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Alum's Invention is Saving Lives in Hospitals and War Zones Around the World

Posted 02/23/2016
Posted by Meagan Fazio

When it comes to treating severe bleeding injuries, every moment counts. That is why Frank Hursey ’77 invented QuikClot, a type of gauze that stops bleeding practically on contact. This gauze, which has saved thousands of lives in hospitals and war zones around the world, is also found in bleeding control kits that University Public Safety officers now carry on campus.

QuikClot is permeated with a mineral that accelerates the body’s natural clotting ability. When pressure is applied, it conforms to the wound site and the kaolin gets to work, stopping bleeding within minutes. It is particularly important in trauma cases caused my manmade or natural disasters, during which bleeding causes 40% of deaths.

In the course of his job building machines that separate oxygen from water, Hursey used the mineral zeolite and had a thought. Being a scientist at heart he knew blood is 90% water and hypothesized the mineral could work to stop bleeding. He was right. This led him to invent QuickClot in the late 80’s, but he couldn’t find much of a market for it. But, as he explains in the following video, that all changed after 9/11:

Hursey studied mechanical engineering in the University’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture. He is a former Apollo Space Program engineer and is the president and founder of On Site Gas, which sells oxygen and nitrogen generator technology.