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Gservo
5th June 2002, 03:30 AM
A huge proportion of deaths on the battlefield come from massive blood loss. In fact, you are no less likely to die from blood loss in warfare today than you would have been if you were fighting in the American Civil War in the 1800s. That’s because there is very little a soldier can do to stop rapid blood loss using only the equipment he has around him. And often hospital access comes too late.

But now U.S troops in Afghanistan have access to a revolutionary product that can stem blood loss within seconds, potentially saving countless lives. The product goes by the catchy name of “Quikclot” ™, and looks set to change warfare statistics forever.

There’s much secrecy about the new product, as its manufacturers at Z-Medica in Connecticut have secured a trademark and patent, and obviously intend to be as shrewd as Coca-Cola about their secret recipe. We do know that it is a chemically and biological inert substance, that is found in common cosmetics and non-dairy creamers. It is non-allergenic and is classed as a mineral.



And what would an American invention be without a home-grown, “it just came to me one day when I was messing about” story to accompany it? In the case of Quikclot™, scientist Frank Hursey was fiddling about with an absorbent material that he intended to use for a completely unrelated purpose. His mind was obviously obviously quite focused on his work, as he had his morning shave, because he slipped and nicked himself. Putting two and two together, he applied what would become Quikclot™ to the wound, and found it to be almost miraculous in its coagulation properties.

He immediately decided to test it further, and joined forces with the ominous-sounding U.S. Marine Warfighting Lab, the Office of Naval research and various hospitals and universities around the country. The results of preliminary tests were so encouraging that the FDA cleared the product as soon as they could, in order to get it on the ground in Afghanistan.

Quikclot™ works by absorbing all the liquid elements of the blood, especially the plasma. The platelets and other clotting agents are left behind, and, unhampered by liquid, can get to work coagulating.

Frontline defence

Already, Quikclot™ is on hand for the troops in Afghanistan, snugly and handily encased in 3.5oz packets that can be easily opened and applied to wounds sustained in battle. It’s cheap, light and indestructible.

But there’s no reason why the clotting agent can’t be used by ordinary households, for use in first aid for domestic injuries. It’s safe, painless and doesn’t stain, so could take the place of the once-popular mercurochrome or iodine that were once the staple of medicine cabinets around the nation.

speculative
5th June 2002, 06:24 AM
Finally, now I can run with scissors!!

:D :D

-speculative

nitrile
5th June 2002, 02:45 PM
I've heard of something similar to this before, I can't offer any real details or links to more information, but "apparently" this was some kind of fibrous polymer that when applied to a wound would form a net, presumably then going on to absorb plasma as described above.

fragallrocks
6th June 2002, 09:32 AM
The british found a similar thing during the Falklands war. However it was not a new product that was saving lives but the cold. As it was so cold the veins would contract slowing blood flow and increasing the chance of survival. Then a medic would come along and pump fluids into the casulty and this would bust the clots and they would bleed out. A lot of lessons were learnt in those days.