DARPA working on sci-fi-style stabilizing foam for wounds

DARPA's Wound Stasis program launched in 2010 and is bearing impressive fruit. Wound stasis is meant to stanch internal bleeding and would be aided by a new foam that conforms to the victim's abdominal cavity. Pre-clinical trials showed improved survival rates for lethal liver injuries that are up to three hours old, from 8% to a whopping 72%.

Stabilizing a soldier's wound in the field delivers such dramatic results because internal bleeding is nearly impossible to stop outside of a major medical facility. This truth is the driving force behind the DoD's "Golden Hour" concept, which dictates that wounded soldiers should be moved to a treatment facility in under one hour. Besides outright saving lives, the foam's extension of the Golden Hour, allowing wounded combatants more time to reach adequate treatment, is its principle contribution to soldier safety.

Up to 50% of potentially survivable combat wounds could be impacted by the Wound Stasis foam. It has proven easy for doctors to work with, as well. The foam is removable from a wound by hand, coming loose in a single block and leaving little trace of its presence. DARPA awarded a $15.5 million Phase II contract to the foam's developer, Arsenal Medical. The next step is prototyping and FDA approval.

DARPA, via Geekologie

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