Which Hemostatic Agent is Right For You? We Compare the Two Leading Brands
QuikClot vs Celox
QuikClot Clotting Sponge and Celox First Aid Gauze comparison
by TS Alan
One of the most important items you should have with you for Everyday Carry (EDC) is an emergency medical kit. Most EDC kits are under stocked or not thought out properly. Sure you may carry a few bandages and a tourniquet, but if you’re not carrying a hemostatic agent to treat bleeding from penetrating and other traumatic injuries then you are unprepared.
Accidents happen everywhere: home, office, while traveling via car, bicycle (or other mode of transportation) or when you’re out for a hike in the woods or the urban jungle. An unplanned and unfortunate event that results in serious injury can happen any place and at anytime. That is why they are called accidents, not on-purposes. With that in mind you should be prepared for most any accident, especially under conditions where medical assistance may be slow in arriving or non-existent.
A proper EDC kit, or any medical kit, should contain a proper absorbent hemostatic agent to temporarily stem the flow of blood from a moderate to severe wound. This will allow you time to find more advanced care, to wait for medical treatment to arrive or to aid you in saving your own life when there is no one left to help (don’t forget to practice your suturing skills). There are several brands of traumatic wound treatment on the market, but the two most recognized are QuikClot and Celox.
In the forefront of the market share for hemostatic devices is USA based company Z-Medica Corporation. Under their subsidy company Adventure Medical Kits, they manufacture a product line for the public. Their QuikClot Sports Pack series is marketed towards the active minded individual. It offers two varieties, Sport or Silver; with a choice of a 25g mesh bag of QuikClot or a 50g mesh bag for larger wounds. They call their mesh pouch an “Advanced Clotting Sponge.” With the Sport Silver, “there is an added antibacterial advantage of ionic silver,” that prevents growth of bacteria and fungi. As a note the Silver edition is branded with the Z-Medica labeling.
How the QuickClot Clotting Sponge Works:
Sealed inside the air tight pouch is a single use gauze clotting sponge. You compress the sponge to the bleeding wound and the absorbent inside the gauze attracts and holds the water molecules of the blood, thus giving the blood exiting the wound an increased concentration of platelets which speeds up coagulation. You should keep pressure on the sponge until the bleeding stops.
Over the years many consumers have reported that QuikClot burns when it comes in contact with the open wound. Z-Medica reported that the adsorption of water into the QuikClot granules can cause an instantaneous release of heat, called an exothermic reaction. This is caused by the interaction with the main active ingredient zeolite. However the most current generation of QuikClot products use a mineral known as kaolin, which replaces zeolite as the active clotting agent, and does not cause exothermic reactions.
Brand name Celox was developed in the United Kingdom by MedTrade Products Ltd. They are also QuikClot’s main competitor. Like QiukClot, Celox is used by military forces, law enforcement, first responders, hospitals, as well as the public. However, Celox has also been certified for use in animal health care. Celox uses chitosen as its active main ingredient. Commercial chitosan is derived from the shells of shrimp and other sea crustaceans. MedTrade claims they tested the product on people with fish allergies, and had no reaction. They also state their product clots blood treated with blood-thinning drugs Heparin or Warfarin (Coumadin). And unlike QuikClot, any residuals left in the body are naturally metabolized.
How Celox First Aid Gauze Works:
Once the gauze is removed from the air-tight packet, you fill the wound with the gauze, tightly packing the whole space. You then compress for three minutes. The Celox flakes within the gauze swell, gel, and stick together when in contact with blood to make a gel like plug (making a pseudo-clot). After the wound is stable you need to wrap the wound.
According to Celox’s website their product was one of five hemostatic gauzes that were compared in a test of severe arterial hemorrhage conducted by the US Naval Medical Research Unit. Results are summarized below:
• 90% survival (Celox), compared to 60% (Combat Gauze made by Z-Medica) or 70% (Chitogauze made by HemCon).
• Lowest blood loss at the “platinum” ten minute point (statistically lower than Combat Gauze) as well as lowest overall blood loss.
• Celox™ had the highest overall hemostasis.
However, this doesn’t discount QuikClot’s own clinical evidence that with the exception of clot lysis, QuikClot Gauze achieved a significant improvement in all coagulation parameters in human blood… and significantly outperformed Celox in clotting time and clot formation time.
Quikclot vs Celox. So who is the winner? Both the Celox First Aid Gauze and QuikClot Clotting Sponge have their positive attributes as well as their negatives. The Celox First Aid Gauze pouch, like the QuikClot Clotting Sponge, only contains a single dose. So if the wound is significant your going to need more than one 8″ by 8″ piece of Celox gauze to pack the wound. Then again the 25 gram QuikClot sponge is a 3.5 x 3.5 inch dose, which would most likely not be adequate for a sever wound, so you’ll want to carry the larger 50 gram packet. Retail price for both QuikClot 25g and the Celox gauze pad is competitively price around $20.
So what it really comes down to is what product meets your first aid needs and your comfort factor. QuikClot is easier to use since you don’t have to pack the wound. However, Celox can also be used for veterinary applications on cats, birds, dogs, horses and even elephants. I am pro Celox because of the animal factor.