Injectable Foam Could Prevent Fatal Blood Loss in Wounded Soldiers
Baltimore, MD - Without prompt care, a badly wounded soldier can easily bleed to death while being transported to a distant medical station. Traditional treatments — tourniquets and medicated gauze pads — often cannot stop the blood loss from a deep wound at the neck, shoulder or groin.
To give these soldiers a fighting chance at survival, Johns Hopkins undergraduates have invented an injectable foam system designed to stop profuse bleeding from a wound where a limb or the head is connected to the torso. The students’ invention is designed to apply pressure and curb blood loss during the critical first hour during which a wounded soldier is moved to a site that provides more advanced medical help.
The new battlefield treatment is needed, the students say, because a tourniquet or a gauze pad with a clotting agent are difficult to apply effectively to deep wounds at these junctional body sites. In addition, the precise source of blood loss in such wounds is not always easy to find.
“The problem is that damage from bullets and bone fragments deep inside a junctional wound is not always visible from outside the body, and a regular clotting agent may not be able to reach the origin of the bleeding,” said Sydney Rooney, leader of the biomedical engineering student team that sought to solve this problem. “We came up with a foam injection system that fills the wound area and blocks the blood loss.” Continue>
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