Friday, October 24, 2008

DARPA's Acoustic Coagulation Cuff Stops Internal Bleeding with Sound Waves [Medical]


Internal bleeding is bad, bad news, especially if you're on the battlefield and far away from a hospital. That's why the military is very interested in any technology that can help stop internal bleeding that can be applied by people other than doctors. And they may have come upon a pretty amazing solution: an ultrasound cuff that uses sound waves to stop internal bleeding. Amazing.

DARPA is working on what they've dubbed the Deep Bleeder Acoustic Coagulation Cuff (DBAC). It's a "semi-automated, ultrasound device designed to cut blood loss and shock resulting from combat limb injuries, one that can be operated by any GI with minimal training." Since an injured soldier can lose up to 25% of their blood volume while waiting to be transported, it would be hugely helpful to be able to stop that bleeding and stabilize them before being treated in a hospital.

By focusing a high-powered ultrasound beam at the bleeding area, the cuff can coagulate the blood and stem the bleeding quickly. They're hoping to have a prototype ready within 18 months. [CNET]