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Chitinous Bandages for the Battlefield

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posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 02:52 PM
Not sure if this is off-topic but I felt like posting this link: at=2_4

Shrimp Cocktail May Save Lives

Army medics dress bullet wounds with the same gauze bandage you have in your medicine cabinet at home, the same gauze that’s been used for centuries. But all gauze can do is soak up blood. It does not actually stop bleeding, and is useless for staving off the types of injuries that can cause someone to bleed to death in a few minutes.

But now, scientists have created a bandage that is actually able to clot a bullet wound in less than a minute. The bandages are laced with a mixture of ground shrimp shells and vinegar, a concoction that has been found to clot blood instantly. The key ingredient in the shrimp shells is called chitosan.

“Chitosan is a ubiquitous substance,” says Dr. Kenton Gregory, a cardiologist from Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, OR. “It’s the second most abundant substance on the planet.” Chitosan is found in the shells of other crustaceans besides shrimp, and also in insect shells.

The bandages were developed by HemCon, Inc., which develops and markets technologies to control severe bleeding for traumatic skin and organ injuries. Gregory, who co-founded HemCon, says chitosan interacts with our blood cells because its molecules carry a positive charge. “The outer membrane of a red blood cell has a negative charge," he explains, "and opposite charges attract. The red cell is attracted to the positively-charged chitosan, and when it touches, it fuses and forms a blood clot.” When a clot forms, the bleeding stops. And unlike a regular bandage, which slips off when wet, the HemCon bandage becomes adhesive and sticks to the wet wound site, sealing and stabilizing it.

Pretty cool, eh? Shrimp shells and vinegar. Can I mix up some of this stuff myself or would it be toxic?

I didn't know blood cells carried an electrical charge, but does this mean that you could create an electrical bandage that's positively charged that might also cause quicker clotting?

I just thought this was pretty cool.

[edit on 6-8-2005 by smallpeeps]

posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 06:43 PM
woot portland!

yeah a+ thats why its called that

posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 09:47 PM
Very interesting article Peeps
. Just one of a number of new and fascinating discoveries that can speed up the clotting process and heal injuries. You might be interested to know that there is also a sort of light therapy being perfected, involving the application of low-intensity green light that can be used in conjunction with a pink dye in healing a wound within 2 minutes. It makes a new skin over the wound, not just a clot. I'm not doctor so I can't tell you that you'd be safe in mixing that stuff yourself (you might have to worry about bacteria on the shrimp) but it sounds like it'd be ok to try. I'd just boild the shrimp first and read more into the process of making it to be sure you don't make any sounds simple enough to make.

posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 05:45 AM
Great find. In the hospital we use a stringy powder like substance called Avitine. its basicaly collagen and help clot when put on sites that a re bleeding.

THe only downside to this is if the person has a shellfish allergy, things will get ugly pretty fast.

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