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Army to test self-expanding hemorrhage control foam

The Army may be one step closer to more effectively treating internal bleeding on the battlefield, according to an Army release.

The Army Medical Materiel Agency has announced it would be supporting a clinical trial to test a self-expanding foam device designed to stop internal abdominal bleeding.

The foam is injected into the patient with a device similar to a caulk gun. It then expands around the patient's internal organs to stop bleeding, and can stay inside the patient for up to three hours, according to the release.

Leigh Anne Alexander, USAMMA product manager, says the device will not be able to repair injuries on the battlefield, however. It is designed to be a "potential stop-gap" for wounded soldiers before they can make it to surgery.

"It could be a 'bridge to surgery,' keeping the patient alive long enough to give them a fighting chance at survival," said Alexander.

If successful, the device could save countless soldiers who have injuries that would have been fatal before. According to a 2012 study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, more than 90 percent of potentially survivable deaths on the battlefield were due to hemorrhage from 2001 to 2011.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted the foam device an Investigation Device Exemption earlier this year. Clinical trial sites will be chosen and pre-study approvals will be completed throughout this year. The trial is expected to begin in early 2018.

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