A tourniquet successfully stops blood flow, but it also keeps blood and oxygen from the rest of the limb, and that can cause some damage. Biomedical engineers have created an alternative, a tiny super-bandage called the Biohemostat, which is actually inserted into the wound.
The Biohemostat is made of a fiber material that can absorb 1,400 times its weight. Special Hydrophilic, or water loving, salts inside the bandage absorb and lock in moisture. "It puts pressure right where it's needed so you don't have to interrupt the blood flow to the rest of the extremity and it works very quickly," said Gita Massey, M.D., a Hematologist.
"It's a very simple idea. You think of it as a high tech pamper," Marcus Carr, M.D. of Virginia Commonwealth University said.
Dr. Carr is using a $300,000 grant from the Department of Defense to develop the Biohemostat. In addition to emergency crews, researchers would like to arm soldiers with this pocket sized superbandage so they could quickly treat wounds on the battlefield.