Testing of modified zeolite hemostatic dressings in a large animal model of lethal groin injury

Naresh Ahuja, Todd A. Ostomel, Peter Rhee, Galen D. Stucky, Richard Conran, Zheng Chen, Ghada A. Al-Mubarak, George Velmahos, Marc DeMoya, Hasan B. Alam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: We have previously identified a granular zeolite hemostat (ZH) as an effective agent for control of severe bleeding, and it is currently being used by the US troops in the battlefield. ZH causes an exothermic reaction on application, which theoretically can be decreased by altering its chemical composition or changing its physical properties. However, the effect of these alterations on the hemostatic efficacy is unknown. We tested modified zeolites and a chitosan based dressing against controls in a swine model of battlefield injury. METHODS: A complex groin injury was created in 60 swine (40-55 kg). This included semi-transection of the proximal thigh (level of inguinal ligament), and complete division of the femoral artery and vein. After 3 minutes, the animals were assigned to (1) no dressing (ND), (2) standard dressing (SD), (3-5) SD + chemically modified ZHs, where calcium was substituted with sodium (Na), barium (Ba), or silver (Ag), respectively, (6) SD + physically modified ZH, where "beads" were packaged in a fabric bag, (7) SD + chitosan based dressing (CD). Resuscitation was started 15 minutes after application of dressing (500 mL of 6% hetastarch over 30 minutes). Survival for 180 minutes was the primary endpoint for this study. In addition, blood loss, wound temperatures, and histologic tissue damage were recorded. RESULTS: Mortality in the group that was treated with the application of bagged ZH was 10% versus 100% in the no dressing group and 50% in the SD group (p < 0.05 vs. ND and SD groups). The Na ZH group had a mortality rate of 43%, whereas application of Ba and Ag substituted zeolites, and CD were associated with a mortality rate of 25%. Ionic substitution of zeolite decreased the in vivo temperature peak by 5 to 10°C. No histologic evidence of tissue necrosis was noted in this experiment. CONCLUSIONS: The use of zeolite hemostat can control hemorrhage and dramatically reduce mortality from a lethal groin wound. Modifications of zeolite hemostat can decrease the exothermic reaction and attenuate tissue damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1312-1320
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bandages
  • Battlefield injury
  • Chitosan
  • Extremity
  • Femoral vessels
  • Groin
  • Hemostatic dressing
  • Swine
  • Uncontrolled hemorrhage
  • Zeolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery


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