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Old June 23, 2005, 05:15 PM   #25
Platybat
Junior Member
 
Join Date: June 23, 2005
Posts: 2
Steak juice vs. blood etc

What a fantastic thread. I just sent a BQM Battle Pack with my boyfriend to Iraq, so I was reading up on it to properly inform him and encourage him to carry it....

IZ --

Regarding steak juice and QuickClot -- you'd need fresh, whole blood to adequately do your test. The juice you'd get out of the average store-bought steak wouldn't be adequate. For one, it won't be straight blood; it will be dilute fleshy juice, with possible preservatives in it. Also, it won't be fresh enough. As a med student (I'm old though, in the Navy, not some kid like the rest of my class), I should know the exact lifetimes of the various clotting factors, but I don't have them memorized. I can tell you that neither the clotting factors nor the platelets would be able to work when so diluted as they would be in steak juice, even if they were fresh. Just compare the look of your own blood to yummy steak juice; it ought to be a lot thicker. The platelets, actually, would probably be dysfunctional if not compeltely destroyed already by their environment, for reasons poorly explained below....


I'll avoid the full lecture on clotting cascades, but in summary, both platelets and the aforementioned clotting factors are involved, in a fabulously and annoyingly complex set of cross-talking pathways. Platelets are actually small fragments of cells with intact membranes and all that (imagine them "budding off" of a larger cell and sealing themselves up), and they need to be in a life-sustaining solution (with proper concentrations and pH etc, like your blood) to remain intact and work, as they've got all these surface proteins and receptors that participate in the reactions that lead to them aggregating to form a clot.

Basically, the coagulation cascade gets activated when any of the three elements of "Virchow's triad" are encountered -- injury to the lining of a blood vessel, a change in flow (turbulence, stasis, etc), or a hypercoaguable state inherent to the blood itself. That first thing would include exposure to anything that's NOT the lining of a blood vessel -- air, styrofoam steak package, etc. So if the steak juice were going to clot, it should've done so already. Mmmm, steak. Just eat it and use the juice for gravy.
Now, of course, just because the cascade gets activated doesn't mean that an adequate clot would form, to be clear. In a large wound, the process is clearly fighting against pressure, flow, and volume, so I guess that's where QuickClot comes in.

(*@&it, now I want a steak.
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