If you’re a member of a first-responder team, like a firefighter, an EMT or police officer, you may have heard of QuikClot. QuikClot, also known as quick clot, is an emergency medical product meant to stop bleeding quickly, in time to get the patient to a doctor. Read below to learn more about quick clot and how it can help you do your job better.
What is QuikClot?
QuikClot is a powder made from a mineral called zeolite. It is found in kaolin clay. In powder form, quick clot will stop severe bleeding and can even prevent a person from bleeding to death. In this way, it is indispensable for saving lives in certain situations.
Quick clot is most commonly used by the military, whose personnel are often in dangerous situations that are far away from medical care. In addition, the kinds of injuries that soldiers commonly face are much more dangerous than the average individual, and for these two reasons, quick clot is most commonly used here.
However, some civilian emergency personnel may benefit from carrying a few packets of quick clot on assignments, particularly to extremely dire accidents. For example, a really messy car accident in which the victim is going to bleed to death in a matter of minutes may be a time where quick clot would be vital.
Yet many medical professionals recommend that quick clot be used only in certain situations. This be because it is a powder and can be very difficult to clean out of a wound, particularly a deep puncture wound. While quick clot will stop the bleeding, it won’t do anything to help the wound heal or disinfect it.
Doctors and nurses in emergency rooms report that quick clot can make the process of cleaning and dressing a wound much more difficult and also take much longer. And this takes away valuable resources from other patients in the ER who may need help.
Therefore, experts recommend only using quick clot in situations where you are really far away from medical help or if you can’t stop the bleeding in a wound with pressure.
While quick clot can be difficult for emergency room staff to deal with, it can also help save lives. If you are an EMT, firefighter or other first-responder who regularly sees the kinds of gruesome injuries where an individual may bleed to death before getting to the emergency room, then perhaps it would be a good idea to carry a couple of packets of quick clot.
Additionally, you can consider each situation on a case-by-case basis. Try to assess the situation and determine whether you can stop the bleeding with pressure and elevation, as we learned in First Aid class.
You can also use quick clot if the material you’re using for a compress, such as a sanitary pad, becomes saturated very quickly. For example, if several sanitary pads become saturated in a matter of minutes, then it may be necessary to use quick clot.
Quick clot isn’t a perfect product or a cure-all, but can be live-saving in certain circumstances. Just carry a few packets to your assignments and use your judgement to determine whether it is necessary.