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Thermal Injury Resulting from Application of a Granular Mineral Hemostatic Agent

Wright, James K.; Kalns, John PhD; Wolf, Edward A. MA; Traweek, Frederick BS; Schwarz, Stacy; Loeffler, CleAnn K. BS; Snyder, William; Yantis, Loudon D. Jr.; Eggers, Jeffrey

The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care: August 2004 - Volume 57 - Issue 2 - p 224-230
doi: 10.1097/01.TA.0000105916.30158.06
Original Articles

Background: Uncontrolled hemorrhage accounts for the majority of deaths in combat. Effective topical hemostatic agents suitable for use on the battlefield may be valuable in controlling hemorrhage until definitive surgical intervention is possible. In an effort to identify a hemostatic agent suitable for battlefield use, we evaluated several potential hemostatic agents in a swine injury model and noted thermal injury to tissues with a granular mineral hemostatic agent (QuikClot™).

Methods: Anesthetized swine were maintained with a mean arterial pressure in excess of 60 mm Hg. Cutaneous, muscular, hepatic, splenic, venous, and arterial wounds were created in a standardized fashion. Topical hemostatic agents were immediately applied to the wounds and the amount of bleeding and time to hemostasis were noted.

Results: The results reported here are part of a larger study in which a variety of hemostatic agents were evaluated. Only the findings related to the granular mineral hemostatic agent are discussed here. Application of the agent resulted in elevated tissue surface temperatures in excess of 95°C and internal tissue temperatures exceeding 50°C, 3 mm deep to the bleeding surface. Necrosis of fat and muscle were noted as well as full and partial thickness cutaneous burns.

Conclusions: Topical administration of a granular mineral hemostatic agent to a variety of wounds in an experimental swine model resulted in thermal tissue injury and necrosis. Suggestions for reducing the extent of injury with this product are offered.

From the 311 Health Sciences Wing, Air Force Material Command, Brooks City-Base, Texas.

Submitted for publication July 1, 2003.

Accepted for publication October 16, 2003.

Address for reprints: James K. Wright, Col, USAF, MC, SFS, 720th Special Tactics Group Surgeon, AFSOC, 233 Cody Ave., Hurlburt Field, FL 32544; email: James.Wright@hurlburt.af.mil.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.