The Army Is Looking Into Expanding-Foam Kits To Stop Internal Bleeding

U.S. Army Pfc. Shawn Williams of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division based in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, gives the thumbs-up to members of his unit as he is evacuated after being injured by a roadside bomb, Friday, June 17, 2011, in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan.
U.S. Army photo

From the enterprise that brought humanity triage, ligatures, and ambulances comes the next big thing in life-saving medical technology: a futuristic substance capable of stopping internal bleeding on a battlefield.

The Army is supporting clinical trials for what the service’s Medical Materiel Agency described as  “a self-expanding foam device to stop massive intracavitary abdominal bleeding” in a June 5 announcement flagged by Army Times. According to the agency, this “foam device” would work like “a caulk gun” to seal wounds in a matter of seconds:

The device resembles a caulk gun that contains expandable foam designed to be injected into a patient by a trauma surgeon. The injector allows two separate chemicals to mix, causing the product's material to rapidly expand inside the abdomen to about 35 times its original volume. The foam is designed to expand around the patient's internal organs to stop bleeding and can be left inside the patient for up to three hours.

Sounds unpleasant as hell, but it beats exsanguination, the technical term for bleeding out, and “the most common cause of potentially survivable death” among U.S. troops, according to the Department of Defense. In 2012, a peer-reviewed study of more than 5,000 war deaths by Army surgical researchers  found that more than 90% of the preventable fatalities were from exsanguination.

Nor is the foam solution a pie-in-the-sky fantasy: The idea began with a DARPA-supported project in 2010 between Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital and Arsenal Medical that produced “a novel, self-expanding polyurethane foam” for the cause. After animal testing, the Army took the project under its wing in 2015.

Still, researchers are trying not to make the ooky, science-fictiony project sound like a panacea for all manner of grievous injuries.

"Right now, we are looking at this device as a potential stop-gap for patients awaiting surgical care," Leigh Anne Alexander, product manager for the Army Medical Materiel Agency, said in the announcement. "This is not going to repair the injury but it could be a 'bridge to surgery,' keeping the patient alive long enough to give them a fighting chance at survival."

Kade Kurita (U.S. Army photo(

Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.

"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.

Read More Show Less

VISTA —An Iraq war veteran who said he killed a stranger in Oceanside at the behest of a secret agency that controlled his brain was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The sentence for Mikhail Schmidt comes less than a month after a Superior Court jury in North County found Schmidt guilty of first-degree murder of Jacob Bravo, a stranger that Schmidt spotted, followed and stabbed to death on March 8, 2017.

Read More Show Less

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Strongsville woman convicted of fleecing an ailing Korean War veteran out of much of his life savings was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison.

Latasha Wisniewski, 38, feigned a sexual interest in Charles Bauer in late 2017 by taking the 88-year-old widower to a plastic surgeon's office and asking him to pay for breast implants. She then withdrew more than $140,000 from Bauer's accounts over the following months, according to court records.

Read More Show Less

Mark Mitchell is stepping down as the acting assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, a position he has held since late June, a defense official confirmed on Tuesday.

No information was immediately available about why Mitchell decided to resign. His last day will be Nov. 1 and he will be replaced by Thomas Alexander, who is currently leading the Defense Department's counternarcotics efforts, the defense official told Task & Purpose.

Read More Show Less
Photo: West Point

The U.S. Military Academy identified a cadet who has been missing since Friday evening as 20-year-old Kade Kurita.

A search began for Kurita after he failed to report for a scheduled military skills competition around 5:30pm on Friday. West Point officials said in the Tuesday press release that he is believed to still be nearby.

Read More Show Less