DARPA wants to save soldier’s lives with… foam?

Dan Seitz Contributing Writer, Tech

We’re no stranger to DARPA, the military’s mad science research division, around here. Whether it’s creepy robot hands or creepy robot horses, DARPA makes, for lack of a better term, really weird stuff to help the military and, by extension, civilians someday.

Like a foam that can be used to limit blood loss from internal injuries.

Currently, whether you’re on the battlefield or just in a car crash, internal bleeding is bad, bad news. You can’t stop it with a tourniquet or compression: If somebody is bleeding internally, the only answer is to get them to the hospital as quickly as possible. In battlefield conditions especially, though, that can be “not quick at all.”

Hence, this foam:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT1d6jxKwpk&w=640&h=360]

Applied in two stages, it expands inside the body cavity and seals up any internal wounds. Once in surgery, the foam comes off easily and can simply be tossed.

How effective is it? In tests on pigs, it raised the survival rate of liver injuries from 8 percent to 72 percent, and slowed blood loss by a factor of six. In other words, once this stuff becomes available for human beings, a whole lot more soldiers and civilians are going to be able to come home after the worst happens.

See, your tax dollars go to something that doesn’t suck, for once!

DARPA Foam Could Increase Survival Rate [DARPA]

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