Support: February 7, 2003

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The fighting in Afghanistan saw several American soldiers bleed to death because they were badly hit, unable to be evacuated because of enemy fire, and the medics didn't have anything that could stop, or slow down, the bleeding. A new bandage, containing a clotting agent, is being put into service after years of development. Genetic engineering has allowed the production of the two proteins (the protein-cutting protein called thrombin and a common blood serum protein called fibrinogen) used to form clots and scabbing when you are cut This new bandage has a synthetic mesh containing the two proteins in a freeze-dried state. The proteins are activated when exposed to blood from a bleeding wound. A scab begins to form in seconds. Applying one of these special bandages will stop most bleeding in two minutes. In every war America has been in there were combat situations where this new bandage would have saved lives. The constant introduction of new medicines and emergency medical procedures have dramatically lowered the death rate of U.S. troops in combat. During World War II, antibiotics and blood transfusions made an enormous difference. Since then, hundreds of smaller, but still significant medical advances have also made a difference. The new clotting bandage has been in development since the mid-1990s. 

 


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