That’s one of my favorite medical aphorisms, taught to me by Dr. Peacock in El Paso. He was one of the trauma surgeons there, and it nicely summed up an approach to medical care in the acutely traumatized.
I thought that when I read this:
Army halts use of battlefield first aid item after test found it might cause blood clots
By PAULINE JELINEK | Associated Press Writer
- 10:25 PM CST, December 23, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) — Until more testing can be done, Army medics are being told to stop using a new product just sent to the war front to help control bleeding among wounded troops.
Officials were in the process of distributing some 17,000 packets of WoundStat, granules that are poured into wounds when special bandages, tourniquets or other efforts won’t work. But a recent study showed that, if used directly on injured blood vessels, the granules may lead to harmful blood clots, officials said Tuesday.
To recap: a medication to be used as essentially a last resort when a trauma patient is bleeding to death cannot be used because …it might cause blood clots. Bleeding that cannot be controlled with direct pressure, tourniquets or the newer ‘combat gauze’ with pro-coagulants built in.
I have to say that, were it me in that situation, I’d risk some clots elsewhere to get clots to keep me from literally bleeding out. But that’s just me.
It’s commendable the Army takes the medical care of its troops seriously, but there’s a disconnect in this case.