QuikClot Combat Gauze and Why It Belongs In Your First Aid Kit

quikclot combat gauze

A while back, I added QuikClot Combat Gauze to all my first aid kits, after talking with some of the local firefighters.  While I was in Utah recently I got to attend a class at the Preparedness Expo put on by the Utah State University.  This class confirmed that I had made the right decision.

QuikClot has been proven on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan; it has an amazing ability to treat hemorrhaging wounds.  QuikClot Combat Gauze is impregnated with kaolin, an ingredient that stops bleeding fast when applied with pressure.  QuikClot Combat Gauze is different from the old QuikClot that contained zeolite which is no longer used by the military.  The QuikClot Combat Gauze does not create the complication of the original.  Its use is currently recommended by the military’s committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care.

In the class, they stressed the advantages of using QuikClot Combat Gauze for serious bleeding in place of a tourniquet.  Tourniquets are effective in many areas of the body, but have limitations in certain areas such as the groin.  Plus tourniquets have to be released every 15 minutes or you can risk the loss of a limb.

For arterial bleeding this is usually characterized by bright red, squirting, blood.  They suggested that you shove the QuikClot Combat Gauze directly into the wound on the side closest to the heart.  In other words, pack it in where the blood is squirting out until the bleeding stops.  Then apply a dressing to hold it in place and help prevent infection.

Now I would try direct pressure prior to using the QuikClot.  You can sometimes get a lot of blood from a small wound that can be handled be direct pressure and normal dressings.  If you have to use QuikClot Combat Gauze you should not remove it prior to getting medical help.

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Remember that I am not a Doctor and have no special medical training.  I recommend that you get training from a qualified person on the correct way to use QuikClot Combat Gauze.



3 thoughts on “QuikClot Combat Gauze and Why It Belongs In Your First Aid Kit”

  1. Great post, I agree about combat gauze, but I want to correct one thing.

    The idea of tourniquets quickly causing the loss of a limb is a MYTH!

    Tourniquets will only cause permanent damage after 4 hours or longer. Modern medical studies have proven this. Even then, your limb does not just die at 4 hours and fall off. Think about surgeries on a limb. In some cases doctors will use a surgical tourniquet for multiple hours.

    DO NOT put a tourniquet on and attempt to loosen it on your own after 15 minutes. If the wound really needed that tourniquet, the rush of blood after only a 15 minute clot is likely to force a clot free, which is very dangerous. Tourniquets should only be loosened when required, and only by someone who is trained to do so. Also, if a tourniquet has been left on for an hour+, don’t try to take it off at all. The resulting flow of blood that had been trapped in the limb for that amount of time can (in a nutshell), be toxic to the body. Not always, but sometimes- and medical professionals should be around to monitor.

    The only time to loosen a tourniquet is if you happen to be MANY hours or days away from medical help, and have quickly put on a tourniquet, but the entire limb is not lost. The understanding of how and when to do this takes some further instruction which I will not wade through here.

    Do not be afraid to apply tourniquets. They are not always the right option- but when needed, nothing else will work.

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