Technology

Personnel Could Have Life-Saving Blood Loss Prevention Technology By 2021

The technology allows life-saving blood clotting treatment to be administered at the push of a button.

WARNING: This video contains realistic simulation from the start

Technology that could prevent rapid blood loss on the battlefield has been given £5 million investment.

Developed by a team of military doctors and scientists, the TXA Autoinjector project allows life-saving blood clotting treatment to be administered at the push of a button.

Personnel could be issued with the technology, which is being developed in the form of an autoinjector pen, by 2021, after the successful completion of an upcoming trial phase

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson made the announcement during a visit to The Royal London Hospital and London’s Air Ambulance at Barts Health NHS Trust on Tuesday.

"Investing in medical services are absolutely critical," Mr Williamson said.

"We see in conflict zones that there's potentially up to 25% of those people who sadly pass away, could've been saved if we got the right type of medical treatment to them immediately.

The UK must 'continue to push the boundaries of technology'

"We've made real leaps and bounds over the last few years and during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan but we recognise we've got to continue to move further, we've got to make further investments and we've got to continue pushing the boundaries of technology."

The Defence Secretary confirmed the technology could be used in the emergency services after first being used in the military.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) says if the technology proves successful, it could be adapted to be used in any major trauma incidents, such as stab wounds or road traffic accidents. 

It could also be used to help women in developing countries who suffer major blood loss during birth and are unable to access medical treatment.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson watched Epipen demo
Mr Williamson said "saving lives is at the heart of what our Armed Forces do".

Colonel Nigel Tai, a trauma surgeon at The Royal London Hospital, said: “Large international clinical trials show that TXA saves lives in bleeding patients.

"But we also know that for patients to be given the best chance, TXA should be given as soon as possible after injury.

"The prospect is, that by packaging the drug into a pre-filled AutoInjector, injured soldiers can self-treat as part of their first-aid drills, and won’t have to wait for evacuation or specialist medical help to arrive."

The auto-injector uses Tranexamic Acid - a cost-effective and reliable drug that stabilizes and strengthens blood clotting within damaged tissues which can be administered by an untrained user.

The MOD says the treatment is expected to benefit up to a third of seriously injured soldiers who would otherwise die from their wounds (Picture: MOD).
The MOD says the treatment is expected to benefit up to a third of seriously injured soldiers who would otherwise die from their wounds (Picture: MOD).

The treatment is expected to benefit up to a third of seriously injured soldiers who would otherwise die from their wounds.

The MOD says the technology could be rolled out to police, NGOs, ambulance services, and Code Red first aid kits situated in public places.

The equipment is being backed by the MOD's new Transformation Fund.