News / Science & Technology

Injectable Foam Could Prove Life Saver

Stemming internal bleeding caused by trauma has long puzzled first responders, but a new foam technology could offer a solution.Stemming internal bleeding caused by trauma has long puzzled first responders, but a new foam technology could offer a solution.
x
Stemming internal bleeding caused by trauma has long puzzled first responders, but a new foam technology could offer a solution.
Stemming internal bleeding caused by trauma has long puzzled first responders, but a new foam technology could offer a solution.
After any serious injury, it’s crucial to stabilize the injured long enough to get them to sophisticated medical assistance. In life-threatening cases, it’s called the golden hour, and while huge advances have been made to buy the needed time, there hasn’t been much first responders can do to stem internal bleeding caused by trauma.

But a new medical technology being developed for the U.S. military could provide a solution for soldiers and holds promise for civilian use.

In 2010, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began what it calls the Wound Stasis System program to try to solve the vexing problem of stopping internal bleeding.

A possible solution emerged in the form of a foam-based product that can be injected into the abdominal cavity, which then expands and staunches internal bleeding. The foam could be administered by a combat medic in the field and then easily removed by a surgeon once the patient arrived at an appropriate facility.

The foam is a polyurethane polymer that forms inside a patient’s body upon injection of two liquids. As the liquids mix, two chemical reactions are triggered. First, the mixed liquid expands to approximately 30 times its original volume while conforming to the surfaces of injured tissue. Second, the liquid transforms into solid foam capable of stopping the internal bleeding without sticking to healthy tissue. The foam can be left inside a patient for at least one hour, according to DARPA, which cited successful testing on swine.

According to Duke Collier, the executive chairman of Arsenal Medical, Inc., which is developing the product, the U.S. Special Forces have been pushing for something like this because they operate in remote areas, far from sophisticated medical facilities.

But while the first customer will be the military, there is potential use in the civilian world.

“There’s a lot of conversation about whether this is something that would go onto ambulances,” said Collier whose company was just awarded $15.5 million to further develop the product. “Broadly speaking, the product as it‘s now being developed which is usable in a battlefield setting by a medic may well have application in a setting in which a first person to get there is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or someone who is not a physician or doesn’t have access to surgical suite.”

Collier added that as the product has been developed over the past two and a half years, many civilian trauma surgeons have seen numerous ways it could be adapted for civilian use.

“Every time we talk to a surgeon, they start thinking of  times when a product like this might be useful,” he said. “If you talk to 10 civilian surgeons, they might say they could see using something like this three or four times a year, but out of those 10, you get seven more ideas of what it could be used for,” adding that accidental nicking of the liver during surgery was frequently cited.

Collier said that in addition to possible use on ambulances, the product could be added to the devices aboard medical helicopters or come in handy in a busy emergency rooms where doctors prioritize treatment.

But Collier said not to expect the product in your local hospital any time soon, as it still needs to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use on the battlefield.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid