The first-aid kit issued by the U.S. military has evolved over the years to provide greater medical support to injured soldiers in combat.
In 2005, the U.S. military updated and standardized the first-aid kit issued to soldiers. Known as the "Individual First-Aid Kit" (IFAK), the current version of the portable medical kit provides care and support to soldiers operating in modern combat environments. Previous first-aid kits used by the U.S. military contained little more than bandages to stop bleeding and iodine to prevent infections.
Stopping Bleeding and Treating Burns
However, the current first-aid kit, or IFAK, has tourniquets to stop bleeding, a device to clear blocked airways, dressings to treat burns, antibiotic ointment, and water purification tablets to help make water drinkable for soldiers in the field. The IFAK has been developed to allow soldiers to treat their own injuries and the wounds of their colleagues.
The Individual First-Aid Kit has become standard issue across the U.S. military. The kit is often issued with additional survival kits that are used in specific areas of the world such as the desert, jungle and Arctic. Additional survival kits can include sunscreen for use in the desert, mosquito netting for the jungle, and chemical hand warmer packets to be used in the Arctic.