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Leon's View

Check out this first aid product for stopping bleeding

Check out this first aid product for stopping bleeding

I was not paid to do this review, and at the time of publication, BloodSTOP® has no relationship with SurvivalCommonSense.com.

by Leon Pantenburg

BloodSpot post photo

Stopping bleeding can be paramount in a survival situation.

The scout was typically a responsible, safe knife user. But in this case, he decided that splitting a piece of firewood with his knife, while resting it on his thigh, would be safe.

You know the rest of the story. The knife split the wood, and put a deep, two-inch gash in his leg. The scoutmasters reacted quickly. I held the edges of the wound together and applied pressure to stop the bleeding while another ran for the first aid kit. Within a matter of minutes, the bleeding had been staunched and a bandage was applied.

In another instance, a scout at summer camp cut his fingers badly when the lock on his folding knife failed. In both these cases, trained adult leaders kept the accident from turning into a disaster.

But what if you’re alone in one of these situations? What if you cut your hand while field dressing a deer, or you slip and fall and wound yourself. In cases like these, your training, and gear will determine the outcome.

I first heard about products such as  BloodSTOP® at my Wilderness First Aid certification class for Boy Scout leaders. Everything about the class was fascinating to me, because all the techniques applied directly to emergencies that could occur in the wilderness.


In particular, the idea of being able to quickly stop bleeding was important. I left the class with my brand new WFA certification, and bought a SAM splint and BloodSTOP® to add to my personal first aid kit.

I have not personally tested BloodSTOP®, and I don’t know a way to do it without cutting someone or happening upon an accident on the highway. But people in the EMT field and wilderness first aid trainers I respect have endorsed similar products.

Here’s what the LifeSciencePlus website says about BloodSTOP®:

BloodSTOP® is a biocompatible, non-irritating, hemostatic agent which resembles traditional gauze. Using a proprietary formulation, regenerated cotton cellulose is etherified and oxidized to make a water-soluble, hemostatic matrix. Its composition provides certain advantages for natural rapid hemostasis as well as patient comfort and improved wound management when compared with traditional adhesive bandages, sprays, chemical powder, or animal-based products.

How it Works

When applied to a wound, BloodSTOP® quickly absorbs blood and other body fluids, transforms into a gel to seal the wound with a protective transparent layer, actively aids in blood coagulation, and creates an environment for wound healing.

  • Easy to use
  • Acts fast
  • No animal-derived material
  • Active bleeding control over traditional gauzes
  • Painless upon application and removal
  • Water soluble for easy removal without disruption to wound surface
  • Adheres to the wound without the discomfort of adhesives
  • Easy to cut, pack or layer to fit the wound
  • Safe for all age groups
  • Single use sterile packaging, several sizes
  • Biodegradable

So there’s the PR line.

I have a couple BloodSTOP® packets in my daypack’s first aid kit. In my camping/driving kit, there is a whole package. My goal is to never need to use any of those materials.

But there is a reason accidents are called that. In the event of some wilderness accident, I will rely on my WFA training and first aid materials I can depend on.

But here’s the proviso: No first aid kit is any good if you don’t know how to use it. No miracle product is going to work if you don’t know what to do with it. Take a first aid class now, before you need it. 
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Leon's View

Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn't claim to be a survival expert or expertise as a survivalist. As a newspaperman and journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff's departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously from outdoor emergency situations when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome. Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters. His emphasis is on tried and tested, simple techniques of wilderness survival. Every technique, piece of equipment or skill recommended on this website has been thoroughly tested and researched. After graduating from Iowa State University, Leon completed a six-month, 2,552-mile solo Mississippi River canoe trip from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico. His wilderness backpacking experience includes extended solos through Yellowstone’s backcountry; hiking the John Muir Trail in California, and numerous shorter trips along the Pacific Crest Trail. Other mountain backpacking trips include hikes through the Uintas in Utah; the Beartooths in Montana; the Sawtooths in Idaho; the Pryors, the Wind River Range, Tetons and Bighorns in Wyoming; Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Catskills in New York and Death Valley National Monument in southern California. Some of Leon's canoe trips include sojourns through the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the Big Black River swamp in Mississippi and the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota and numerous small river trips in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Leon is also an avid fisherman and an elk, deer, upland game and waterfowl hunter. Since 1991, Leon has been an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, and is a scoutmaster wilderness skills trainer for the Boy Scouts’ Fremont District. Leon earned a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and competed in his last tournament (sparring and form) at age 49. He is an enthusiastic Bluegrass mandolin picker and fiddler and two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

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