How to pack a severely bleeding wound
DALLAS — Proper use and application of hemostatic gauze was presented to EMS providers and medical directors at the 2016 Gathering of Eagles XVIII EMS State of the Science program by Peter Taillac, MD, Utah medical director.
The 2014 Evidence-Based Prehospital Guidelines for External Hemorrhage Control directs application of hemostatic gauze in wounds that can't be controlled with direct pressure or tourniquet. But the guideline doesn't include specific details on the training provided to paramedics to pack a wound with gauze.
Taillac described a five-step wound packing process that can be used with plain gauze or gauze treated with a hemostatic agent.
Memorable quotes on wound packing
"Paramedics are not actually trained to use hemostatic gauze. This needs to be remedied."
"Push in as much packing into the wound as you can and pack in even more."
"Medics can learn to pack the $h!t out of wounds with gauze as an additional step to stop profuse bleeding."
Key takeaways proper use of hemostatic gauze
1. Apply direct pressure to the wound
2. Get in the wound
3. Pack, pack, and pack some more
4. More pressure
5. Reassess, immobilize and transport
Taillac also added these important points:
Visit GatheringofEagles.us to view the presenter's slides.
Watch this video for a demonstration of wound packing with gauze.Greg Friese, MS, NRP, is Editor-in-Chief of EMS1.com. He is an educator, author, paramedic, and marathon runner. Ask questions or submit tip ideas to Greg by emailing him at
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