Claim: Tampon used to stanch deadly wound saves Marine's life.
- Tampons have been used by U.S. Army medics as emergency wound care dressings: True.
- This particular story about a wounded Marine saved by a tampon included in a misdirected care package from home is factual: Undetermined.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, January 2005]
Tampons come to the rescue in Iraq!!
(Don't worry, it's a good story)
(Letter from a mom):
He told me how wonderful the care packages were and wanted me to tell everyone thank you. He said that one guy, we'll call
My son said they had the most fun with
My son said they had to go on a mission and
At this point my son profoundly told me, "Mom did you know that tampons expand?" "Well, yeah!" They successfully slowed the bleeding and got the guy medical attention. When they went to check on him later the surgeon told them, "You guys saved his life". If you hadn't stopped that bleeding he would have bled to death. My son said, "Mom, the tampons sent by the Marine Moms by mistake saved a Marine's life." At this point I asked him, "Well what did you do with the rest of the tampons?" He said, "Oh, we divided them up and we all have them in our flak jackets, and I kept two for our first aid kit".
I am absolutely amazed by the ingenuity of our Marines, and can't believe that something that started out as a mistake ended up saving someone's life. My sister said she doesn't believe in mistakes. She said that God had a plan all along. She believes that female care package was sent to
GOD BLESS AMERICA AND KEEP IT SAFE
Origins: This story about feminine care products used to save the life of a fallen Marine began landing in the snopes.com inbox in January 2005. It was originally posted in July 2004 to a message board hosted by the Houston Marine Moms, a group that sends packages to soldiers serving in the field. The message board post was edited into the form it has now taken, e.g., the original contained details not part of the version that has come to be circulated in
We'll maintain the "Undetermined" status regarding the story for now because although we can vet where and when the original post was made, to verify the tale itself would entail talking with the Marines or doctors who witnessed the incident. However, the tale's premise
isn't all that outlandish. Predating the
Numerous soldiers have told us that yes, tampons are indeed carried in med kits and are used on bullet wounds in the field. Medics with years of combat experience say they consider tampons excellent for penetration trauma because not only do they absorb a lot of blood, they are sterile, packaged with easy-to-use applicators, and leave a "tail" protruding from the wound that aids doctors in easily removing them.
As to how old this practice is, one of our correspondents says he saw tampons used in this fashion during the Vietnam War.
Materials used in the manufacture of feminine products are especially well suited to wound care. Cellucotton, the substance used in Kotex (sanitary napkins), was devised for the purpose of improving bandages in World
Barbara "circular logic" Mikkelson
Last updated: 7 October 2007