The U.S. Army has suspended the use of a product invented by three VCU professors, over concerns it can lead to dangerous blood clots.
The Army approved WoundStat to stop severe bleeding in wounded soldiers, and in October ordered 18,000 units from the Bethesda, Maryland-based manufacturer TraumaCure. The order pushed the company’s sales over the million dollar mark for the first time.
But now Army officials have stopped distributing the product to soldiers and have recalled it from the field, until further testing can be done. Over the summer, the US Army Institute of Surgical Research concluded that WoundStat was the most effective treatment for stopping high-pressure arterial bleeding in severe wounds, producing a 100 percent survival rate in animal tests. Severe bleeding is the number one cause of death for soldiers,
The product was only intended to be used as a last resort when tourniquets and Combat Gauze (another field treatment recently implemented by the Army) failed to stop bleeding. WoundStat consists of a packet of mineral-based granules that are poured over a wound to stop the bleeding.
Some online retailers sell WoundStat packets for about $40 a piece.