There are several new technologies for closing battle field wounds. Gunshot and explosive wounds tend to be very deep (several inches) and stopping the bleeding is critical to preventing soldiers from dying within a minute or so.
There are three new wound closure methods beyond advanced clamps and tourniquets
* Deep sponge injection
* Attaching a zipper system
* implanted micromagnets
In recent US wars, uncontrolled blood loss was the leading cause of death in 90 percent of the potentially survivable battlefield cases and in 80 percent of those who died in a military treatment facility.
“Bleed-outs” — especially those caused by groin or neck wounds — torment medics, corpsmen and physicians who can do little to stanch blood loss caused by major arterial injuries.
Two devices, the Combat Ready Clamp and Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet, have been built to treat these injuries, but the Combat Ready Clamp, now being fielded, is primarily for treating single groin or pelvic injuries and is ineffective against wounds involving the genital region or the loss of both legs.
The Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet, which acts like a big blood pressure cuff around the lower torso to stop extremity bleeding, is still undergoing approval.FDA approved.
Other advancements, such as freeze-dried blood products that promote clotting, and tranexamic acid, or TXA, a medicine that reduces clot breakdown, demand more attention
To develop new ways to try to stop bleeding around 1999, Defense Sciences Office Director Michael Goldblatt initiated another program that involved injecting millions of microscopic magnets into a person, which could later be brought together into a single area to stop bleeding with the wave of a wand.
XStat is a sponge filled injection which can stop massive bleeding in 20 seconds. The injection is filled with tiny cellulose sponges that are made from wood pulp, and coated in a coagulant and an antimicrobial called chitosan, which comes from crustacean shells.
XStat was first approved for military use back in 2014, in the hopes that it might be able to save lives on the battlefield.
Now, two years later, RevMedx, the company behind XStat, has reported the first case of that actually happening. In this situation, an unnamed coalition forces soldier had received a gunshot wound to the left thigh, opening up the femoral artery and damaging the femur.
A tourniquet was immediately applied, but after 7 hours of surgery, doctors still couldn’t stop the residual bleeding from the wound.
The surgical team applied a single injection of XStat to the wound, resulting in “nearly immediate haemostasis”. In other words, the bleeding stopped straight away. The soldier stabilised and was moved to a definitive care facility.
But according to RevMedx, the device can stop bleeding for around 4 hours, and up to three of the injections can be applied if the wound is really severe.
The best part is, unlike tourniquets, which are currently applied to slow down blood loss, the pressure from XStat comes from the inside of the wound. That means it has a better chance of plugging all the subtle sources of bleeding
Battlefield wound zipper
Israeli Top closure has a wound closure device that can be “zipped” open after the emergency situation has passed so the wound can be further evaluated and treated. This temporary wound closure system is meant to be used by medics, paramedics, surgeons and other physicians. Topaz is teaching orthopedic and hand surgeons how to use it.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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