Injuries in modern warfare are often caused by explosion and related high-velocity penetrating shrapnel leading to non-compressible bleeding.[1-3] Non-compressible bleeding accounts for approximately 85% of preventable deaths on the battlefield [3-6], 80% of which include acute hemorrhage within the abdomen/torso.  Abdominal hemorrhage involves injury to the spleen, liver, or retroperitoneal vasculature, and is typically non-compressible, meaning that it cannot be treated by external compression or the application of tourniquets or topical dressings.
Emergency surgical intervention is currently the only available method for treating abdominal hemorrhage. However, battlefield trauma generally occurs in an austere, resource constrained environment, often with extended evacuation time due to persisting tactical threats. Transport time to reach a hospital where surgery can take place varies, but is estimated to average one hour. The majority of preventable deaths due to abdominal hemorrhage is nearly 50% and can be attributed to delays in hemorrhage control during transportation, highlighting the need for rapid, far-forward hemorrhage treatments.
Arsenal Medical’s in-situ forming polymeric foam is designed to control severe, intra-cavity hemorrhage by creating conformal contact and applying pressure to an actively bleeding site. Treatment consists of an injection of two liquid polymers that react upon combining to create a foam that expands rapidly through actively flowing blood to compress the injury and control bleeding. Once the patient reaches definitive surgical repair, the material can be removed by the surgeon. Arsenal’s foam system is durable, lightweight and low profile, facilitating battlefield use. Results of pre-clinical studies evaluating the Arsenal foam technology in non-compressible abdominal hemorrhage were presented at the 2012 American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) Annual Meeting.
The Arsenal team is also developing its novel foam technology platform for acute hemorrhage in the civilian population and other clinical scenarios.
Illustration of foam expansion process. Investigational device, product not available for sale.
Grant funding from DARPA and ARO supports foam technology development for life saving uses.