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Soldiers Getting Junctional Tourniquet Designed to Save Lives

The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency (USAMMA), a subordinate command within the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), is fielding a new junctional tourniquet designed to save warfighters from dying on the battlefield after injuries to the groin or armpit area.

The SAM™ junctional tourniquet, which weighs about one pound, straps on like a belt and includes two inflatable air bladders that medics can inflate individually or both at the same time. The device is designed so that a person can position it in under a minute--a crucial factor for combat medics who only have mere minutes to save a fellow warfighter's life if he or she is hemorrhaging.

Exsanguination, or bleeding to death, is the most common cause of potentially survivable death to wounded warfighters. Groin and pelvic injuries have become increasingly common because of the enemy's use of Improvised Explosive Devices. Blasts from IEDs often cause pelvic fractures and high leg injuries, which result in massive blood loss (i.e., hemorrhage) if not immediately treated.

"One of the unique elements about this device is that it is easy to carry and use, yet incredibly effective when used properly," said Megan McGhee, a biomedical engineer and product manager assigned to the Project Management Office for Medical Devices at USAMMA.

McGhee explained that some other junctional tourniquets models required assembly and were bulkier.

"If it is going to be something that we want Soldiers to carry on the battlefield and use, it has to be not only simple to use but also as small and light-weight as possible," said McGhee.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the SAM™ junctional tourniquet in 2013 for inguinal (i.e., groin area) use. The device was also later cleared for axillary use (i.e., armpit), as well as for pelvic binding.

Read full article here: http://www.army.mil/article/163229/Soldiers_getting_junctional_tournique...