Maxi Pads, Tampons & Diapers DO NOT Control Bleeding.
Let’s stop for a moment to think about what a maxi pad or diaper is designed to do. Simply, it’s there to soak up liquids. When a baby urinates, the diaper is there to collect the urine until the parent can change the diaper, right?
You realize that piss doesn’t endlessly flow from the body (although it might feel like that sometimes). Very few people can urinate a liter or more at a time.
When it comes to blood, according to Healthline, an average adult between 150 and 180 pounds have about 1.35 gallons of blood or 4.6 liters.
Obviously, a maxi pad or tampon wouldn’t be able to absorb that much fluid, but that’s not the point.
Maxi Pads (and the others) are designed to soak up the liquid, but they do nothing to stop the flow of liquid.
What that means is that while the maxi pad could soak up the immediate blood on a wound, it wouldn’t control the bleeding or stop the flow of blood through clotting. Blood would continue to flow out of the body and the only thing the maxi pads, tampons or diapers would do is help to prevent a pool of blood on the floor.
In an emergency, it is critically important to control the hemorrhaging and stop the precious blood from exiting the body.
A maxi pad won’t do that.
They’re designed to “wick” the moisture and liquid away from the body. They’re also designed to control the fluid from getting everywhere.
If you consider the fact that the most important thing you need to do if there is severe hemorrhaging is to stop the flow of blood and try and get the wound to clot, you’ll quickly realize that the maxi pad or tampon in your EDC isn’t the way to go.
Those things actually would work against what you’re trying to accomplish.
To effectively control hemorrhaging, you would need to pack gauze against the wound, preferably one that has a clotting agent. You would also want to try and restrict the flow of blood to that area to prevent bleed out through the use of a tourniquet.
If you were to put a diaper on such a wound, it wouldn’t put surface area on the wound and allow it to clot, but rather, it would pull more blood from the wound as it’s designed to do.
In essence, soaking up blood doesn’t help the bleeding to stop. Your primary goal is to stop the flow of blood so the injury doesn’t bleed out.
Getting a good trauma kit that is designed to stop the flow of blood and encourage clotting is a far better way to go. There are kits such as the Adventure Medical Kit that costs around $20 and has most of the things you need in a bleed-out situation.
An all-inclusive trauma kit will cost between $50 and $100 on average. The Ever Ready (not to be confused with the battery brand) trauma kit is $50 and is perfect for a real emergency. These types of kits are perfect to keep in your car, active shooter response kit and with your camping gear.
In conclusion, don’t put maxi pads, tampons or diapers into your medical kit for purposes other than what they are intended for.