A newly deployed medical kit similar to those used on foreign battlefields may have helped save the life of a Dallas officer who was shot during the weekend, the Dallas Morning News reports. Lt. Alex Eastman, the Dallas Police Department's deputy medical director, said the “Downed Officer Kit” possibly prevented officer Joshua Burns from bleeding to death after he was shot three times in a shootout Saturday. The kit is new to Dallas, but is made up of old medical treatments with a modern twist. It contains a tourniquet, special anti-clotting gauze and bandages. Eastman said the kits give doctors and patients a better chance because unchecked hemorrhage and shock can wreak more physiological havoc than bullets.
“The bottom line is, the earlier you get control of the bleeding, the better off you are,” he said. Burns, 30, was shot in his bulletproof vest, his shoulder and his leg after a gunman opened fire on him and another officer, police said. After Burns went down, his fellow officers applied the tourniquet to his leg. Eastman said Burns arrived at the hospital “in much better shape” than he would have otherwise because of the kit. The officer continues to recover. The kit hadn't been used on an injured officer in Dallas before Saturday. Dallas had been using only “rudimentary first aid kits” before, Eastman said. The department acquired the new tactical kits for 3,200 officers — at a cost of about $50 each — in November.