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Simple Medical Gauze Just Became Better - QuickClot Combat Gauze

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 6/27/2008

Cotton pad and gauze have been used since times immemorial to stop bleeding. This article discusses the evolution of medical gauges from simple pads to highly sophisticated gauzes which contain nanoparticles. One such gauze is called QuickClot Combat Gauze.

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    Any bruise or wound would have a cotton pad and gauze put around it immediately. Yet, if the bleeding were profuse, the blood patch would show up on the gauze. That was how it was being used, year after year, and by all doctors in cases of bleeding from injuries. It led to a loss of blood at vital times, and has been the main cause of death in many cases.

    Now chemists have found a better gauze; they infused gauze with nano-particles that prevents this loss of blood. The gauze, called QuickClot Combat gauze, is also easier to apply everywhere and even in difficult places like the groin, knees and the neck. It is so effective in holding back blood from the wound, it can save many more lives in a war or civilian situations like accidents and the like.

    These findings were partly confirmed by the Naval Medical Research Center, where the tests were being conducted by the Armed Forces. The results of the tests reported the new gauze led to less blood loss, a major cause of death in armed forces trauma patients.

    Various products were tried to stem heavy bleeding, some of them creating burns rather than keeping bleeding low.

    The solution of this nano-particle gauze lies in its use of kaolin clay, used for making pottery, and rich in aluminosilicate.  Aluminosilicate, it was found triggered and helped  blood clotting.

    Incidentally Kaolin clay has been in use in the 1950s as an agent for clotting tests performed routinely by doctors. It was up to a team of young doctors and scientists who put two and two together, and came up with the solution that implanted the kaolin clay in the gauze. Thereby creating situ, a gauze that helped stop bleeding, and also helped the patient’s blood to clot a lot quicker, saving many pints of blood, and reducing blood loss traumas.

    Of course concerns have been voiced about the safety of nanoparticles, and the aluminosilicates. Their main concern is that the nano particles of aluminoscilicates should remain at the site of the bleeding, and there should be methods of preventing them from moving into other parts of the body, which would then become harmful. These concerns are being addressed.

    QuickClot Combat Gauze is now being used by the Armed Forces, Emergency room docs and the Coast Guard.