From The Field: Hybrid IFAK Packout

November 9, 2022

The CRO Medical Hybrid IFAK has been in circulation for over five years, with over 10,000 units sold. We designed this product as an improved medical fanny pack for POI care during the first ten minutes of treatment. The bag dimensions accept a six-inch ACE wrap packed vertically in the pouch. The molle wings allow two CRO Medium Bleeders to attach for expanding the kit. There are endless ways to utilize this product. Here is one medic’s approach to packing, treatment, and planning using the Hybrid IFAK.

Why is this fanny pack more valuable to a medic?

It’s compact and allows me to carry all of my lifesaving interventions that are more advanced than a teammate’s standard IFAK. These advanced interventions include diagnostics, drugs, advanced airway, and IV/IO admin. I can provide point-of-injury care for the first ten minutes of treatment and upgrade my patient’s condition as I prepare for Damage Control Resuscitation. I accomplish all of this using only my Hybrid IFAK. This product allows me to rapidly deploy treatments, only needing to drop my med bag if the patient needs blood. The integrated waist belt will let me quickly switch the Hybrid IFAK from back to front and stow it again when not used. The versatility of this product is unmatched for POI care.

What are some of the desirable features of this bag?

The customizable bungee retention in this bag is excellent. It expands your carrying capabilities on your waist instead of filling up space on your plate carrier. It doesn’t limit you to certain-sized items fitting in premade loops but provides excellent retention and easy customization. This feature is unique to CRO and found in all of their equipment. The internal vertical sleeve pockets are convenient for flatter and smaller items, as they can hold many of them, including NCDs, casualty cards, chest seals, etc. However, one of the best features is the wings on the sides of the IFAK that can fit CRO Medium Bleeder pouches or tourniquet covers.

How do you utilize this product while treating a patient?

After doing a rapid MARCH assessment or treating a casualty that is being treated by teammates already, I can quickly reach into the Hybrid IFAK and access a premade kit such as an IO, IV, or suction and pass it off to somebody to use. At the same time, I can focus on blood admin/preparation, drug admin, or preparing more advanced interventions as needed. The ability to carry medic-specific items in the “hybrid” IFAK style pouch is ideal and makes a ton of sense for medics integrated into a team.

What other uses have you found?

I had extra space in one of my Medium Bleeder pouches after packing a pulse-ox and EMMA device. I decided to throw in some basics that aren’t lifesaving interventions but still are valuable for patient care. Tape is always needed, and by running the bungee through the roll of tape at the top of the pouch, I found that it sat perfectly above the pulse-ox and EMMA to give the bag a fuller feeling. Additionally, I found room for a headlamp. Headlamps are always needed in a pinch, and if I were to only have my Hybrid IFAK on in a dark environment, I could quickly reach in and throw that on and continue patient care.

Please describe your methodology for packing this product and how it relates to the MARCH algorithm.

When building out my Hybrid IFAK, I wanted it to be more advanced than a teammate’s IFAK and have enough interventions to treat a casualty or two almost entirely without digging into my med bag. It has primary interventions for “M” in the MARCH algorithm (extra wound packing supplies) and advanced interventions for ARC (cric kit and basic suction/finger-thoracostomy kit/IV/IO, along with a premade TXA kit). It is a perfect middle-ground between an IFAK and my med bag.

What have you found while using this product while running trauma lanes?

While training, the Hybrid IFAK sits on my lower back. When I need to treat a patient, I rotate it around to grab supplies quickly, and if I’m in a secure position and can sit on the patient for a few minutes, I detach it from my waist and place it next to me or on the patient. Running slimmer mag pouches/placards makes visualizing its contents much easier when it’s on your waist. Wearing a dangler pouch below my plate carrier tends to impede working out of the Hybrid IFAK, making things a little more awkward regarding accessibility. I suggest running either a dangler or the Hybrid IFAK, but not both.

Please describe other benefits of integrating this product into your planning and treatment of casualties.

In short, the compact size and customizability of the Hybrid IFAK give me the confidence to treat one or two patients without digging into my med bag. By fully utilizing the Hybrid IFAK, I increase my maneuverability and save valuable size/space in my med-bag.


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