First-Aid Kit and Quikclot

3:17 p.m. on March 31, 2010 (EDT)
3 reviewer rep
4 forum posts

One piece of equipment that I never go hiking without is my first-aid kit. I keep a kit in my backpack at all times and refresh the articles in it several times each year. It is amazing how ratty stuff gets just being bounced around for a while.

I have a heart condition that requires me to use Coumadin, a blood thinner. Any fall, scatch or cut can result in horrific bleeding that takes a long time to get under control.

I found out about a product called Quikclot which is a gauze that is impregnated with a substance that causes the blood to clot. Quikclot has been used by the U.S. and Israeli military for a couple of years and it is credited with saving many lives in combat situations where it is imperative to stop bleeding quickly.

I bought some on the advice of a friend who is an emergency tech who deals with accidents and bleeding all the time. Since I bought it, I have had several occasions to use Quikclot both on myself and on fellow hikers who have had slips and falls that causes bad cuts. In each case, it performed perfectly and we were able to get the bleeding controlled quickly and move the injured person back to the trailhead to get to an ER.

I keep Quikclot at home, in my car and in my first-aid kit. It is the kind of product that you don't need often, but when you do need it, you need it badly. Any wise person who is going far from help should make it part of their gear list.

1:20 a.m. on April 1, 2010 (EDT)
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98 forum posts

Madera,

Thanks, that's useful info. I'm in the so far lucky situation of being WFR qualified, but not yet having been called on to use my training for anything too serious; and to be honest I hope I never have to.

However, I have quickclot in all my first aid kits (car, office and pack), and I'm delighted to hear that it works as billed. I've read bit about it previously, and it seems like a potential lifesaver.

As someone qualified but inexperienced, my tendency is to overload my kit, so maybe an experienced practitioner would discard a bunch of the stuff that I carry. (The most experienced guys I know seem to carry duct tape, tampons, a cutting tool and that's about it.) For me, a well-stocked kit is still necessary for psychological reasons, and a vote of confidence for any item I carry is welcome!

By the way - I'm amazed that you've had the need for your quickclot quite so often. I've used the antibacterial wipes, antibiotic cream and bandaids in my kits plenty, but never any of the serious stuff. Hope it stays that way for me, and hope your luck improves!

- Bill

10:46 a.m. on April 5, 2010 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
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3,157 forum posts

Madera, welcome to Trailspace.

Please consider writing a review about your first-hand experiences with this product. It could be beneficial for others. Like Bill above, some of us have this on hand, but have never had to use it (thankfully).

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/quikclot/

11:52 a.m. on April 5, 2010 (EDT)
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TBill -

Note that he uses Coumadin, a blood thinner. This emphasizes for those of us leading groups that Quikclot may well be an important part of our first aid kits. I started carrying it when the AMK folks gave me a sample at the OR Show when they introduced it and mentioned that some older people do use blood thinners. My first reaction had been like yours - how likely is it that i would ever use it. I lead hikes for the Sierra Club, where we do have older folks (some even older than I am!), some of whom may be on blood thinners, and for Boy Scouts, which may include an occasional hemophiliac. Plus, it is important that we know the health situation for our group members

Which leads me to a plea I make often to people going on the hikes I lead - if you have a health problem or are on medications, let the other members of the group, or at the least, the leader, know about it. I don't need your complete medical history, but there's nothing more scary than having a diabetic going into shock or someone with a heart problem start having chest pains, or a kid getting stung by a bee, when you don't know if they are allergic or not (always treat it like they are potentially allergic and ask about their Epipen). Way too many people are reluctant to mention special needs and situations, even when heading into the woods and hills.

9:13 p.m. on April 7, 2010 (EDT)
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11 forum posts

This is very useful. Like some of you folks I am WFR but inexperienced. I'll see if I can get some Quikclot locally, otherwise I'll order some. Madera who takes Coumadin might be safe with this as it is topical treatment, probably much doesn't get absorbed into the bloodstream. Just a guess.

November 24, 2014
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