4 August 2006
Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. USA. Philips Research is
to lead a consortium that will develop a device that will
automatically detect and stem internal bleeding from wounds.
The project is the first phase of a planned four-year DARPA
(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) medical technology
project to reduce the number of battlefield deaths from internal
bleeding. The device could also be applied to prevent blood-loss
related civilian deaths caused by accidents and serious injury.
Research into the proposed technology, called "autonomous acoustic
hemostasis," will concentrate on the development of a high intensity
focused ultrasound (HIFU) detection technique for stemming internal
bleeding by encouraging coagulation. The technology will be so simple to
use that personnel with no medical training could successfully apply it.
Comprising robust and lightweight cuffs applied to the arms and legs
of the wounded individual, the device will automatically detect internal
bleeding and use an ultrasound pulse to coagulate the blood at the site
of the trauma. This stems further blood-loss and allows the casualty to
be moved to definitive medical care at a field hospital or emergency
"Ninety percent of all combat deaths occur before a
casualty reaches a facility with definitive medical care," said
Dr. Helen Routh, Principal Investigator and General Manager of
Philips Research. "We propose a cuff that will detect
life-threatening internal bleeding and stop blood flow
(hemostasis) with minimal damage to the surrounding tissue."
In addition to helping the critically injured, the technology can
reduce the number of limbs lost and help identify those at risk of
progressive shock that can quickly become life threatening.
Philips Research is collaborating with researchers at the Applied
Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle; Philips Applied
Technologies, Houston, Pennsylvania and San Jose, California; and
Philips Medical Systems, Bothell, Washington and Andover, Massachusetts.