Soldiers are to be issued blood-clotting injectors to save lives on the battlefield. The new autoinjector will allow soldiers to self-administer life saving drugs at the push of a button. The government plans for the technology, once proven by soldiers, to be used by all first responders in Britain, in a bid to reduce deaths from rapid blood loss such as after knife attacks.
It is hoped the autoinjectors could also be used worldwide, as they can be administered by untrained users such as midwives in less developed nations where experts say a third of postpartum deaths are down to blood loss. The Defence Secretary said the £5 million investment in the technology would have “an immediate impact in terms of reducing the number of deaths on the battlefield”. “This funding shows our commitment to ensuring those serving on the frontline get the best treatment as rapidly as possible”.
The human body holds around five litres of blood and if half is lost severe shock can set in, possibly leading to death. When the body bleeds it naturally forms a clot, but then tries to break down that clot. The autoinjector uses Tranexamic Acid (TXA), a naturally occurring molecule, which prevents the body from breaking down any clots formed after a major trauma.
Lieutenant Colonel Chris Wright, 43, a Consultant in Emergency Medicine, said: “You can’t train all soldiers to do intravenous administration so it was an obvious idea to put it in an autoinjector so everyone can carry it and administer it when they need to.” “This is something you could give to every police officer, lifeguard or other first aider. “Postpartum hemorrhage kills lots of women worldwide after childbirth. This could stop a third of those deaths if given to midwives around the world.”