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January 23, 2013

Injectable Foam Expands Inside Wounds, Stopping Bleeding

One thing I liked in Dredd (among numerous things) was the tire-repair-style gel he used to plug his wound (followed by a quick stapling of it via a medical-staple gun).

Not a super novel idea. But neat.

It's so un-novel, in fact, it's real, or close to it.

You can tourniquet an arm or leg but you can't tourniquet a headwound, or neckwound, or chestwound, or gutwound. Only a surgeon can dig in, find the ruptured artery, and clamp it.

Thus, an injectable foam might soon stop bleeding from such injuries (long enough to get the wounded man to a surgeon, at least).

To address this issue, Arsenal Medical in Watertown, Massachusetts, has designed a substance that fills the abdominal cavity and forms a solid foam that can slow internal bleeding. It starts with two liquids. “Mixing those two liquid components causes a chemical reaction that drives the material throughout the abdominal cavity,” says Upma Sharma, head of the foam-technology research at Arsenal. The idea is that the foam would put enough pressure on the site of the injury to slow bleeding for up to three hours so that the soldier could be transported to a hospital. There, a surgeon would remove the block of foam and tend to the soldier’s wounds."

Based on my reading, that's only for gut-wounds, but I guess they'll move on to the other sorts of wounds eventually.

Via Instapundit.

More: Unvetted, but tsrblke sounds like he knows what he's talking about.

It works for gut wounds, because those are the bulk of wounds involving internal bleeding with lots of open space and are really dangerous.

The other two areas you see a lot of internal bleeding that's dangerous are brain (not a lot of workable space) and Lungs (lots of workable space...that's used for breathing.

You do get internal bleeding in other places (arms, legs, etc.) that's bruising, it's sometimes dangerous, sometimes not, but as pointed out you can always sacrifice the leg/arm/whatever, to save the body (not so much with "everything below the waist."

For external bleeding (i.e. cuts, slashes gashes) you have the tourniquet option for really large damage or various styles of things like high-tech band-aids and medical glue for small to medium sized things.

Unnecessary?

What if you don't have time to bleed? -- Jesse Ventura



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posted by Ace at 04:49 PM

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