Dr. David King, a trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, has developed a foam that can be used in emergency cases when time matters. Patients who die of traumatic injuries that cause them to bleed to death could be saved by this foam.
It almost resembles a caulking gun, but Dr. King says,
“The potential impact is truly revolutionary,”
“It’s really about taking someone who is going to die and giving them a couple of hours to get to a surgeon where once you get to a surgeon you have a pretty good chance of survival,” explains Dr. Upma Sharma, the director of material science at Arsenal Medical.
With these types of trauma, the main goal is to stop the bleeding so that the patient can get to a surgeon. According to Dr. King, this is “an intervention that can be done on the ground, in the mud, on the battlefield."
When the foam is injected into the body, it rapidly expands and applies the crucial life-saving pressure that is necessary to stabilize the patient, long enough to reach an operating room. Once there, the foam can easily be peeled away.
During a demonstration of the product, the bottom of a container was filled and within 90 seconds had hardened and expanded to fill the space. While this foam was designed for combat situations, it could certainly be used in trauma situations at home too.
According to Dr. Sharma, “we’re learning that there is a really large civilian need as well,” Motor vehicle accidents, gunshot wounds, or severe falls could all benefit from its use