Bleed Kits: A Must for the Workplace

In the UK, employers are required by law to ensure that their employees receive immediate and effective treatment in the event of a workplace injury or serious illness. First Aid quite literally saves lives, which is why a first aid kit is required by most workplaces.

However, not all first aid kits are particularly well suited to preventing catastrophic bleeding or treating deep lacerations and stab wounds.

In this review, we’ll take a detailed look at a Bleed kit currently being produced by Selles Medical. It is a first aid kit which specialises in major bleeds (such as knife wounds), which makes it very important from a security worker’s perspective.

We will also examine two readily available alternatives from other manufacturers and discuss their benefits and drawbacks as well.

What is a Bleed Kit

A bleed kit is a specialized first aid kit designed to treat deep lacerations and catastrophic bleeding. It typically includes items such as tourniquets, bandages, gauze, haemostatic dressings, wound cleansing solutions, shears, gloves, and tamper seals.

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Bleed kits are often used in workplaces where there is a risk of serious injury, such as construction sites and medical facilities. They can also be useful in premises where there is a chance of knife crime or other sharp-edged weapons, such as pubs and clubs. Bleed kits are not designed to replace the mandatory first aid kits required by law to meet the BS8599-1 standard, but rather to provide extra protection in the event of serious injury.

Who Needs a Bleed Kit?

Knife crime is on the rise in the UK. Knife crime, already at record levels, experienced an 8% increase between 2021 and 2022. During the same period, British police recorded 49,991 incidents involving knives or sharp objects, the largest increase since 2019.

Of course, police aren’t the only ones on the front lines in the UK. Britain’s security workers guard people, property, and locations both private and public, every single day. As a result, security workers are frequently threatened or attacked with (or being forced to confiscate) bladed weapons. As such, it is imperative that pubs, clubs, venues, and any other premises that employ security personnel make use of a critical injury Bleed kit.

We feel that this bleed kit is among the best on sale right now. It is especially well suited to deep cuts and other injuries that bleed (earning this, and other, similar first aid kits their colloquial name ‘bleed kits’).

The kit is designed to be used quickly and efficiently, enabling users to prevent the patient from bleeding too profusely before paramedics can arrive. It features, among many other things, sterile, military grade field dressing (designed for battlefield injuries), an extra thick wound pad, and a very strong pair of scissors that can cut through almost anything (including clothing) quickly and without a fuss. Put simply, this is a product that can be relied upon to save lives.

In this review, we’ll examine the contents of this first aid kit, discussing its application, practicality, and overall design quality. We will discuss the use of bleed kits in general and see why this one is particularly well-suited to security work in the UK..

What are 3 types of bleeding?

There are three types of bleeding: arterial, venous, and capillary. Arterial bleeding is the most serious type of bleeding and typically occurs when an artery (a blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood away from the heart) has been damaged or severed. It is characterized by bright red or pulsing blood and requires immediate medical attention.

Venous bleeding occurs when a vein (a blood vessel that carries deoxygenated blood back to the heart) has been damaged or ruptured. It is generally not life-threatening, but can quickly become dangerous if not treated promptly.

Capillary bleeding is a minor type of bleeding and typically results from small scrapes and cuts. It is characterized by slow and steady seepage of blood. However, even minor scratches can become infected if not treated properly. For this reason, it is important to treat all cuts with a first aid kit or a bleed kit as soon as possible.​​​​​​​

Bleed Kit Overview

Although most UK-based security operatives wear some form of protective gear, security is still a dangerous game. Even the presence of a stab vest does not guarantee complete safety from bladed weapons.

Although a huge asset to any security operative, no stab vest is 100% reliable. Some vests, for example, will not protect against spikes (a common term used for pointed weapons such as ice picks, or improvised ones such as sharpened screwdrivers or shivs), others leave certain areas exposed to attack. Even the very best stab vest on the market doesn’t protect the arms, head, neck, or lower body at all.

With knife crime on the rise in the UK and security workers on the front lines night after night, it stands to reason, sadly, that more and more operatives are going to be encountering bladed weapons. A critical injury Bleed kit can be used to apply quick and effective treatment to a wounded colleague, patron, or member of the public. The key to treating any stab wound is to control the bleeding, and bleed kits are the best way to do this in a crisis.

In the event of a deep gash or stab wound, medical experts advise covering the affected area with sterile gauze or cloth and consistently applying pressure until the bleeding stops (it takes 10 minutes for blood to clot, so this is the amount of time suggested). Bleeding from a major artery can kill in minutes, so a swift response is vital.

Selles Medical have kept all of this in mind when designing this bleed kit. The bag is clearly labelled, efficiently organised and easy to access in a crisis. It includes 6 military-grade trauma dressings (15 x 18cm), the kind that are easy to apply and highly effective. These cover a wide surface area, likely big enough to treat most stab wounds.

For cases wherein a larger dressing is needed, the kit contains 2 No. 4 ambulance dressings (the kind used by paramedics), which measure 32 x 20cm. It also boasts 100 gauze swabs for cleaning more minor wounds, 3 adult size foil blankets for keeping warm, 4 pairs of first aid gloves, and a pair of scissors/clothing shears.

Elsewhere, the bag itself is designed to be throwable in case it is not safe to enter the scene of the incident. It is also waterproof, compact, and highly durable, and the set comes with a wall bracket and tamper seals for easy site installation.

This is a great kit for ‘grab and go’ responses to catastrophic bleeding, which combines highly absorbent materials with other proven, reliable equipment to give people the best possible chance of survival.

What is in a Bleed Kit

TraumaFix Dressings 

Recommended by The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, TraumaFix dressings are large, military grade field dressings, able to absorb incredible amounts of fluid without becoming too damp. These dressings are specially designed to help the first aider apply pressure to the wound. TraumaFix dressings feature a Velcro-style application and closure, and are completely sterile in the packaging, helping to keep stab wounds clean, even as they prevent bleeding.

No. 4 Ambulance Dressings 

Used by paramedics and first responders all over the world, these heavy-duty dressings are designed to help treat severe wounds that have caused a large amount of blood loss. They have been used to treat gunshot wounds, severe burns, and injuries caused by flying shrapnel in warzones. In addition to being very large, the dressings feature a thicker wound pad than almost any other dressing. Each dressing comes individually wrapped in sterile packaging, which helps to ward off infection.

Tuff-Kut Scissors 

Recommended by St. John’s Ambulance, Tuff-Kut scissors are designed to cut through clothing, seat belts, several layers of fabric at once, and other tough materials. These scissors can cut bandages and field dressings down to an appropriate size, if necessary, as well as cutting clothing that may be restricting access to a wound.

Protective Bag 

This kit has been designed with emergencies firmly in mind. As such, the bag itself can be wall-mounted (using the bracket provided), and even features tampering seals to prevent people from accessing it in non-emergency situations. The bag is clearly labelled and brightly coloured, making it easy to spot from a distance, and can be thrown or dropped into a situation without incurring any damage. The bag is made from a tough outer material as well, which is unlikely to degrade too much over time and is hard to damage.

Foil Blankets 

The kit also includes 3 adult size foil blankets, which can reflect and preserve over 90% of a human being’s body heat. These lightweight blankets are great in situations where people are exposed to extreme cold, but they are also excellent for keeping casualties warm while the paramedics arrive.

Alternative Bleed Kits

If, for whatever reason, the featured product does not suit your specific needs, we have selected 2 similar products, from different manufacturers, that may be seen as viable alternatives.

EVAQ8 First Response Kit

Taking the form of a compact, easy-to-carry backpack, rather than a ‘grab and go’ kit, EVAQ8’s first response kit contains everything you should need in a crisis, as well as quite a lot more.

This kit exceeds the current British standard BS8599-1, making it more useful for treating a wider array of injuries than this critical injury Bleed kit, which is predominantly designed to deal with stab wounds and incidents of catastrophic bleeding. Indeed, for more complete coverage, you may wish to choose the EVAQ8 first response kit.

139 pieces can be found in this kit. It’s an impressive list that includes burn dressings, eyewash solution, a cold compress pack, and high-quality field dressings, among many others.

To make its contents more accessible, the backpack opens fully. This feature allows for easy management/replacement of used or expired items, as well as quick, easy access in a crisis. The bag’s front pocket is empty and has been designed to store the venue’s accident book, or other relevant documents. There is also a side pocket into which other items (such as the patient’s keys or phone) may be placed for safekeeping.

The backpack design features the words ‘FIRST AID’ printed clearly on a green background, as well as a couple of reflective strips which are useful for increasing visibility in low light. The bag is also coloured bright red, making it easy to locate and grab when needed.

Additionally, although it lacks the wall bracket and tamper seals of its Selles Medical counterpart, this first aid kit can easily be hung on the wall via the grab handle at the top of the bag.

This backpack is tough, and hardwearing, but also very portable. It would therefore be very useful for outdoor events such as festivals, as well as larger venues and premises.

In summary, this is a very good first aid kit. It is a tad small (a design choice made to aid portability), and the overall build quality isn’t as good as the Selles Medical kit (one ‘Amazon’ reviewer complained of having to re-stitch parts of it). It is also not specific to treating stab wounds, although it does contain the necessary equipment to do so.

Stein Personal Bleed Control Kit

Like the Selles Medical kit, the Stein Personal Bleed Control Kit has been designed with the treatment of deep lacerations and catastrophic bleeding firmly in mind. Specifically, this is a bleed kit designed to treat chainsaw injuries.

Also, like the Selles Medical kit, this bleed control kit has not been designed to replace the mandatory first aid kits required by law to meet the BS8599-1 standard. It is an extra, designed for premises that may expose people to bladed objects and sharp edges.

This brightly coloured, easy-to-access and use bleed control kit is smart and efficiently laid out. This is good, because it’s important that users be able to grab the kit in a hurry and use it quickly and correctly – people’s lives may depend on this, in fact.

This kit takes the form of a tough, well-made ‘grab bag’ and can even be attached to the harness of an aerial rescue climber. The bag opens fully to reveal a complete array of lifesaving equipment. It is a selection that includes a tourniquet, a 15CM bandage, gauze, haemostatic gauze dressing, Ampoule wound cleansing solution, Medical Pro Series shears, gloves, and a tamper-resistant seal.

This is a very well-stocked kit, although the quantities are somewhat limited. Nevertheless, this is a very good kit for treating serious wounds, including those caused by knives, blades, and spikes.

In Summary

Overall, this critical injury Bleed kit is a great choice for any pub, club, venue, or premises that may be exposed to knife crime.

Unfortunately, we have reached a point where a reliable bleed kit is now a sensible (one might even say ‘essential’) addition to the mandatory first aid kits that should already be in place. Security workers are clear and obvious targets for attackers with knives, shivs, shanks, spikes, and other sharp-edged weapons, as are the patrons in their care. This is the reality of the situation and, as the old saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

The critical injury Bleed kit is as good a choice as any out there, featuring top quality materials, design, and equipment. It is by no means the only option available, but it’s one we’re happy to recommend.