Here’s a New Must-Have for a Surfer’s First Aid Kit


I’m morally opposed to booties. Yeah, there were a couple of times I wanted to cave this past winter, and considering every one of my top five favorite surf spots happen to be point breaks, this has actually become a very painful stand off over the years. Time and time again, my stubbornness leads to stepping on a lot, and I mean a lot, of jagged rocks, grumpy urchins, and who knows what else on the ocean floor. Band aids don’t do the trick, and getting right back in the water the next morning before anything has a chance to heal just leads to festering cuts that slow me down for days at a time. My latest painful water exit took place at Trestles, when I kicked a nice little (not really little at all) rock that decided to take a chunk out of my foot. You’d be surprised how much blood that one cost me.

My own very random but hopefully relatable stories aside, the point here is that surfing leads to really annoying cuts and scrapes. Minor ones are frequent. And deeper, more painful ones are zero fun, which made this random find intriguing. It’s called BloodSTOP and the easiest way to explain it is to say it’s probably what you imagined band aids will be like in the future. I had a couple in my pack and put the thing to work right after that latest run in with what lies underneath the surface. And it made that 20 minute walk back to my car much less bloody.

BloodSTOP is basically a water soluble strip of gauze that expands into a gel, and it’s been around for a while now. Whereas you’d normally place a bandage over smallish wounds and wait for the bleeding to stop, you can press these strips on and let them coagulate the blood right away. The gauze dissolves into a gel that seals the wound and boom, we’re back in action. A BloodSTOP iX demonstration (a little too gross to include here. Sorry) shows the gel matrix applied to a femoral artery puncture with complete hemostasis in two minutes. Life Science Plus, the creators of this nifty little futuristic first aid essential, designed it for scraped knees to bullet wounds and everything in between. And I really mean everything in between. It’s been FDA and CE approved for surgical use and was tested by mimicking battlefield gunshot and shrapnel wounds.

I’m pretty sure knowing all this we can now agree if these 1” x 1” gauze strips can treat gunshot wounds, then we’ll be well served to throw one on the next time we get bounced off a reef at low tide. Or you know, when you’re like me and just step on something that doesn’t want to be stepped on.

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