By: Kate Pula, Training Officer, 2014
There may be a new way to treat victims of internal hemorrhaging. It’s a new technology called polyurethane polymer foam that forms inside a patient’s body after being injected in two liquid phases (which upon mixing create the foam).
The mixed liquid expands 30 times its original volume and conforms to the surfaces of the injured tissue and other organs. Then the liquid becomes solid foam capable of providing resistance to blood-loss and has minimal blood absorption.
This new technology was developed by military research and has resulted in 72% survival rate at three hours post-injury in testing based on swine injury model data; compared to the 8% survival rate in the controls. The foam is designed to be administered in the field by a combat medic and can be easily removed by doctors during surgery. In tests, removal of the foam took less than one minute following incision by a surgeon.
This new form of hemorrhaging treatment is to be instituted for military use soon. And hopefully, as many new life saving techniques have done in the past, will eventually transition to civilian EMS techniques.