Kaolin-based hemostatic dressing improves hemorrhage control from a penetrating inferior vena cava injury in coagulopathic swine

J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2017 Jul;83(1):71-76. doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000001492.


Background: Retrohepatic inferior vena cava (RIVC) injuries are often lethal due to challenges in obtaining hemorrhage control. We hypothesized that packing with a new kaolin-based hemostatic dressing (Control+; Z-Medica, Wallingford, CT) would improve hemorrhage control from a penetrating RIVC injury compared with packing with standard laparotomy sponges alone.

Methods: Twelve male Yorkshire pigs received a 25% exchange transfusion of blood for refrigerated normal saline to induce a hypothermic coagulopathy. A laparotomy was performed and a standardized 1.5 cm injury to the RIVC was created which was followed by temporary abdominal closure and a period of uncontrolled hemorrhage. When the mean arterial pressure reached 70% of baseline, demonstrating hemorrhagic shock, the abdomen was re-entered, and the injury was treated with perihepatic packing using standard laparotomy sponges (L; n = 6) or a new kaolin-based hemostatic dressing (K; n = 6). Animals were then resuscitated for 6 hours with crystalloid solution. The two groups were compared using the Wilcoxon rank sum test and Fisher exact test. A p value of 0.05 or less was considered statistically significant.

Results: There was no difference in the animal's temperature, heart rate, mean arterial pressure, cardiac output, and blood loss at baseline or before packing was performed (all p > 0.05). In the laparotomy sponge group, five of six pigs survived the entire study period, whereas all six pigs treated with kaolin-based D2 hemostatic dressings survived. Importantly, there was significantly less blood loss after packing with the new hemostatic kaolin-based dressing compared with packing with laparotomy sponge (651 ± 180 mL vs. 1073 ± 342 mL; p ≤ 0.05).

Conclusion: These results demonstrate that the use of this new hemostatic kaolin-based dressing improved hemorrhage control and significantly decreased blood loss in this penetrating RIVC model.

Level of evidence: This is basic science research based on a large animal model, level V.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Hemostatics / pharmacology*
  • Kaolin / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Swine
  • Vascular System Injuries / complications*
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / injuries*


  • Hemostatics
  • Kaolin