Intra-abdominal packing with laparotomy pads and QuikClot™ during damage control laparotomy: A safety analysis

Rachel L. Choron, Joshua P. Hazelton, Krystal Hunter, Lisa Capano-Wehrle, John Gaughan, John Chovanes, Mark J. Seamon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background Intra-abdominal packing with laparotomy pads (LP) is a common and rapid method for hemorrhage control in critically injured patients. Combat Gauze™ and Trauma Pads™ ([QC] Z-Medica QuikClot®) are kaolin impregnated hemostatic agents, that in addition to LP, may improve hemorrhage control. While QC packing has been effective in a swine liver injury model, QC remains unstudied for human intra-abdominal use. We hypothesized QC packing during damage control laparotomy (DCL) better controls hemorrhage than standard packing and is safe for intracorporeal use. Methods A retrospective review (2011–2014) at a Level-I Trauma Center reviewed all patients who underwent DCL with intentionally retained packing. Clinical characteristics, intraoperative and postoperative parameters, and outcomes were compared with respect to packing (LP vs. LP + QC). All complications occurring within the patients’ hospital stays were reviewed. A p ≤ 0.05 was considered significant. Results 68 patients underwent DCL with packing; (LP n = 40; LP + QC n = 28). No difference in age, BMI, injury mechanism, ISS, or GCS was detected (Table 1, all p > 0.05). LP + QC patients had a lower systolic blood pressure upon ED presentation and greater blood loss during index laparotomy than LP patients. LP + QC patients received more packed red blood cell and fresh frozen plasma resuscitation during index laparotomy (both p < 0.05). Despite greater physiologic derangement in the LP + QC group, there was no difference in total blood products required after index laparotomy until abdominal closure (LP vs LP + QC; p > 0.05). After a median of 2 days until abdominal closure in both groups, no difference in complications rates attributable to intra-abdominal packing (LP vs LP + QC) was detected. Conclusion While the addition of QC to LP packing did not confer additional benefit to standard packing, there was no additional morbidity identified with its use. The surgeons at our institution now select augmented packing with QC for sicker patients, as we believe this may have additional advantage over standard LP packing. A randomized controlled trial is warranted to further evaluate the intra-abdominal use of advanced hemostatic agents, like QC, for both hemostasis and associated morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-164
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Intra-abdominal packing with laparotomy pads and QuikClot™ during damage control laparotomy: A safety analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this