Standard gauze field dressings and direct pressure occasionally are inadequate for the control of hemorrhage. QuikClot® Combat Gauze™ (QCG) combines surgical gauze with an inorganic material and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and by the Israeli Standards Institute for external hemorrhage control. The purpose of this article is to report clinical use of this dressing during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza strip during January 2009.
QuikClot Combat Gauze and the QCG guidelines were issued to advanced life support (ALS) providers during the preparations for the Operation. All cases of injuries involving hemorrhage were reviewed, as well as interviews with the ALS providers (physicians and paramedics) and injured soldiers.
Fourteen uses of QCG were reported and reviewed (out of a total of 56 hemostatic interventions in 35 cases). Dressings were applied to injuries to the head, neck, axilla, buttocks, abdomen, back, and pelvis in 10 cases, and to extremities in four cases. In 13 cases (93%), injuries were caused by blast or gunshot mechanisms. The success rate was reported as 79% (11/14). Failure to control hemorrhage was reported in three cases in three different locations: neck, buttock, and thigh. All failures were attributed to severe soft tissue and vascular injuries. No complications or adverse events were reported.
This report on the clinical field use of the QCG dressing by ALS providers suggests that it is an effective and safe product, and applicable for prehospital treatment of combat casualties. This report further suggests that QCG should be issued to medics as well as ALS providers. Larger clinical investigations are needed to confirm these findings.
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