FOX 32 NEWS - It’s been standard issue lifesaving equipment on the battlefields for decades. Now, after saving the life of a Chicago man, an alderman is asking City Council to make QuickClot gauze part of every Chicago police officer's standard equipment.
On Wednesday, police officers Alejandro Cabral and Juan Zuniga were honored for their quick response in saving the life of a Chicago man shot in the chest at a gas station on the South Side this past July. Officer Cabral says his initial attempts to stop the man's bleeding with ordinary gauze failed. It was at that moment that he relied on his former training as an army medic.
"My hands were pretty bloody, I had gloves on, I asked my partner to assist me. He then proceeded to take out the QuickClot combat gauze, that's the brand, he opened it up and handed it to me. Then I started applying it to the wound and that stopped the pressure,” Officer Cabral said.
That QuickClot gauze, which is commonly used by U.S. troops on the battlefield, cost just under $50 dollars. And now, Alderman Burke wants to outfit every Chicago police officer with the lifesaving product. He believes the benefits outweigh the cost.
"I'm sure that man that these officers saved would express gratitude that they took the extraordinary step in applying this product that clearly saved his life,” Burke said.
Blood clotting gauze isn't new. Our armed forces have been using it dating back to the Vietnam War.
At the adult ER at the University of Chicago Medicine, they use their own version.
"It acts as a better sponge basically for our own bodies platelets, we call them coagulation factors…these are products that stop you from bleeding to stick to that wound as opposed to just oozing out all over your skin,” said Dr. Thomas Spiegel.
Burke says he'd like to see every Chicago police officer outfitted with a quick clot emergency kit, which is soon to be standard equipment for NYPD officers.
Burke says he's not certain how cash-strapped Chicago would pay for the lifesaving equipment, but he believes there may be federal funding available.