Keep QuikClot on Hand, and You May Save a Life

Keep QuikClot on Hand, and You May Save a Life

QuikClot is an emergency wound dressing loaded with blood clotting agents. You can go to YouTube and watch some extremely graphic training videos of QuikClot in action, but I suggest that you not do so if you have a weak stomach. If you are able to handle the graphic images, I’m sure that you’ll agree the results are pretty impressive. I had never heard about QuikClot until I stumbled on a recent Lifehacker post, “How to Survive a Gunshot Wound.” Yikes. QuikClot is the consumer version of a Z-Medica product that has long been used by the military, law enforcement and emergency medical responders to stop blood loss in what would ordinarily be catastrophic wounds.

Welcome to Z-Medica, home of the innovative blood clotting technology behind QuikClot® family of products for hemostasis. Z-Medica was founded in 2002 by Francis X. Hursey, a veteran of the Apollo Project Breathing Air Team.

Despite all the medical miracles and advancements over the years, there had never been a simple way to control high volume bleeding fast.  For the first time in history, we’ve put the ability to quickly stop severe, life threatening bleeding into the hands of anyone who can tear open a package and follow a few simple directions.  Because of the intuitive format and ability to rapidly control bleeding, our products were quickly adopted by the US Military, where we made an immediate impact saving many lives on the battlefield. With our established military history, QuikClot® products have now become an essential part of saving lives throughout the healthcare market and emergency response teams. We continue to innovate and deliver life saving products for all situations where blood loss is an issue – on the battlefield, for the first responder, for the surgeon in the ER, anywhere blood loss is an issue.

Gunshots are not the only thing that a product such as this would be good for, of course. There are so many different (largely horrific) scenarios that I can think of, where an accident could happen and having an immediate way to staunch blood flow would be a life-saver — chainsaw accidents while cutting firewood, compound fractures caused by falls … :shudder: Obviously getting to the hospital is the first choice, but what if you are too far away to get there in time? What if calling 911 isn’t even an option? Better to have QuikClot on hand, use it, and then get to the hospital as soon as possible.

QuikClot is now available to use at home, and it is packaged in single-use containers suitable for home, travel, and sports; there is even a version for pets.

The Key Ingredient: KAOLIN – A Small Mineral with Huge Stopping Power

How an inert mineral can create a powerful, natural, and stable clot.

The third generation of QuikClot products, each designed for use by healthcare professionals, are composed of rayon/polyester gauze that has been impregnated with kaolin, a white aluminosilicate.  The gauze does not contain botanicals or materials from animal or human sources.

It has been known for many years that the intrinsic blood clotting pathway is inititiated by negatively charged surfaces such as kaolin or glass1. Kaolin is utilized routinely in reagents that are used to assay blood clotting times by clinical laboratories that follow procedures that are published by the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

Kaolin is an inert mineral and it promotes clotting by two main modes of action:

  • Kaolin promotes the activation of Factor XII (FXII) in the presence of kallikrein and high molecular weight kininogen.3 Activated FXII initiates the intrinsic clotting pathway via the activation of Factor XI.3 Activated FXI continues the coagulation pathway that ends with the formation of a fibrin clot.2
  • Kaolin promotes the activation of platelet-associated FXI4 and it is a distinct and separate molecule from plasma FXI.5 Activated platelet-associated FXI initiates the intrinsic clotting pathway in normal and FXII deficient patients.4

Kaolin-based QuikClot gauze has been subjected to safety and efficacy studies that were performed by the US Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) and the Naval Medical Research Center.  Arterial incisions were made in the USAISR study and the wounds were treated with kaolin-based QuikClot gauze, placebo QuikClot gauze (without kaolin), HemCon gauze, Celox-D, and TraumaStat.6 Kaolin-based QuikClot gauze was found to be the most effective product among the dressings tested in the USAISR study allowing the least amount of hemorrhage and resulted in the highest survival rate in the animals tested.6

The Tactical Combat Gasualty Care (TCCC) committee has revised the TCCC guidelines to state the Combat Gauze (the kaolin-based QuikClot product) is the first line of treatment for life-threatening hemorrhage on external wounds that are not amendable to tourniquet placement.  The decision to update the TCCC guideline concerning Combat Gauze was based on the test results from the USAISR study.6

The hemostasis time for kaolin-based QuikClot gauze was typically five minutes according to a clinical study that was performed on 40 consecutive patients that had been subjected to femoral diagnostic or interventional procedures.7

In conculusion, kaolin-based QuikClot gauze products are manufactured with safe and proven materials for use as hemostatic agents in the temporary control of traumatic bleeding.  The Department of Defense and the National Institute of Health are funding research to explore other applications of QuikClot in the healthcare markets because QuikClot has been accepted by all branches of the US military

FDA approved, allergic-reaction free, and with a shelf life of three years, I can’t imagine anyone going on a backwoods hiking trip, working or traveling in a remote location, or hunting without a QuikClot supply on hand. I am placing an order today to keep in the ranch’s first aid kit, and I’m going to slip some in Kevin’s toolbox, too. I hope that you’ll consider getting some, too. Hopefully neither of us will ever need a QuikClot, but the peace of mind of having one on hand should an emergency occur will be worth the cost. Just like the thought of dying keeps so many from writing a will, I can imagine that the idea of dealing with a massive injury might keep some from ordering a product such as this, but now that you know about it, how can you not order and keep at least one on hand?

Order QuikClot

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. If you are shopping on Amazon anyway, buying from our links gives Gear Diary a small commission.

About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.