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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tools of the trade  |  Topic: The debate of what stops bleeding
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Author Topic: The debate of what stops bleeding  (Read 1419 times)
Stonewall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,911

« on: March 31, 2018, 08:34:21 AM »

Since the silly thread about tampons being used in lieu of actual trauma dressings got locked, and rightfully so, here is a good article on the subject.

http://havokjournal.com/fitness/medical/your-tactical-tampon-is-useless-for-life-threatening-hemorrhage/

I have been in the business of first aid since I joined Civil Air Patrol in 1987 and have since been certified as an EMT among other training in the military. I can’t tell you how many “experts” have argued that tampons are better than [insert proven trauma dressing] or anything else on the market.  Or worse, “my trauma kit has tourniquets and tampons because that’s all I’ve ever needed” says the Basic First Aid w/Adult CPR trained guru says.

Even at 13 I couldn’t buy into it. And this article is the first I’ve seen to actually argue the point. After 31 years of arguing with brick walls, this article sheds some light.

Quote
A tampon cannot provide the surface area or the pressure to control massive bleeding. Tampons absorb blood, not provide any hemostatic assistance. The average tampon can absorb 9 mL of blood, or about two teaspoons. This will not stop life-threatening bleeding. While a hemostatic dressing is preferred to control massive bleeding, regular gauze may be used, but it needs to be in sufficient amount. Based on square inches, a tampon has the surface area about 4 square inches.

Please try not to get this one locked.
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abdsp51
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,559
Unit: Classified

« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2018, 09:01:48 AM »

Funny it's only really here that I have heard and seen the support of using a tampon for any type of trauma.  Through all the self aid buddy care classes and combat life saver classes I have sat through none ever mentioned the use of a tampon.  I have known a few PJs as well that never even mentioned it when asked about first aid care. 

I believe in using the right tool for the job and if it's not available get it or improvise.  I bought an IFAK earlier this year and it's been months and maybe years in the process.  But it has the items in that kit that I wanted to do the job it's intended for.  This realm is just like the tactical sometimes tactikewl realm in that there are plenty of so called experts out there that are misguided and in turn mislead others. 

There are good and proven steps for controlling bleeding that should be followed.. 
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Stonewall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,911

« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2018, 09:43:48 AM »

I have known a few PJs as well that never even mentioned it when asked about first aid care. 

Yes, I even asked my good friend and PJ, and former CAP Cadet (Eaker) about the subject and he rolled his eyes.

BTW, you can read about said former CAP cadet in the attached article.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,766

« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2018, 11:01:15 AM »

Evolution of a wive's tale.

1 - Cadet is excited about ES training, rips his bag, can't afford one, has the same one as his sister / mom / cousin / etc.,
at the last minute, and without knowing it, leaves the house with a feminine hygiene product in his bag.

2 - During the bag-drop task a tampon falls out.

3 - Everyone there freezes in place and averts their eyes for a full minute, the air
in the room is still, and an eagle's cry can be heard in the distance.

D - Fast-thinking cadet says "It's for trauma dressing...".

5 - Everyone there exhales, and "I heard..." grows from that moment.

Meanwhile, few of the seniors in the room can spell ES, and no one really wants
to ask anyway, so "whatever..."
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Pace
CAPTalk Moderator
Dark S'Member Lord
*
Posts: 715

« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2018, 02:07:41 PM »

Asystole... asystole stops bleeding. Every time. 100% efficacy.
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Lt Col, CAP
Former C/Lt Col
Former this & that
Squadron guy
arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,270

« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2018, 03:12:42 PM »

Asystole... asystole stops bleeding. Every time. 100% efficacy.
Yeah, but it has other...side effects.
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Baker
Recruit

Posts: 9
Unit: NER-PA-253

« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2018, 05:58:15 PM »

Cant agree more, although this poor excuse for an urban legend probably saw its roots in the Army or Marines as a tampon is roughly the same size as a 7.62 entry wound.  Tampons are useless and have no place in a kit other than if used for their designed purpose. 

On this topic I am thinking in investing in a few dozen (some for training some for issue) emergency bandages.  I used them on active service and all the medics I was friends with swore by them.  Thoughts from those with more CAP field experience would be appreciated.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Bandage
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Garett Baker
CAP 2LT
Former U.S. Army
Former C/2LT
Stonewall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,911

« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2018, 02:19:22 AM »

On this topic I am thinking in investing in a few dozen (some for training some for issue) emergency bandages.  I used them on active service and all the medics I was friends with swore by them.  Thoughts from those with more CAP field experience would be appreciated.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Bandage

Yes, Israeli Bandages are a must in any trauma kit. They are included in military issued IFAK.
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,271

« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2018, 09:24:37 AM »

You have to look at the intended use of the manufacturer.

Tampons are not manufactured for, marketed as, nor labeled for use as an emergency/traumatic medical device. While they may have alternative uses as make-shift...I'll just say blood stoppers...their primary, intended use is...well, known.

It's not a silly discussion. But when it comes to training the use of emergency medical treatment/first aid, you should really stick to the textbook and not the "I carry this in my kit because it works! It actually works!" You may end up introducing new hazards to the treatment, or a lack of appropriate equipment. This is for the safety of the patient.

Now, in a case of "We don't have this; here are some alternatives," okay, it's a discussion point. But I wouldn't tell people to carry them with the intended use of first aid. Yes, you'd rather have an actual tourniquet rather than a homemade one in the field; and you can train how to make one if you don't have a real one. But just be cautious on saying "Always carry xxxxxx in case." No, don't carry that in case. Have a first aid kit. If you don't have a first aid kit, then xxxxxxxxx if you really must.

Survival is one thing. Preparedness is another.
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LSThiker
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,813
Unit: Earth

« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2018, 10:22:09 AM »

Funny it's only really here that I have heard and seen the support of using a tampon for any type of trauma.  Through all the self aid buddy care classes and combat life saver classes I have sat through none ever mentioned the use of a tampon. 

Unfortunately, not true.  I have heard this through the Army grape vine for years.  Supposedly it started in Vietnam as a last ditch effort.  Again, it was reported in 2003 just after the invasion of Iraq by Army medics.  Just the other week, I heard an EMT give this advice out to some students.  So, no this is not a CAPTalk thing.

Evolution of a wive's tale.

1 - Cadet is excited about ES training, rips his bag, can't afford one, has the same one as his sister / mom / cousin / etc.,
at the last minute, and without knowing it, leaves the house with a feminine hygiene product in his bag.

2 - During the bag-drop task a tampon falls out.

3 - Everyone there freezes in place and averts their eyes for a full minute, the air
in the room is still, and an eagle's cry can be heard in the distance.

D - Fast-thinking cadet says "It's for trauma dressing...".

5 - Everyone there exhales, and "I heard..." grows from that moment.

Meanwhile, few of the seniors in the room can spell ES, and no one really wants
to ask anyway, so "whatever..."

Unfortunately, it is probably more:

Cadet reads on some "survival website" about an Army medic that swears by using tampon for gunshot wounds from "his experience" in Iraq/Afghanistan and the history from some other war. 

Cadet thinks "tacti-cool" because he is a CAP medic with only basic first aid. 

Cadet explains to other cadets and seniors, who accept it without really questioning it. 

They go home and read about it on some "survival website".  Throw it in their packs. 

Rinse-repeat. 

Posted on CAPTalk. 

Other cadets read about it and state "I read on a CAP forum to use tampons to control bleeding". 

Rinse-repeat. 

Posted on CAPTalk. 

Rinse-repeat. 
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,766

« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2018, 10:33:25 AM »

Sadly agreed, and further....

CAP medic

A lot of the issue and problems is that the above silly term continues to exist in a CAP parlance at all.
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,271

« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2018, 10:57:22 AM »

Other cadets read about it and state "I read on a CAP forum to use tampons to control bleeding". 


"Well, not that kind of bleeding, but you're not wrong"
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Stonewall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,911

« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2018, 01:14:11 PM »

There's a difference between planning/preparing with the right equipment and having to rely on alternatives in a contingency situation. In CAP, as far as ES is concerned, we are a "responding force" in the realm of SAR, and not a reactive force in regards to survival.  When we get a call to respond and search for missing persons or aircraft, we carry a medical kit of some type. Argue whether or not we need trauma kits or personal first aid kits all you want, but as a responding force, no first aid kit (or trauma kit) we carry should be stocked with Tampons as a primary means to stop bleeding. None!

In regards to survival, this means you're reacting to a situation that you are likely not prepared for. A capsized boat, a mass shooting at a night club, or an earthquake that has you stranded without medical support.  Yeah, you find yourself in the Pulse Night Club women's bathroom, like a handful of patrons did, then you'd be a fool not to use the tools at your disposal.  And guess what?  They did exactly that. 

No one should be intentionally stocking their medical kits with Tampons as a primary use to stop bleeding.

In the absence of legitimate and appropriate medical supplies, then most rules are thrown to the side and the goal is to STOP THE BLEEDING by whatever means necessary.  The argument is against those who literally say "Tampons are the best way to control bleeding so I stock my trauma kit with a box of Tampons."
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sarmed1
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 928

« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2018, 11:24:46 AM »

...snip...

On this topic I am thinking in investing in a few dozen (some for training some for issue) emergency bandages.  I used them on active service and all the medics I was friends with swore by them.  Thoughts from those with more CAP field experience would be appreciated.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Bandage

As with most medical supplies , there are now around a dozen different variations on a theme.  Pretty much most of your main stream emergency dressings (tactikewl) are acceptable.  I have played with a number of them in addition to the "emergency bandage...aka israelli dressing)

ETD-Emergency Trauma Dressing-$7
H bandage from H&H medical-$9
OLAES modular bandage-$7

If you are on a budget- a 5x9 gauze pad and an ace wrap are appropriate-$0.53/$1.54
(to be fair the commercial ones are pretty much these two stuck together with a fancy anchoring system)

MK
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Mark Kleibscheidel
TSgt USAFR
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