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Army officials say thousands of soldiers in Vietnam might have been saved

Army officials say thousands of soldiers in Vietnam might have been saved if these chitosan bandages had been around.

"When you look at the wound data from Vietnam, about 10 percent of all the fatal wounds were from uncontrolled hemorrhage or uncontrolled bleeding," says Lieutenant Colonel Ian Wedmore, a surgeon at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington. "So if you look at that and say, well if we have a device that would stop this uncontrolled hemorrhage, then you're saying that conceivably you could have saved up to 10 percent of those fatalities. So you're talking about 5,000 people."

Wedmore collected some 40 anecdotal reports from medics who used the bandages on today's battlefields of Iraq, and he believes the bandages are saving lives. Following is one of the entries from his field survey: "RPG casualty with multiple frag wounds to groin. Profoundly hypotensive patient. As he was resuscitated developed diffuse groin oozing not controlled with kerlex and pressure alone. Chitosan applied which controlled ooze and stabilized patient enough for transport to definitive surgical care. Without chitosan MD felt patient would not have survived to transport."

Excerpt from Science Central News by Karen Lurie, August 2004

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