Local News

NASA discovery helped saved deputies' lives

SPOKANE, Wash. - A discovery made in NASA's space shuttle program helped saved the lives of the two Spokane County Sheriff's deputies who were shot by a suspected drug dealer last Tuesday.

Both deputies Matt Spink and Mike Northway suffered gun shot wounds that were treated at the scene with a product called Quick-Clot, a coagulant that helps keep trauma patients from losing too much blood. Deputies started carrying around quick clot on the advice of Detective Roger Knight.

"There was actually a lot of civilians running towards it. I would say 20. I actually had to hit my air horn to kind of clear them so I could go through but they were running to help," Mead High School Resource Deputy Jeff Bergeron said.

Bergeron carries with him a first aid product called Quick-Clot to help his students' when he rolled up to the shooting scene and found Spink and Northway lying on the ground he just happened to have a full bag of the blood clotting agent.

Quick Clot

He quickly assessed the situation and began applying the coagulant to the deputies' injuries; Bergeron was trying to control the bleeding from five bullet holes not counting exit wounds. In all he ended up using 10 pouches of Quick-Clot hoping to keep his fellow deputies from going into shock and losing consciousness.

"Matt told me I was pushing to hard and that it hurt like heck and that was good to hear, that was really good to hear," Bergeron said.

So where did it come from? Quick-Clot was invented when someone working on the space shuttle cut himself and used a piece of the ship's insulation to stop the bleeding.
Years later that same active ingredient likely saved Deputy Northway's life.

"They used it, that day up there, one of the first deputies on the scene and told me he used a lot of it hopefully that's what kept them alive," Detective Knight said.

Quick-Clot is sold at most sporting goods stores and would probably make a great gift for anyone who spends time outdoors, especially hunters or people who cut down their own firewood.