The Army is testing a new medical treatment kit designed to keep blood and other vital supplies cool in hot climates.

The Golden Hour Ambulatory Rescue Pack is named for the “golden hour,” the time after a battlefield wound that can be the most crucial to saving lives, Army officials said. 

Soldiers can store and carry medical supplies in the ruggedized Golden HARP, and monitor the temperatures of the contents. The kit can be attached to any MOLLE frame pack to be carried into austere locations, officials say. 

The Golden HARP is useful in hot climates like Iraq, where it’s difficult to give troops the appropriate medical treatment onsite. Blood must be kept at a cool range of 39 to 46 degrees F, and IV bags must be normal body temperature or below when they are used, officials say.

In July, Golden HARP was sent to the Army’s Medical Materiel Agency for users to try out and provide feedback. 

“It would be great to have the Golden HARP available … just in case somebody gets hit,” Ben Williams of the Defense Department’s Combat Feeding Directorate said in an Army release. “Now you have blood onsite, ready to go. If you have limited or no power, this may be your only solution for prolonged cold storage at that important time.” 

The pack has a battery that can be charged by the system’s own solar panel, and with eight hours of sunlight per day, the Golden HARP can maintain its temperature indefinitely without recharging the battery if ambient temperature is below 90 degrees F, officials said.  A single battery and solar power can keep the pack cool for at least 60 hours at 115 degrees F, and at least 30 hours at 135 degrees F or even higher.  The battery can be replaced to double the storage times. 

“The goal for me was to make the system run indefinitely, on the move, with high reliability and have it fully automated so there’s minimal chance of user error, which could result in improperly stored medical supplies,” Williams said in the Army release.

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