Management of External Hemorrhage in Tactical Combat Casualty Care: Chitosan-Based Hemostatic Gauze Dressings

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Bennett BL, Littlejohn LF, Kheirabadi BS, Butler FK, Kotwal RS, Dubick MA, Bailey HH 14(3). 40 - 57 (Journal Article)

Hemorrhage remains the leading cause of combat death and a major cause of death from potentially survivable injuries. Great strides have been made in controlling extremity hemorrhage with tourniquets, but not all injuries are amenable to tourniquet application. Topical hemostatic agents and dressings have also contributed to success in controlling extremity and compressible junctional hemorrhage, and their efficacy continues to increase as enhanced products are developed. Since the addition of Combat Gauze™ (Z-Medica Corporation, Wallingford, CT, USA; http://www.z-medica.com/) in April 2008 to the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) Guidelines, there are consistent data from animal studies of severe hemorrhage that chitosan-based hemostatic gauze dressings developed for battlefield application are, at least, equally efficacious as Combat Gauze. Successful outcomes are also reported using newer chitosan-based dressings in civilian hospitalbased surgical case reports and prehospital (battlefield) case reports and series. Additionally, there have been no noted complications or safety concerns in these cases or across many years of chitosan-based hemostatic dressing use in both the military and civilian prehospital sectors. Consequently, after a decade of clinical use, there is added benefit and a good safety record for using chitosan- based gauze dressings. For these reasons, many specific US military Special Operations Forces, NATO militaries, and emergency medical services (EMS) and law enforcement agencies have already implemented the widespread use of these new recommended chitosanbased hemostatic dressings. Based on the past battlefield success, this report proposes to keep Combat Gauze as the hemostatic dressing of choice along with the new addition of Celox™ Gauze (Medtrade Products Ltd., Crewe, UK; http://www.celoxmedical.com/usa/products /celox-gauze/) and ChitoGauze® (HemCon Medical Technologies, Portland, OR, USA; http://www.hemcon.com/) to the TCCC Guidelines.

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