Thursday, September 2, 2010

QuikClot for Major Bleeding


Compliments on the recommendations of antibiotics on amazon. As a former Army officer, and professional in risk analysis, first aid is tremendously important to everyone during our everyday lives. It doesn't have to take a widespread crisis for life to decide to come take a shit on your head. It happens, and with or without help, your life, or the life of friends around you may depend on what goodies you've got to take care of the situation. Here's a recommended first aid pack list for the expert traveler (which incidentally includes antibiotics) http://www.concierge.com/images/cnt/pdf/UltimateFirstAidKit.pdf -from Conde' Nast of all people ;-)

Bad things happen, and those bad things typically fall into two categories, short term (like a commute to work) and medium/long term (vacation, camping, disaster of some sort). In short term life threatening situations we focus on stabilizing the person and evacuating them to emergency services (hospital, EMTs, Medics). In these short term situations that means "ABCs" (Airway, Breathing, Circulatory) and treat for shock, heatstroke and hypothermia. This is basic first aid stuff that everyone should take the time to learn.

For trauma the focus is on keeping the patient alive and losing blood is a pretty common way in which people die before reaching medical help. The idea is to keep them alive until you can get them to more professional help (hospital etc). I carry a trauma-focused first aid kit in both my wife's and my car, and my laptop bag/briefcase. The one personally mandatory trauma item I emphasize as a must have isn't typically in off-the-shelf first aid kits is "QuickClot", especially anyone who does recreational shooting / hunting. Quickclot is a chemical powder that in the event of someone bleeding out, you stuff a pack of this in the wound which will stop the bleeding. There's videos on the net demonstrating stopping arterial bleeding on a pig using the stuff. It's standard issue to US soldiers, and I say a must have for every home. If you can keep someone from bleeding out long enough to get them to a hospital, you can save a life.

At home I would recommend those with any interest in trauma first aid to keep a bag or two of saline as well (especially those that enjoy recreational shooting at off-the-beaten path areas and ranges.  Saline gives volume to someone who's lost alot of blood, and can help stabilize them.  Giving an IV isn't that hard.  Even front-line military personnel are trained in giving an IV as part of "combat lifesaver" training. 

As far as the long term, you made a pretty good case for the antibiotics.  To the guy who asked if you could determine a viral vs bacterial infection... well alot of doctors prescribe antibiotics to people who have a cold to make them go away... and that's a virus.  Just have some common sense, do a cursory amount of research and don't be a dumbass and you'll be fine. 

Net: For those who wish to take control of their own destiny, choose not to be a victim and be able to provide basic first aid after a farm, car, construction, home, recreation, shooting, etc accident, it's a given. 


"Black Six"

Excellent email “Black Six”, thanks.
I completely agree with you regarding the antibiotics. People sometimes fool themselves thinking doctors do complete blood analysis over every little thing, while the truth is that when they suspect bacterial infection, they just give you some broad spectrum antibiotic (like amoxicillin) and see how you evolve.
Quikclot is excellent stuff, thanks for bringing it up. I remember reading about how its saved thousands of lives already, stopping soldiers from bleeding out. A must have in your survival kit and EDC kit too. The QuikClot Trauma Pak has 25gr of quikclot, gauze, dressing, trauma pad, triangular bandage, duct tape, etc, everything you need to stop major bleeding. (video link)
Adventure Medical Kits Trauma Packwith QuikClot 

Here’s the video you mention. (WARNING: Graphic blood) VIDEO LINK The link shows a video of a pig that is being opened and its femoral artery cut. It starts pumping blood like crazy. That’s what happens to you if you get shot or stabbed there too people! Happens in accidents too.
The doctor uses QuikClot and stops the bleeding. Its impressive how effective that stuff is. If your not sensitive to bloody scenes, I recommend watching it if only to see how bad a femoral wound bleeds. Pigs are often used in these tests because they are the most similar to humans. That’s how you would bleed too.
QuikClot also has something called Combat Gauze. Here’s how you use it.
Again Warning: Graphic material.
Quikclot Combat Gauze video link 
I really like how this product works, looks easier to manipulate during messy situations.
 QuikClot Combat Gauze, 4 Yard Roll 

Basic first aid along with GSW (gun shot wound) training is very important. As you say, an IV isn’t that big a deal and learning how to use them is of great value for a survivalist. In a previous post I mentioned that my son almost died, he had been vomiting for three days and we couldn’t hydrate him. Guess what was the first thing they did when we reached the ER? That’s right my friend, a IV with saline to hydrate him. His lips where dry and were back to normal in a matter of minutes, his condition improved visibly. Then they gave him some glucose through the same IV.
Just a couple days ago, a kid was shot during a robbery. They shot him in the leg after surrendering his car during a carjack, he just got his drivers license. They shot him none the less, just because. He bled out there on the street. A pack of Quikclot might have saved his life.
A small first aid kit can be carried with you at all times if you have a bag for every day carry. I’d also include a good amount of sterile dressing, a tourniquet and an emergency bandage  (Israeli bandage).

Again, thanks for your email, take care.



Anonymous said...

"To the guy who asked if you could determine a viral vs bacterial infection... well alot of doctors prescribe antibiotics to people who have a cold to make them go away... and that's a virus."

You may confirm the temperature in the book, Where There Is No Doctor. If the temperature stays below about 103F it is a bacterial infection. Should the fever go above 103F it is a virus. Get the book and don't use the precious antibiotics unnecessarily.

Quickclot is great stuff, however if used on especially an older person, in particular a male, there is the risk of heart attack or stroke as blood can clot in capillaries if not arteries as well.
Please read up on the indications and contradictions. Of course if the bleeding is life threatening, and pressure or a tourniquet is not possible, then the risk of heart attack or stroke is less of a concern. However monitor the patient and be prepare to administer CPR, and aspirin or other blood thinner. Bleeding from a partially severed Femoral artery can be stopped with direct, heavy and sustained pressure. Speed is key and Quickclot may not be available. Read up. Quickclot is an important tool and powerful stuff, yet weigh the pros and cons and use the least invasive yet effective method first. a

EN said...

Excellent Post. I got some Quickclot products for about six months. Haven't had any occasion to use them, but by all accounts they are the best.

EN said...

I would also carry some Celox gauze, which has homeostatic agents, but is also good for treating burns.

dc.sunsets said...

Regarding antibiotics, the recommendations are grossly oversimplified.

Wounds: keep clean and use a topical (Neosporin, etc.).
Urinary tract infections: Bactrim, or one of TWO fluoroquinolones: Levaquin (levofloxacin) or Cipro (ciprofloxacin).
Serious respiratory infections including pneumonia: Levaquin (not Cipro, which is clearly labeled as "not a drug of first choice" for the most common and serious cause of pneumonia).
Deep puncture wounds or skin infections that don't begin to heal quickly: Get Medical Help Immediately. Wound infections caused by anaerobic bacteria (gangrene, tetanus) or Methicillin-Resistant Staph aureus are very serious and the latter is becoming extremely common.

DaShui said...

Hey FerFal,

I think clotting agents are made from shellfish, ever hear of allergic reactions from use?

Anonymous said...

Seems like a couple of tampons and large menstrual pads might come in handy for stopping blood flow in punctures and gashes. Not as a substitute for Quickclot, but as a supplement.
Eric in MI

Weaseldog said...

If the temperature stays below about 103F it is a bacterial infection. Should the fever go above 103F it is a virus.

I contracted Typhoid Fever in Mexico City in 1977. I ran a 106f fever for a couple of hours. It's a bacterial infection. If I hadn't gotten treatment in time, I wouldn't be here writing this.

Consider such advice to be rule of thumb. Antibiotics won't hurt if you're not sure and it's critical situation.

Weaseldog said...

That clotting agent is amazing.

I could've used some of that when I did cosmetic surgery on my index finger with a sledgehammer. It was amazing how much blood can squirt out of a finger.

Bill N. said...

When I was sent to Iraq last year the US Army had discontinued IV training for Combat Lifesavers. We were told soldiers had been spending too much time messing with IVs instead of plugging the holes (I question that). Here is a link to a description of the IFAK issued to US Army soldiers http://www.usamma.army.mil/assets/docs/IFAK.pdf I didn't see it listed but I had a Quik Clot dressing in mine.
Some things to consider: The early use of tourniquets was recommended since most soldiers would have access to advance medical care before any limb would suffer irreversable damage from no circulation (YMMV). It doesn't hurt to have additional bangdages and tourniquets since you may suffer more than one wound and even one gunshot wound may have two holes to plug (an entrance and exit). Everyone should also include some Trauma/EMT shears. This will allow you to cut away clothing including boots to expose the wounds so that you can see what you have rather than going by feel. Tape should be 2 inch so that you can seal abdominal or sucking chest wounds. Also include a light since you might have to treat the injuries at night. Here is a link to a medical supply place that I have bought stuff for my first aid kit including Israeli Battle Dressings, Trauma Shears, etc. http://online.boundtree.com/

sv koho said...

In general I don't read anyone posting as anonymous and the advice is bogus. There are many viruses and bacteria and the condition and age and immune system of the host(the patient) are just some of the determining factors of the fever response. Weaseldog's anecdote is instructive. Doctors know better than prescribing antibiotics for viral infections but the patients come in demanding antibiotics. You can argue with them until you are blue in the face or just write a script and send them out the door happy. I know. I am a doctor.

Anonymous said...

One of the second gen Quickclot copycats has a product that is more like a sponge-pad impregnated with a clotting agent. It apparently doesn't have the extreme exothermic reaction that the original quickcolt had/has. Can't remember the name offhand.
I did recently pick up something called WoundSeal. It's a topical powder that is supposed to help create an instant scab.

Unknown said...

Does anybody using the QuikClot stuff need to enlarge the wound so as to gain access to the severed artery? It seems to me that a bullet wound wouldn't expose an artery and that for that powder stuff to work you'd need that artery exposed.