Two emergency responders assist an injured person on the ground near a car accident scene. Overlay text discusses professional blood moulage for healthcare educators and simulationists on 'theSimTech' Blog.

Professional Blood Moulage – Tips For Healthcare Educators & Simulationists

Teach learners about blood moulage to introduce the science and craft of medical moulage. This blog post covers professional blood moulage tips for healthcare educators and simulationists.

Teaching Learners To Make Blood Moulage From Edible, Skin-Safe Ingredients

Introduce learners to edible blood moulage for a cost-effective and engaging learning experience. 

A hand with a small scratches injury and red blood oozing on skin, featured in 'theSimTech' blogpost Professional Blood Moulage Tips For Healthcare Educators & Simulationists. Surrounding images depict pomegranates, red berries, grape juice and blueberries that can be used to create edible blood moulage. To the right, there are icons for freezing, microwaving, and squirting directly.
  1. Freeze fruits like cherries, berries, or pomegranates for a realistic red hue. When needed, microwave a few frozen berries to thaw partially. Bursting the skin releases a viscous liquid that resembles blood. 
  2. Cornstarch, coffee grounds, clear syrup, chocolate sauce, glycerine, honey, vegan gelatin (agar-agar powder) can be added for a thicker consistency, but they’re not essential. Remember, the ultimate goal of simulation is to practice skills, and not all scenarios require the exact viscosity and texture of real blood. Just as we suspend belief and treat plastic manikins as human bodies, fruit-based concoctions can represent blood. 
  3. Additionally, dark red juices like cranberry or grape can be stored in the refrigerator and squirted during simulations to mimic blood splatter. 

This ‘homemade moulage blood’ approach allows you to run effective skills labs on a budget, while keeping the learning process fun and safe for participants due to the edible and skin-safe ingredients.

Step Up Blood Moulage Realism

Here are 3 recipes that require blending of ingredients to achieve the viscosity, texture, color and smell of blood.

  1. Blend liquid starch, red food color, blue food color, yellow food color and chocolate syrup in a bowl.
  2. Mix clear dishwashing liquid with liquid starch and red food coloring.
  3. Use an electric blender to mix powdered sugar, cocoa powder and red food coloring to water. Steve Spangler demonstrates how to make fake blood with this recipe.
A hand covered in a red liquid resembling blood against a white background. Text above and below the image refers to a website and recipes for creating fake blood, featured in 'theSimTech' blogpost Professional Blood Moulage Tips For Healthcare Educators & Simulationists.

Expert Tip

Add an iron tablet for the odor of blood.

DIY Blood Moulage Ingredients: A Healthcare Simulation Specialist’s Guide

While well-funded simulation centers have access to top-of-the-line commercial blood moulage products, there’s a place for DIY options too! Here’s a breakdown of common DIY ingredients and how they contribute to blood simulation, along with tips from a simulation specialist’s perspective:

Cornstarch

  • Effect: Thickens blood moulage, mimicking clot formation.
  • Do: Use sparingly to avoid an overly matte finish.
  • Don’t: Overmix, as it can create a paste-like consistency.
  • Substitute: Add finely ground oats for a slightly textured effect.

Coffee Grounds

  • Effect: Adds a realistic brown hue and slight grittiness, mimicking dried blood.
  • Do: Use finely ground coffee for a smoother texture.
  • Don’t: Go overboard, as it can overpower the red color.
  • Substitute: Ground cinnamon can offer a similar color variation.

Clear Syrup (Corn Syrup, Light Agave Nectar)

  • Effect: Provides a base viscosity and glossy sheen, similar to fresh blood.
  • Do: Experiment with different syrups to find the desired consistency.
  • Don’t: Use dark syrups, as they can alter the final color.
  • Substitute: Honey can be used in small quantities, but it’s slightly sticky.

Chocolate Syrup

  • Effect: Deepens the red color and adds a hint of brown, creating a richer blood tone.
  • Do: Use sparingly, as too much chocolate can make the mixture smell artificial.
  • Don’t: Rely solely on chocolate for color; combine it with red food coloring.
  • Substitute: Cocoa powder mixed with syrup can create a similar effect.

Glycerin

  • Effect: Creates a slightly slippery texture and a dewy finish, mimicking fresh blood.
  • Do: Add a few drops at a time to achieve a subtle sheen.
  • Don’t: Overuse, as it can make the mixture too slippery and compromise sticking properties.
  • Substitute: Vegetable oil can be used, but it doesn’t offer the same dewiness.

Honey

  • Effect: Adds a sticky consistency, mimicking thicker blood or dried blood residue.
  • Do: Use in minimal quantities due to its stickiness.
  • Don’t: Rely solely on honey for viscosity, as it can be difficult to clean up.
  • Substitute: A mixture of cornstarch and syrup can provide a similar sticky effect.

Vegan Gelatin (Agar-Agar Powder)

  • Effect: Creates a gel-like consistency, mimicking clot formation or thickened blood.
  • Do: Follow package instructions for proper preparation to avoid lumps.
  • Don’t: Make large quantities in advance, as gelatin has a limited shelf life.
  • Substitute: Xanthan gum can be used to create a thickening effect, but it won’t gel.

DIY edible blood moulage generally has a shorter shelf life than commercial products. Plan accordingly and dispose of expired mixtures.

Why Use DIY Edible Blood Moulage?

Learner Introduction: DIY methods offer a great introduction to medical moulage, allowing learners to experiment and develop basic skills on their own skin.

Standardized Patient Considerations: DIY edible blood moulage can be used on standardized patients who may have concerns about skin irritation, particularly on sensitive areas like the face and neck, from non-edible ingredients.

Budget-Friendly Training: This “homemade moulage blood” approach allows you to run effective skills labs on a budget.

Safe and Fun Learning: Edible and skin-safe ingredients keep the learning process fun and safe for participants.

A person practices tying a tourniquet on another person lying down as part of a clinical teaching scenario, demonstrating the use of commercial blood moulage products featured in 'theSimTech' blogpost.

Commercial Blood Moulage Products For Clinical Teaching

True-to-life simulated blood is necessary to learn clinical aspects of traumatic hemorrhage control, wound packing, use of hemostatic dressings and more. Commercial blood moulage is also required when using task trainers and patient simulators to avoid staining the ‘skin’ of simulated ‘patients’.

5 Commercial Blood Moulage Products Rated by ‘theSimTech’

  1. Simulated Blood Concentrate (Non-Staining) – 1 Gallon by North American Rescue (4.5 stars) – This concentrate offers exceptional value, making 64 gallons of simulated blood from a single gallon. The non-staining formula is a major advantage, reducing cleanup time and protecting training equipment. While the shelf life and ingredients aren’t specified, the pricing and comprehensive support materials make it a top choice.
  2. No-Stain Blood 1 Ounce Packet, Single Use by Pocket Nurse® (4.5 stars) – This single-use packet is ideal for portability and portion control. The key features are its easy cleanup with soap and water, realistic wet look, and non-toxic formula safe for mouth trauma simulations. While it may stain some fabrics, the affordability and safety features make it a top choice.
  3. Pocket Nurse® Moulage Blood, 32oz. (4.0 stars) – offers a thick consistency and less staining than syrup-based alternatives.
  4. Blood Powder 4oz. By Train-4-Real (4.0 stars) – is highly concentrated and dissolves in multiple media.
  5. Blood Stimulant by TrueClot® (5.0 stars) – TrueClot® offers the most versatility with pre-mixed and concentrated options in various sizes. The 3-year shelf life and easy disposal in regular trash make it a convenient choice. The patented formula, tested on major simulator brands, and information on clotting simulation capabilities build its value proposition. While the ingredients aren’t listed, the detailed cost-per-training information and focus on disclosure make it a top choice.

Brand & Product

Features & Rating

Price & Links

North American Rescue

SIMULATED BLOOD CONCENTRATE (NON-STAINING) - 1 GALLON. A large plastic jug labeled "SIMULATED BLOOD CONCENTRATE by North American Rescue" containing a red liquid, manufactured by Reel Creations, Inc., and featured in 'theSimTech' blogpost.

Simulated Blood Concentrate (Non-Staining) – 1 Gallon

4.5 stars

  • Concentrate – 1 gallon makes 64 gallons of sim blood

  • Non-staining formula

  • Discounted pricing available

  • Comprehensive support materials available

  • Shelf life not mentioned on product page

  • Ingredients not mentioned on product page

North American Rescue Simulated Blood Concentrate (Non-Staining) – 1 Gallon

$249.99

Pocket Nurse®

No-Stain Blood 1 Ounce Packet, Single Use by Pocket Nurse.  A packet of No-Stain Blood by Pocket Nurse, featuring a red splatter design. Featured in 'theSimTech' blogpost, it is described as a washable, non-toxic blood substitute suitable for various medical and theatrical purposes.

No-Stain Blood 1 Ounce Packet, Single Use

4.5 stars

  • Washes off with soap & water

  • Wet look and stays in place

  • Non-toxic – can be used for mouth trauma

  • Safe for human consumption

    Single use

  • Shelf life not mentioned on product page

  • Ingredients not mentioned on product page

  • May stain some fabrics and porous surfaces

Pocket Nurse® No-Stain Blood 1 Ounce Packet, Single Use

$3.15

Pocket Nurse®

Pocket Nurse® Moulage Blood, 32oz. A large white container labeled "Pocket Nurse Moulage Blood" with red text and blood splatter graphics, as featured in 'theSimTech' blogpost. The container holds one quart of simulated blood for instructional use only.

Pocket Nurse® Moulage Blood, 32oz.

4 stars

  • For human skin, latex, silicone, and gel prosthetic wounds

  • Does not contain corn syrup

  • Thick consistency and saturated dark red appearance

  • Less staining than syrup-based artificial blood

  • Material Safety Data Sheet available

  • Not a concentrate

  • Shelf life not mentioned on product page

  • May stain some fabrics and porous surfaces

  • Ingredients not mentioned on product page

Pocket Nurse® Moulage Blood, 32oz.

$32.62

Select 32oz option from dropdown menu on product page

Train-4-Real

Train-4-Real Blood Powder. A spoonful of bright red powder is being scooped from an open jar labeled "Blood Powder," as featured in 'theSimTech' blogpost.

Blood Powder 4oz.

4 stars

  • Highly concentrated

  • Dissolves in water, vegetable oil, corn syrup, and petroleum jelly

  • For simulations that require large quantities of splash blood

  • Material Safety Data Sheet available

  • Shelf life not mentioned on product page

  • Ingredients not mentioned on product page

  • Staining information not available

  • Only one size – 4oz.

Train-4-Real Blood Powder 4oz.

$33.30

Check latest price


Scroll down the products page to find this item.

TrueClot®

A gallon container labeled "Blood Simulant, Pre-Mixed" by TrueClot®, featured in 'theSimTech' blogpost, includes instructions and warnings for simulation use only. The liquid inside is a dark reddish color, mimicking real blood for training purposes and not intended for medical applications.

Blood Simulant, Pre-Mixed, 1 Gallon

A bag of TrueClot® Blood Simulant Concentrate, Gallon and a 1-gallon mixing bottle are shown side by side, both labeled for simulation training purposes, as featured in 'theSimTech' blogpost.

Blood Simulant Concentrate, Gallon

5 stars

  • Available as premixed liquid and concentrate

  • Discard in regular trash

  • 3-year shelf life at room temperature

  • 12 months shelf life after being mixed

  • Expiration date on packaging

  • Tested on major simulator brands

  • Cost per training and staining info on FAQ page

  • Patented formula

  • Five size & type combinations

  • For training first responders in traumatic hemorrhage control, wound packing and advanced hemostatic dressings

  • Simulate clots with TrueClot Simulated Hemostatic Gauze on task trainer / manikin-based wound simulator

  • Simulate clots for moulage or surgical training with TrueClot Clotting Solution

  • Ingredients not mentioned on product page

TrueClot® Blood Simulant, Pre-Mixed, 1 Gallon

$61.50

TrueClot® Blood Simulant Concentrate, Gallon

$60.00

Where to purchase

Product information

Rating Criteria

  1. Amount of disclosure (such as shelf life, expiry, ingredients)
  2. Patents
  3. Tested on simulators
  4. Volume of supporting information
  5. Sizes
  6. Formulation options
  7. Convenience
  8. Value for money

When selecting the ideal commercial blood moulage product, the focus goes beyond just mimicking real blood.

For simulation centers, fostering trust and informed decision-making is paramount.

A vendor’s product listing plays a crucial role. Evaluation criteria like amount of disclosure regarding shelf life, expiry, and ingredients empowers centers to make choices that prioritize participant safety and product longevity.

Similarly, details on patents and being tested on popular simulators demonstrate a commitment to innovation and compatibility. The availability of supporting information, such as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), further enhances transparency and user confidence. A diverse range of sizes and formulation options caters to various training needs and budgets, while factors like convenience in application, cleanup, and disposal directly impact training efficiency. Ultimately, value for money is a key consideration.

By prioritizing these details in product listings, vendors can not only strengthen buyer confidence in established markets but also effectively reach international markets seeking transparency, quality, versatility and value for money.

Blood Moulage For Specific Use Cases by Moulage Concepts

Moulage Concepts offers blood moulage products for specific use cases:

  • Fresh Blood: This product mimics the visual and physical properties of real blood, including setting, gelling, and drying realistically under varying temperatures. This makes it suitable for a wide range of training environments.
  • Slow-Flo Blood: This option provides a continuous flow of deep red simulated blood, ideal for scenarios involving active bleeding. Unlike real blood, it won’t dry out, eliminating the need for frequent replacements during training.
  • Invisible Blood: This water-activated powder is invisible on skin and clothing until water is applied. This allows for precise control over the timing and location of blood appearance in a training simulation.
  • Active Bleed Set: This two-part system facilitates the controlled application of simulated blood, enabling trainees to practice treating injuries caused by physical blows or knife wounds.
  • Simulated Blood Glucose: This product allows learners to practice blood sugar level testing during simulations, adding another layer of complexity and realism to medical scenarios.

Teaching Advanced Blood Moulage Effects

Techniques you can teach learners while having the kind of fun and engagement seen in an art class.

Blood Spatter

  • Toothbrush Technique: Use a stiff bristle toothbrush dipped in red paint or moulage to flick blood spatters onto your simulation. Vary the distance and pressure to create a realistic splatter pattern.
  • Straw Technique: For finer blood spatter, dip a straw in red paint or moulage and blow forcefully across the open end, creating a mist of tiny droplets.

Blood Blisters

  • Silicone Technique: Create a small pocket using Pros-Aide (a medical adhesive) on the skin. Fill the pocket with a clear gel and top it with red paint or moulage to create a raised blood blister.
  • Makeup Bead Technique: Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the skin. Place a red makeup bead on the desired location and carefully cover it with Pros-Aide to create a realistic dome-shaped blister.

Arterial Spray

  • Syringe Pump: Fill a syringe with red paint or moulage thinned with water. Attach the syringe to a small tube and secure it near the wound. Use a pump mechanism to create a pulsating effect, simulating arterial spray.
  • Compressed Air Can: For a simpler alternative, fill a compressed air can with red paint or moulage. Use a short burst to create a splatter effect resembling arterial spray.

Bruising

  • Makeup Techniques: Apply layers of blue, purple, and red makeup to create a realistic bruise. Blend the edges for a natural look. You can also use bruise wheels specifically designed for makeup application.
  • Stippling with Sponges: Use a makeup sponge to dab on blue, purple, and red paints or moulage to create a bruised effect. This technique offers more control over the color variation.

When teaching advanced blood moulage effects, prioritize the safety of learners. Ensure materials are non-toxic and skin-safe. Petroleum jelly can be used as a barrier to protect the skin from adhesives.

Learner Outcomes Of Practising Moulage Effects & Blending Materials

A healthcare professional in scrubs, carrying books and a stethoscope, stands next to a list of DIY moulage benefits: clinical comprehension, de-stressor, group bonding, kinesthetic stimuli, learner engagement, desensitization as featured in 'theSimTech' blogpost Professional Blood Moulage Tips For Healthcare Educators & Simulationists.
  • Builds & elevates clinical comprehension of learners via moulage skills
  • Increases learner engagement and group bonding
  • Provides kinesthetic stimuli to encompass learning styles
  • Sessions are de-stressors
  • Desensitizes learners to trauma care in a fun and compassionate manner.

About ‘theSimTech’

An online resource for healthcare educators and medical simulation professionals in teaching hospitals and universities offering health sciences learning programs.

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