The Future: Freeze-Dried Blood Packs for Soldiers.
An Israeli firm is developing a small product with big implications: personal packs of freeze-dried blood which soldiers can carry into battle for their own medical care on the field.
The packs will look like the freeze-dried coffee you find in the supermarket, according to Lt. Col. Amir Blumenfeld, head of the IDF Medical Corps' Trauma Unit. The little packs will be included in each soldier's mandatory personal kit, he said, according to the Ha'aretz news service.
"The idea is to take a soldier's blood, freeze it under laboratory conditions and remove the ice crystals, leaving only the blood components," explained Blumenfeld. A blood transfusion using the soldier's own reconstituted blood would eliminate compatibility problems and the dangers of infection.
At present, combat medics and doctors are forced to use a saline solution in transfusions on the battlefield until the injured soldier can be evacuated to a regular medical facility. Blood transfusions are also available in evacuation aircraft for critical injuries.
The Ness Tziona company which is working on the product for the IDF recently carried out an experiment that showed the blood powder would be able to carry 80 percent oxygen once it is reconstituted with water. IDF Chief Medical Officer Hezi Levy hailed the news. "This is an excellent achievement," he said.
The personal powdered blood packs have been under development for several years, said Levy. "We support the idea and the research and have been following it for three years. It's looking good. The United States Army is also very interested in this research. It looks very promising." Levy said it is hoped that the project would be completed in the next two years.
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|Date:||Jul 26, 2006|
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