Study urges better battle bleeding control

June 30, 2012 at 1:46 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) -- A U.S. Army study concluded a sizable number of U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq could have been prevented with better bleeding control in the field.

The study, presented this week to a Pentagon advisory panel, said most fatalities on the battlefield were the result of blood loss, and the use of more-sophisticated equipment and techniques could have prevented as many as one-in-four.

"It's a tremendous amount of people we're losing before they even reach medical care," Army Col. Brian Eastridge, a trauma surgeon, told the Defense Health Board meeting at Fort Detrick, Md.

"We have made improvements," Eastridge said. "But we need to look at all of the deaths to see if there is anything we can do to even further improve combat casualty care."

USA Today said some of the recommendations included new drugs and clamping devices that can slow down heavy bleeding, and delivering blood products to wounded troops more quickly.

The study looked at all U.S. combat deaths since Sept. 11, 2001. About 1,400 deaths were instantaneous; however, 2,700 victims survived for a time but died before reaching a doctor. Of those, approximately 1,075 might have been saved if medics had better resources and training, the analysis said.

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