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Injectable Foam Device Could Prevent Fatal Blood Loss in Wounded Soldiers

Without prompt care, a badly wounded soldier can easily bleed to death while being transported to a distant medical station. Two traditional treatments, tourniquets and medicated gauze pads, often cannot stop the blood loss from a deep wound at the neck, shoulder, or groin. Johns Hopkins University biomedical engineering students have invented an injectable foam device to stop profuse bleeding from a wound where a limb or the head is connected to the torso. It 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 prototype device contains two chemicals – a polyol and a diisocyanate – that produce the foam, and remain in separate canisters within the injector device before they are needed. The chemicals are stable in military conditions at temperatures up to 100 degrees F for at least one year.