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QuikClot (Z-Medica, Wallingford, Connecticut, USA) is a brand of topical haemostatic agent that can be poured directly onto open wounds to control bleeding. It works by adsorbing water from the blood, concentrating the clotting factors, activating platelets and promoting steps in the coagulation pathway. This is, however, an exothermic reaction and prolonged contact can cause damage to the skin. We recently encountered a patient who sustained a full thickness burn to the forehead following the application of the above agent to control bleeding, and the case is presented here with the intention of increasing awareness of the potential hazards of this therapeutic product as demonstrated by the morbidity experienced by our patient.
A 56-year-old man was seen by the paramedics after a zinc sheet fell from a roof causing a large laceration to the patient's right temple. There was profuse bleeding and QuikClot was applied to the wound and adjacent forehead skin by the paramedics to obtain haemostasis, along with sustained pressure. He was transferred to the Accident and Emergency department in about …