Comic strip mention pleases QuikClot
The company hopes it translates into an increase in sales.
HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Doonesbury comic strip character B.D. clung to life Tuesday after being injured in Iraq, but a Connecticut-made product just might save the famously helmeted reservist from bleeding to death.
In a story line by strip creator Garry B. Trudeau, a fellow reservist named Ray treats the badly wounded B.D. under battlefield conditions. Ray calls out for supplies.
"Need some beads! And a Quick-Clot! Now!"
The beads carry antibiotics. But it was the mention of QuikClot -- no matter that Trudeau spelled it wrong -- that raised a proud ruckus at Newington, Conn.-based Z-Medica.
"Absolutely, it was the last thing I was expecting," said QuikClot inventor Frank Hursey, who doesn't read the Doonesbury strip.
Whether a Doonesbury endorsement raises sales -- and what becomes of B.D. -- remains to be seen. QuikClot, a packet of highly absorbent, engineered granules designed to stop massive bleeding in big wounds, went on the market last year.
With a conditional approval by the Food and Drug Administration, it's now included in first-aid kits in Iraq. QuikClot has so far saved at least 30 lives and prevented limb amputations, said a doctor at the Defense Department.
That's what's really important to Hursey. But after 15 years of trying to develop his product, he's also gratified that QuikClot could achieve the status of generic identity, like Band-Aid.
Trudeau, in an e-mailed response to questions, said he had been unaware QuikClot was a brand name.
"I came across it while I was researching recent advances in combat medicine, and thought it described a particular technology, not a product [the spelling should have tipped me off]," he said. "I'm hardly an authority, but from what I've heard, the dressing is well-regarded by medics in Iraq. And yes, B.D. survives."
However, the Associated Press reports that B.D. is slated to lose his leg.