlled with direct pressure or tourniquets.
  3. Cold Water. There is no greater capillary restrictor than cold, and water is the easiest best conductor of cold you can have.
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