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Combat Gauze 101

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Lets take a look at another way to control bleeding. This article takes a look at actual use experience with hemostatic gauze in combat. What they did: Reviewed Combat Gauze(CG) use in Afghanistan from JAN 2013-SEP 2014 (705 patients, 118 cases of CG use).

Key Information: CG is a Kaolin impregnated gauze that stimulates the coagulation cascade which has been shown to increase survival in animal models with arterial injuries. This is the first case review of its use in US combat forces (the Israeli Defense Force showed an 89% efficacy rate in rural, primarily blast, trauma).

Patients received 1 to 12 packages of CG. The main mechanism of injury was gunshot wound (GSW). Most common location for use was the extremities and pelvis. The authors also compared patients receiving CG and those who didn’t. In general CG patients had higher rates of GSWs, were generally sicker and received more interventions.

So What? – This data review showed that Combat Gauze works in actual patients in combat. Hemorrhage control rate was 88.3% with CG. This hemorrhage control rate was similar to two other studies (Leonard et al. JoT- Civilian Trauma use showing 89% and Shina et al. JoT IDF use showing 89%). This article also gives us an idea of most likely locations where we should expect to apply hemostatic gauze in ground combat (think training!).

Additional Reading: QuikClot® Combat Gauze® Use by Ground Forces in Afghanistan The Prehospital Trauma Registry Experience.

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Juan Naranjo
Hey there, I hope you're doing well. I'm sorry for bringing up something different from the usual gauze chat, but I thought maybe someone here could help me out. I'm a medical student, and I'm curious about when and where the R-SICK kit is used, and which jobs use it. I'm thinking about going into general surgery or emergency medicine. Thanks a bunch for any info you can share! Best, Juan Naranjo.
Dr. Ethan Miles
That R-SICK was developed based on requests from military resuscitation and surgical teams. The kit is designed to have readily available surgical tools for vascular access and emergency trauma procedures.

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