Blood Staunching Bandages invented

August 6, 2007

clipped from www.newscientist.com

Loss of blood after an injury is a common cause of accidental death. In the US, for example, about 50,000 people bleed to death each year. The situation is particularly critical on the battlefield where uncontrolled bleeding is the leading cause of preventable death. So there is clearly a desperate need for a material that can quickly staunch the flow of blood from a wound.

Given the number of military casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq this is an idea that could well be fast-tracked.

His team has discovered that bandages made from about 65% glass fibre and 35% bamboo fibre not only absorb blood but also stimulate the body’s ability to staunch the flow by triggering the release of blood-clotting factors such as thrombin or fibrinogen. They say the bandages work even better if they are themselves impregnated with blood-clotting factors.

Conventional gauze bandages do not work well enough because, although they absorb blood, they do not prevent its flow.
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