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How to use a chest seal when you need it

Any injury that is sustained on the human body could be potentially life-threatening if it results in massive amounts of bleeding.

However, a wound to the chest area is especially risky because not only is the victim in danger of bleeding out, but a wound to the chest could potentially disrupt their breathing capabilities.

A wound to the chest can happen anywhere from the neck to the stomach.

If the wound happens along the chest area, you need to check the victim’s chest and back area to assess the severity of the wound. In moments like these, the first aid administered could potentially be the difference between saving someone’s life.

Every second counts when you are trying to control excessive bleeding.

One of the many tools you need as part of your first aid kit if you ever find yourself dealing with a victim who has a chest wound is to use what is called a chest seal. 

What Is A Chest Seal and Why Do We Need It?

Even when your body is injured, it still needs to have its regular intake of oxygen going in and carbon dioxide going out.

Breathing is something that happens automatically and when a victim experiences a wound to the chest, that could severely impact their breathing capabilities. 

Chest seals like the kind sold by SAM Medical are engineered to treat, seal, and reseal open chest wounds under most circumstances.

After a simple and quick application, SAM® Chest Seal sticks relentlessly through extreme heat or cold, no matter the elements. When purchasing a chest seal, it is important to ensure that your seals meet the CoTCCC-preferred features.

The package also includes a five-by-nine-inch dressing to help you bandage those open wounds. 

A chest seal is required when a victim experiences massive bleeding or life-threatening bleeding that is disrupting their airway and respiratory process. The chest seal is meant to control the bleeding and the victim’s airway until they can receive the necessary medical assistance. 

The SAM chest seals are unlike any other because the seal’s rigid, raised-dome valve ensures one-way airflow from the chest cavity, no matter the pressure applied.

The large side vents minimize internal obstruction from blood clots or soft tissue. Whether in transport or in the presence of heavy body armor, the TRUFLOW™ Valve will continue to vent.

Designed with simplicity and security in mind, the SAM chest seal is engineered to seal, and reseal open chest wounds in the presence of any elements.

After a simple and quick application, SAM® Chest Seal sticks relentlessly no matter what the weather conditions may be. 

How to Use Your Chest Seal

Learning these basic first-aid steps could potentially save your or someone else’s life.

You never know when you might find yourself in a situation where someone around you needs first aid, or perhaps you are the one who is in need of some help.

If it was you who needed first aid, knowing what to do means you could guide someone else and instruct them what to do if they’re nervous or unsure.

Either way, knowing how to use first aid tools like a chest seal is going to mean the difference between life and death (depending on the severity of the situation). 

Applying the chest seal on a victim is a straightforward process.

Simple, emergency medical equipment like this is designed to be uncomplicated so both civilians and medical professionals can administer immediate first aid to those in need.

There may be times when an ambulance is not able to get there right away or there’s no hospital nearby.

If you have a victim that is in need of a chest seal until the ambulance arrives, this is how you would apply it:

  • Step 1 – The first step is to locate the source of the wound. There will probably be a lot of blood around the surrounding area if it is a chest wound. It might make you uncomfortable to look at, but it is important that you take a good look at this and try to identify the source of the wound. You will need to remove the victim’s clothes to get a better look at this. Once the clothes have been removed, run your fingers along the victim’s chest and back (you will want to have your gloves on when you do this). This is to ensure you have located all areas where the victim might be wounded in case there is more than one wound to the chest. An example of a scenario where this is possible would be if the victim suffered a gunshot wound and was shot at more than once.
  • Step 2 – Once you have accurately located the source of the wound, rip open the SAM Chest Seal packaging and remove the contents. Clean the wounded area as best you can before you apply the chest seal on the victim. 
  • Step 3 – When you’re ready, grip the application tab on the chest seal firmly. In one quick and swift motion, pull off the clear liner while keeping your grip on the chest seal tab. Position the chest seal’s TRUFLOW™ Valve over the wounded area. The dressing’s adhesive side should be faced down. Once the seal is in position, press down firmly with both hands across the entire surface of the seal. This step will ensure that the seal is stuck on firmly to the victim and won’t be at risk of dropping off. 

Leave the valve cap of the chest seal in place. Doing so will ensure that the chest seal will act as a large occlusive dressing for the victim.

When the valve cap is removed, the rigid, raised domes on the TRUFLOW™ Valve of your SAM chest seal will ensure that there is only one-way airflow from the chest cavity. 

The large size vents on the valve will help to minimize any internal obstruction that could happen, such as blood clots or soft tissue damage. 

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay 

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