×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

U.S. Military Developing Ultrasonic Tourniquet

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the i'm-not-bleeding-you-insensitive-clot dept.

121

Burlap writes to tell us the MIT Technology Review is reporting on a new DARPA venture to create an "ultrasonic tourniquet" to help stem bleeding on injuries sustained in battle. The project plans to commit $51 million over the course of 4 years. From the article: "[I]t aims to create a cuff-like device that wraps around a wounded limb. Rather than applying pressure to the wound to stem the flow of blood, the device would use focused beams of ultrasound (sound waves above the audible frequencies) to non-invasively clot vessels no matter how deep they are."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

121 comments

Another great new weapon (4, Insightful)

Black Sabbath (118110) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823418)

clots "no matter how deep they are".

I believe this could also be a weapon whose end result would be indistinguishable from death by "natural causes".

I guess its appropriate the military came up with this.

Re:Another great new weapon (5, Insightful)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823430)

Massive clotting would be a pretty good sign of "unnatural causes"

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823438)

Of course you don't tune for massive clotting. You tune for "massive stroke" or "deep vein thrombosis".

I think it's as stupid idea - because you do want some blood flow if you do want to save the limb.

Re:Another great new weapon (5, Insightful)

dave1791 (315728) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823481)

If you are at the state where you are applying a tourniquet, saving the limb is no longer the primiary aim. You are saving the victim at the expense of the limb.

On saving limbs (2, Interesting)

Latent Heat (558884) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824507)

Generally, a tourniquet is a big no-no for first aid as taught by the Red Cross -- the notion is that the first aid provider is making a decision regarding the limb.

The thinking regarding tourniquets among the U.S. military in Iraq is that they have such a rapid response in getting a wounded soldier to a hospital that they are handing out tourniquets to the ranks. The belief is that most wounded will get to surgery fast enough that the effect of the tourniquet is not a factor in deciding to save the limb.

This device appears to make a decision regarding the limb -- it may be a last-resort measure for the field for perhaps an instrument for conducting surgery at the hospital.

Re:On saving limbs (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15825534)

EMTs and Paramedics almost never use them either. If you are using a tourniquet on the street you are probably not very skilled in bleeding control. The battlefield is a different enviroment.

Re:Another great new weapon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15823485)

I think it's as stupid idea - because you do want some blood flow if you do want to save the limb.

Yeah at first glance this seems to be more of a "the limb is completely lost and can't be reattached" tourniquet as opposed to "limb is salvagable" tourniquet.

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823535)

Why massive - one or two in the heart or in the neck arteries feeding the brain. That is all it takes. Neither one of them is that deep so it does not need to be very powerfull.

Re:Another great new weapon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15823724)

There are already untraceable drugs that can cause heart attacks. Thinking that they're developing this new tech in order to assassinate people is, frankly, so paranoid that it's disgusting.

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

Roody Blashes (975889) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824240)

And the names of the magical drugs that somehow miraculously disperse and break down in a dead human body are called...?

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#15825084)

potassium chloride.

Its the euthanasia injection of choice by those who don't want to get caught. Give them a couple of ativan to get them "out of it", then inject them with KCl.

Re:Another great new weapon (2, Interesting)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823839)

I believe this could also be a weapon whose end result would be indistinguishable from death by "natural causes".



Sorry, but no. It would make a very unpractical weapon, if anything.



Consider this: You have to apply the thing to a person's skin, since ultrasound transmission from air to tissue is extremely poor. If you are close enough to apply stuff to someone's skin, there's a myriad of other, much simpler ways of killing the person. Some are even indistinguishable from death by natural causes, and this means that they will not leave massive blood clots in the vitctim's system.

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

cluckshot (658931) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823938)

The process may need contact now, but rest assured accoustic technology would allow with wave mixing this process to be applied without contact. The process of wave mixing and spread spectrum allows low frequency carriers to carry higher frequencies. Also shock waves with infinite harmonics do the exact same thing (AKA explosions) so the technology will get perfected.

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823950)

The process of wave mixing and spread spectrum allows low frequency carriers to carry higher frequencies.

That still doesn't do anything about the huge acoustic impedance difference between air and tissue. The victim would end up with burns on his skin rather than blood clots inside his body.

Also shock waves with infinite harmonics do the exact same thing (AKA explosions) so the technology will get perfected.

Shock waves are too brief to do any meaningful heating to tissue. They'll rip off your arm if anything.

Re:Another great new weapon (4, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824147)

Shock waves are too brief to do any meaningful heating to tissue. They'll rip off your arm if anything.

At which point, you will need some sort of tourniquet. I hear they are coming out with a "Sonic Tourniquet" that may fit the bill.

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823931)

because we all know how often your enemies get close enough to be put in a body cuff and wait patiently for his heart to clot.

Re:Another great new weapon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15823968)

clots "no matter how deep they are".

kinda like fire, just a lot more expensive.

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824001)

kinda like fire, just a lot more expensive.



And you're going to apply fire to an internal injury how ?

Re:Another great new weapon (4, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824103)

As I said when this came up on Technocrat [technocrat.net] a month and a half ago -

Yes, this makes such a good weapon for combat. I have to run up to you, slather you with ultrasonic conducting gel, ram a probe against your skin, find a major artery, and then hit it with ultrasound.

And you are going to be standing there, like a dummy, holding your rifle with a stupid, slack-jawed look on your face, and let me do it.

READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE. THIS DOES NOT WORK AT A DISTANCE.

Moreover, the results of ultrasonic cautery are TRIVIALLY identifiable by any medical examiner.

Get over your "The military is doing this - they must want to use it to KILL PEOPLE." - the military also wants to save the lives of its own people, jackass. Most of modern trauma medicine - you know, all the procedures, equipment, and drugs they will use to save your sorry ass when you wrap it around a tree because your cellphone was more important than driving was - were developed by, GUESS WHAT - THE MILITARY.

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

fifedrum (611338) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824280)

so... Ahmadinejad gets on his personal plane to fly to visit a terrorist buddy in North Korea, the flight is very long, having to avoid Afganistan and all that, so about 1/2 way into the flight, he starts stroking out, and after hours of crippling pain and degeneration... dies of massive clotting of the brain.

Of course, they never get the chance to check the headrest of his seat, his bed, or the floor by his feet as they are all carefully removed upon the emergency landing in Indonesia.

Not all weapons are distance weapons.

Re:Another great new weapon (2, Funny)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824291)

... dies of massive clotting of the brain.

... and his last words were (translated from Farsi), "Man, that contact gel is some icky stuff.".

Re:Another great new weapon (5, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824430)

Boy, reading comprehension must be optional in schools now-a-days.

Did you not read where I said, "Ultrasonic cautery is trivially identifiable by any medical examiner".

Now, since you've demonstrated that you have a problem actually READING WORDS let's see if I can help you understand how this applies.

Ahmadinejad dies on the plane. His people scream for a autopsy. The ME takes one look at his brain, and says "SHIT - somebody used an ultrasonic cautery on this man. This wasn't natural causes - THIS WAS MURDER."

Now, if you are going to say "duuuuuh - yeah, but, duuuh, they will silence the ME, duuuuh.", then I will point out that if they can silence the ME, then killing Ahmadinejad with a small amount of poison in his food, or with a quick needle stick of poison is FAR EASIER than putting shit in his seat, FAR EASIER to cover up, and equally "undetectable" as the ultrasonic cautery.

Now, stop and READ what I wrote. Then THINK IT THROUGH. I know it hurts - but the more you actually USE your brain for something other than keeping your skull from imploding, the less it will hurt.

Oh, and for the stupid among the moderators (obviously not YOU - YOU aren't stupid, it's some of those OTHER mods that are stupid) - I am being rather nasty to this cretin because that is the ONLY way this jackass will learn to actually READ what he is responding to. But go ahead - do what you think, or rather FEEL, is best - I've long ago given up on the moderation system as producing meaningful results.

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 7 years ago | (#15825099)

Never have I seen a more vehement rant that was so perfectly executed and justified. Sir, I salute you.

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

fifedrum (611338) | more than 7 years ago | (#15826374)

Wow, you are one seriously clever fellow. Original too, in the way you just wind up and let go on people. Why, I'm not sure I've ever read anything so clever and original in all my time. A rant like that concerning something hypothetical and ill-defined like an ultrasonic clotting weapon whose damage signature is as clear as text on a page as you pointed out, turned so elegantly on it's side used to point out the failures in today's education system. Surely a weapon like that, not existing and all, couldn't also be small enough and to apply to a target in sufficiently close proximity as to cause a problem. But, as you are obviously a doctor, one with experience working with tools-turned-into-weapons like this previously assumed to be hypothetical ultrasonic clotting weapon, clearly that's just not the case. An immaginary weaponized something that doesn't exist surely can't be used unless it's in constant contact with the skin for hours. But still, all that retort from such a smart guy, with a low UID too, I feel truly blessed to have been corrected by the best of the Internet. Little old me, the object of your attention and blood pressure for at least 15 seconds. Goodness. For the rest of my days, I'll keep the link to your reply in my .sig so the whole world will see how clever and justified you are in your response, and how wrong I was to dare suggest something quite obvious in a post in reply to something written by you. I know, I know, few are clever enough to follow your lead and I'm in way over my head even continuing the line of conversation, but I just have to take the chance that you'll smile upon me with your low ID number and your big brain. Thus continuing a thread well past it's time.

And we should all have jumped to that other website and looked up your posts, clearly we should have, then we would have all been 100% educated on the subject and been to the same conclusion as you reached so long ago.

I merely read your information-filled post, including the part where you say it is really obvious what caused the damage, then posted an example where the technology could be used offensively in an obviously far featched plot to kill a guy presumably many wouldn't mind seeing dead, even attempted to accomodate the various factors mentioned above, specifically in reference to close proximity and time (left out the icky gooey jelly part because frankly it's not needed for the purposes of this hypothetical weapon), and demonstrated how effective this would be paying particular attention to the place the craft would land. See, the post points out that it would take time for it to kill him, hours of sitting in one place or using multiple instances of the weapon based on his location in an airplane in motion, an executive airplane that is basically never out of control of the handlers, and someone would have to remove the equipment from various places he might sit upon landing at some random airport without mention of the task of installing the equipment in the first place. Even that's quite an assumption for me to make, surely the imaginary ultrasonic clotting weapon would be more effective than that? Surely you can make blood clot with just a few split seconds of application from such a thing as the imaginary ultrasonic clotting weapon.

I wonder if anyone's ever labeled this type of literary device, using an imaginary object in an extreme example of hypothetical use contrary to what a presumed expert just said? Maybe you should coin the phrase since you're obviously the first one to discover it or see it in use.

How about it? Shall we call it the wowbagger farsi farse?

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15825891)

"Most of modern trauma medicine [...] was developed by, GUESS WHAT - THE MILITARY."


You are largely correct. The Department of Transportation protocols for EMTs were formed after the success of MASH units and field medics in the Korean War. As far as car accidents are concernec, I have worse news for the elite "I hate the military" types: most vehicle extrication practices come from NASCAR.

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 7 years ago | (#15827767)

> I have worse news for the elite "I hate the military" types: most vehicle extrication practices come from NASCAR.

The military-haters are practically a superset of the nascar-haters.

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

thoughtlover (83833) | more than 7 years ago | (#15826398)

OK, fair enough, I didn't read the article, but at first thought, I envisioned some mad general using it with Darth Vader-like abilities, choking those who oppose him...

Re:Another great new weapon (4, Funny)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824376)

"I believe this could also be a weapon whose end result would be indistinguishable from death by 'natural causes'."


"Excuse me Mr. Abadulakazam, could you please lean forward?"
"Why?"
"Well sir, I want to kill."
"Oh, well in that case here you go."
"Thank you, just let me clamp this around your neck and turn it on."
"Ok."
"Whatever you do, don't remove it. It will take a while to actually kill you, so by removing it you would save your life incredibly easily."
"I'm not one to insult the American government (other than blowing it up) but this seems like a pretty bad weapon."
"Well, DoD heard good things about it from this guy who calls himself Black Sabbeth, so they decided to try it."
"Oh, I see."
"Dead yet?"

Re:Another great new weapon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15824380)

Not so indistinguishable; your enemy just might suspect something when you wrap a cuff-like device around him. You would have a hard time keeping the ultrasonics focused over any distance sufficient to make this a viable weapon.

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

c0nc3rn3dcitiz3n (975710) | more than 7 years ago | (#15826215)

by the same logic we should be concerned about probably 99.9% of all medical devices as they could be put to other unsavory purposes ... for example, crutches could be used to club someone, needles could be used to inject toxins, bandages could be bunched up and stuffed into nostrils and mouth causing suffocation ... i was going to suggest going back to leeches, but: (a) it's already being done, and (b) leeches could be made to carry infectious diseases

Re:Another great new weapon (1)

jonro (764443) | more than 7 years ago | (#15826549)

I don't think this could be used as a weapon, at least not in anything remotely resembling this application. It's designed to use focused unltrasound at a very high power level to heat the tissues enough to cause coagulation. The military already has a sound-based weapon that can also be used as a long distance loudspeaker. In fact, a Carnival cruise ship used a similar device to successfully repel pirates several months ago. The military version could liquify someone's brains if it were close enough. Although it would probably be possible to design an "assassination headband" with this technology, this tourniquet appears to be a very clever lifesaving device, if it works as expected.

The stroke gun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15827323)

:-(

I wonder what the range is on this thing.

Worst. Idea. EVER. (3, Insightful)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823424)

Because the first thing that's going to happen when your clot's not big enough is that it's going to go to your lung. Or heart. Or brain.

You can expect the statistics of soldiers having strokes for no apparent reason to go WAY up.

Re:Worst. Idea. EVER. (5, Insightful)

tacarat (696339) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823541)

Because the first thing that's going to happen when your clot's not big enough is that it's going to go to your lung. Or heart. Or brain. You can expect the statistics of soldiers having strokes for no apparent reason to go WAY up.

Sure, but the question is will the amount of strokes go up more than the amount of soldiers dying from internal bleeding goes down. Since the article makes it sound like the bleeding is stopped by using heat (hot poker?) rather than making something like sonically concocted platelette crystal thingies (which I thought of when I read the title), strokes may not be such a huge risk. Besides, given the choice of a possibly recoverable stroke or heart attack versus guaranteed bleeding to death, I think most would roll the dice.

Still, soldiers should make sure their post-mortem wills include living will instructions (and check how thier insurance covers it). All of that can be done for free with their military legal offices.

Re:Worst. Idea. EVER. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15823619)

A tourniquet to the neck will prevent clots from reaching the brain.

Re:Worst. Idea. EVER. (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823869)

Because the first thing that's going to happen when your clot's not big enough is that it's going to go to your lung. Or heart. Or brain.

So, would you rather take a chance at having a blood clot go into one of your vital organs, or bleed to death in the next three minutes ? Take your pick, but don't take your time.

Re:Worst. Idea. EVER. (1)

Jahz (831343) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824173)

Because the first thing that's going to happen when your clot's not big enough is that it's going to go to your lung. Or heart. Or brain. You can expect the statistics of soldiers having strokes for no apparent reason to go WAY up.
Sure there are many serious risks involved with creating blood clots. Small clots are forced though your blood stream... not directly to the brain or heart, etc.
A clot can become lodged in an artery near soldiers foot, resulting in no bloodflow to - and subsequent loss of - that limb as well.
If it hits the heart, it can again become lodged in an artery. At best that could kill part of the heart muscle.
If a clot gets into your brain, same story. At worst brain death. At best transient ischemic stroke with no life-altering side effects.

Bottom line is that if I were lying on the battlefield and bleeding out from the femural artery - with seconds to live - I would want the medic to take that chance. Who knows, maybe this thing will really work. I can see the modern ambulance equiped with 'ultasonic turnaquets'.

Re:Worst. Idea. EVER. (1)

treehouse (781426) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824289)

You may be right, but don't you think they may have thought of this too? It doesn't even require a lot of medical training to know that clots can cause strokes. Thanks for reminding us but I wouldn't mod your post as "insightful."

If it ain't broke, don't fix it! (0, Troll)

Sixtyten (991538) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823428)

I have band-aids that will do the job just fine. They even have ABC's on them! :D

More uses? (5, Interesting)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823431)

Maybe they could invest in making a device that un-clots blood using the same technique? If they could say stop a clot before a stroke kicks in somehow.

Re:More uses? (1)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823436)

Now THAT'S a smart idea.

Re:More uses? (0)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823636)

*lightbulb*

Patent! I call patent! This public domain idea is now mine! Mwahahahahaha!

Re:More uses? (1)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823669)

Actually... I think I've already encountered that level of vibration. My ass was really sore and it bled for weeks afterwards, I don't think this could be used to benefit people... medically.

Re:More uses? (0, Offtopic)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824368)

Goatse? is it really you?

I jest of course, this thread seems like the most interesting to come out of this whole article.

It's being investigated. (2, Informative)

baglamist (590601) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824190)

Others are currently investigating this--try googling "ultrasound thrombolysis." Ultrasound can, under some conditions, help to break up clots, especially in combination with drugs like rt-PA. This is being applied to stroke treatment as well as deep venous thrombosis therapy.

YET More uses! (1)

Chrispy1000000 the 2 (624021) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824200)

Maybe they could invest in a device that unburns a burn victim using the same technique? It they could say stop a burn before a death kicks in somehow.

Maybe they could invest in a device that unshoots a gun victim using the same technique? If they could say stop a ruptured internal organs before shock kicks in somehow.

Re:More uses? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15826041)

That would be sort of like trying to repair a building after it has been blown up by investing in more bomb technology.

think of the uses! (3, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823433)

Once applied to a wounded limb, the cuff would automatically detect and then seal damaged blood vessels or arteries, by focusing beams of ultrasonic waves at the wound to clot it, in a process known as high-intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU.

in other news, the CIA has a large number of "enemy combatants" that have died unexpectedly from stroke...

Re:think of the uses! (1)

identity0 (77976) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823861)

Why bother, when they can just have him beat himself up [bbc.co.uk] . Or just do the traditional suicide [bbc.co.uk] .

"In other news today, terrorist prisoners killed themselves by slipping on a bar of soap 49 times. This obvious attempt to discredit the state shall not be rewarded with a funeral, according to officials. The body was dumped into the river following a through medical examination that showed the prisoners were clearly evil due to brain imbalances. God bless our nation."

Re:think of the uses! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15824619)

I have read that BBC article before, "he was a good muslim, therefore he wouldnt have killed himself."

Hmm, I guess that guy has never heard of suicide bombers before.......

Sorry but regardless of religion, race etc, people do kill themselves at times. Muslims are not excluded from that possibility.

Missing? (1)

m0biusAce (899230) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823458)

So you can clot the blood...how easy would it be to unclot the blood, say in an emergency? There wouldnt be a physical device you could remove.

Re:Missing? (1)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823650)

My brother recently had some surgery go.. let's say.. "not so good" - anyway he threw two clots into his lung. The docs say he'll be on anticoagulants for at least six months. Now unless there's something especially temporary about the clotting action this fancy ribbon thingy performs, I don't think easy declotting is likely :-(

Filter Stents (1)

Technomonics (970384) | more than 7 years ago | (#15826986)

There are these devices called stent filters, thin tubes with a mesh inside, inserted into arteries or major blood vessels. They act as a filter and capture blood clots before they can do real damage. Typically they are inserted into the arteries int he legs before surgery to prevent DVT from throwing clots into the bloodstream. They can later be removed relatively easily by a surgeon. Feel free to help my explanation here. :)

I, for one (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15823471)

welcome our new ultrasonic vessel-repairing overlords

Reversible? (4, Interesting)

oostevo (736441) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823487)

But how reversible is it?

Granted, my only medical experience is treating badly banged up Boy Scouts, but I can see two issues with this thing:

1) How reversible is it? I mean, once the wounded person gets to advanced medical care in a hospital or the battlefield equivalent, how easy is it to remove the clots? I know this (thryombolysis) can be quite tricky for hospitals to pull off as it is in cases like heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms.

2) What about partially formed clots? I can only imagine the damage caused by huge amounts of partially formed clots floating around in the body wreaking havoc.

Granted, if the person would clearly die without the treatment anyway, then those points are void. But surely this has more side effects than tying a piece of cloth around a limb and cinching really tightly.

At any rate, those seem like some pretty clever engineers and scientists at work, and I certainly hope this device works as well as they hope it does.

Re:Reversible? (2, Informative)

cannonfodda (557893) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823548)

Not very I think.

Clots usually require a solvent to brake them down http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platelets [wikipedia.org] . There are chemical reactions which take place and don't tend to be easily reversible, otherwise nature would re-use platlets rather than re-absorbing them.

Re:Reversible? (1)

cluckshot (658931) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823952)

A person only has a limited amount of clotting factors in their body at any one time. If you consume it in one area doing one job, it is not available to do the job elsewhere. This isn't a big inventory and does not replace fast. In any case clotting deliberately may have value but it has a cost.

Re:Reversible? (1)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823629)

The article didn't explain it very well, but there seems to be some trick to this mechanism where it only clots blood that's leaving a blood vessle. Blood that's passing through (and thus blood that can get to important places like the heart) does not coagulate. Or so they say. Science journalism... *shrug*

Re:Reversible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15823630)

Pretty much the only case you'd use a tourniquet is if there is a great big wound like, say, a missing limb. If the clot doesn't completely form, thats ok, it'll just flush out the great big hole. If the clot is permanent, its also OK, the surgeon was probably going to amputate above where you put the tourniquet anyway.

Re:Reversible? (1)

lotrtrotk (853897) | more than 7 years ago | (#15826086)

I also hope that it ends up working as well as they hope. But that's one product that I DON'T want to Beta Test.

In related news... (4, Funny)

tacarat (696339) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823504)

"An individual from the local Army research center was hospitalized this afternoon. Doctors are puzzled by a mysterious disease that caused his penis to massively swell, then fall off. Witnesses in the emergency room said they heard muttering and sobbing 'I only had it on quarter power!'. It is currently believed that the condition is not contagious".

Think "wounds, sustained in battle" (5, Informative)

tomatensaft (661701) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823524)

Well, I guess, this device is meant for very special situations, when there is already an emergency -- think "wounds, sustained in battle" -- these aren't only 5.56 bullet wounds, but also severed arms, legs, inner bleeding etc. From what I remember from first aid classes I received during basic training (in an defence organisation, similar to the American Maryland National Guard), if you've got your leg severed, you don't really care if that clot is going anywhere at all... You've got literally seconds to stop the bleeding, because you lose hundreds of grams of blood every second (that is a liter in less than a minute). And if the question is life or death, it doesn't matter, that you have to risk the life of the injured to at least try to save his life.

Re:Think "wounds, sustained in battle" (2, Funny)

KeithLDick (984953) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823563)

"Scotty!!!, Beam him up now he only has a few seconds left!!!"... But Captain, the Transporters are not online and Spock Plugged up the Toilet Again... I can't be everywhere at once Ya know!!...

Re:Think "wounds, sustained in battle" (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823806)

>Spock Plugged up the Toilet Again.
Ah, that's why Spock's toilet door has 'VIP' on it - Vulcan Is Pooing.

No blood flow... (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823581)

...to an extremity for however long it takes to get back to a real hospital?
Sounds like a good recipe for gangrene.

Re:No blood flow... (1)

notaspunkymonkey (984275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823610)

Would you rather loose a limb than you life? - I would.. I would rather somebody burnt my stump in a fire to stop the bleeding than die on the floor of blood loss - this thing sounds like it will save lives - something which can only be good surely? and I doubt it would be used as first choice treatment anyway - one question though (and I am sure having your leg or arm blown off is not painless) - but would it hurt when they used it on you?

Re:No blood flow... (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823674)

I think the average time for Soldiers to be evac'd to a hospital is 45 minutes. The leading cause of death is blood loss, too. Do the math. Applying a tourniquet doesn't mean you're going to lose the limb automatically, so long as you get to medical care fast enough, which Soldiers are.

What's not explained, though, is how you get rid of these clots afterwards...

---John Holmes...

Re:No blood flow... (1)

idonthack (883680) | more than 7 years ago | (#15825270)

They taught me in the Boy Scouts that a tourniquet should only be used when you've given up hope for saving the limb, and are willing to let it be amputated. They don't need to bother with removing clots if they're just gonna cut it off.

Re:No blood flow... (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 7 years ago | (#15826608)

That's what we used to be taught too, but times have changed. With modern medicine, using a tourniquet doesn't mean you're going to lose the limb. We're authorized to even losen tourniquets on the way to the hospital, so long as the clots hold. I hear what you're saying and a few months ago would have said the same thing, but the training I've received recently says otherwise. :)

---John Holmes...

Just what we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15823621)

Oh, yeah. That's exactly what we in the military need. Another specialized object to have to lug around everywhere. Does it WORK better than a two rags and a stick?

Oh, and BTW, "is it reversible? WTF. No. Tourniquets are not reversible. You hopefully save the life, but at the cost of guaranteed loss of the limb.

Dune-inspired? (1)

Barts_706 (992266) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823648)

Since I didn't know what a tourniquet is, when I first read the headline, I immediately visualised something like Atreides Sonic Tank from the Dune.

Guess I wasn't that far from the truth...

Misleading name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15823676)

I get it now. They aren't talking about tourniquets at all, at least in the sense most people know. They're talking about a BANDAGE.

A tourniquet is applied upstream of the wound, to make blood stop flowing to the wound (and therefore stop the blood loss). This is non-reversible and causes loss of the limb.

Bandages try to stop the blood from getting out of the wound downstream (well, they slow it down so the clotting action can stop it).

This is a BANDAGE that's applied AT or over the wound. It's NOT a tourniquet that cuts off all blood flow TO the wound. Sounds pretty cool, actually, once you figure that out.

Re:Misleading name (2, Informative)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823853)

A tourniquet is applied upstream of the wound, to make blood stop flowing to the wound (and therefore stop the blood loss). This is non-reversible and causes loss of the limb.

Sorry, but whoever told you that should get some medical training first.

A regular turniquet is reversible for a while (that's why you should note the time at which the tourniquet was applied). Your extremities can survive without blood flow much longer than your brain can.

Re:Misleading name (1)

ehud42 (314607) | more than 7 years ago | (#15826034)

A regular turniquet is reversible for a while (that's why you should note the time at which the tourniquet was applied). Your extremities can survive without blood flow much longer than your brain can.


Which is why a tourniquet is not the recommended procedure for a nose bleed, no matter how severe....



junkies!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15823696)

They've been shooting up so deep on that afghani heroin they can no longer find their veins

this explains it all!

Bottom line -- cost... (2, Insightful)

aapold (753705) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823942)

51 million in research.... plus who knows what the cost per tourniquet would be.... it is not just whether the amount of effectiveness versus a 25 cent strip of cloth going to save X number of lives, but whether you could have saved more lives by spending that money on something more practical, be it medical or otherwise.

Re:Bottom line -- cost... (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824334)

51 million in research.... plus who knows what the cost per tourniquet would be.... it is not just whether the amount of effectiveness versus a 25 cent strip of cloth going to save X number of lives, but whether you could have saved more lives by spending that money on something more practical, be it medical or otherwise.

You're not seeing the big pictre. Just like with NASA's programs, devices and techniques like this, developed for their most aggessive and necessary settings, can still have broad use in a more traditional, civilian setting. $51M is nothing compared to the R&D that's spent on routine medical devices and products for use in everyday hospitals. The science involved in this (including a better understanding of clotting, and in using devices that don't literally squeeze the blood flow out of tissue) has to be useful in lots of other ways, too. Cost is the bottom line, but in this case you have to way the cost against a much, much larger set of returns.

Re:Bottom line -- cost... (1)

JediLow (831100) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824395)

And by your thinking we should stip away virtually all technology since most of it has been a result of military research. Lets start with the internet - the money used to develop it (I'm really not sure of the amount though) could have sent millions (if not more) of letters. Why it would be so much more practical to have stamps for everyone instead of spending money researching this silly system of computers talking to each other!

Ok, so you save X amount of lives today for that money, when 2X lives could have been saved at this moment if you put that money somewhere else. A year from now you've saved 1.5X, ten years from now you've saved 5X and as time goes on more lives are saved because of that $51 million... then if a conventional war was ever to break out how many thousands, if not millions, of lives would it save?

Re:Bottom line -- cost... (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824661)

I didn't say anything about it being military. Heck, I might be advocating speinding that money on weapons that would kill the enemy before they cause the injury that needs a tourniquet.

Re:Bottom line -- cost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15824823)

$51 million is absolute chump change, especially for a technology that at least at first glance appears to be extremely useful and viable.

Also consider that a human life is generally valued in civil courts at $10 million dollars on average (and probably more so for the young generally highly employable males in the military). As far as I remember, that value is somehow derived from what your future earnings potential, future offspring potential, and things of that nature- my friend showed me the formula once, she was involved in a medical malpractice suit and the figure was highly dependant on age. The point being is that in economic terms, the return on investment on this technology is potentially phenomenal.

Re:Bottom line -- cost... (1)

HK MP5-A3 (950011) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824931)

Tourniquets are cheap, but artificial limbs are a bit pricy, and damned inconvenient for the people who have to use them. If the device costs $200,000 a piece, and each one only saves one limb it is still a huge savings. And then you have the quality of life issues, Even a badly mangled limb beats the hell out of the best artificial limb in existance.

Does it come with a warning label? (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | more than 7 years ago | (#15823944)

WARNING: Never aim toward anyone's head, neck, or torso (unless that person is a suspected terrorist, a suspected insurgent, or an enemy combatant being held at a secret prison).

Re:Does it come with a warning label? (1)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824110)

Or a sticker placed on the units given to enemy nations:
"Happy fun neck massager!: Place on neck for good-timey massage!"

I read the titls as... (1)

pilybaby (638883) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824035)

... "US Military Developing Ultrasonic Trebuchet".

I am now somewhat disapointed with the subject matter.

What the article does not say: (0)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824109)

The device is supposed to recognize automatically if and where the injury is. That's where the $51M price tag for the research comes from.

Re:What the article does not say: (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824372)

Oops. It does say so in the article. Guess I shoulda read it twice. Where's my coffee ?

Detectability? (1)

ronocdh (906309) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824383)

What I haven't seen anyone yet mention is the possibility that these tourniquets could be scanned for. Surely they give off quite a bit of energy, and even if only very short range, a decent scanner with a scalable depth setting could conceivably locate it.

Imagine: Enemy combatants walking through town with a handheld device, till they see a huge cluster behind the wall of a building, just like Hudson's motion tracker in Aliens. This tourniquet could make the wounded into quite noticeable targets.

What are the possibilities of adapting jamming devices already employed to cover up the ultrasonic frequencies? How soon till there're few serviceable airwaves? Especially if this is done short range, it'd only hinder the U.S., as it's creating more frequencies that must be covered up, while the enemy can communicate freely farther away.

Re:Detectability? (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824434)

What I haven't seen anyone yet mention is the possibility that these tourniquets could be scanned for.



You haven't seen it because it's an absolute non-issue.



Surely they give off quite a bit of energy, and even if only very short range, a decent scanner with a scalable depth setting could conceivably locate it.



In almost any event, it is much, much more simple just to search for the person the thing is attached to. Unless you have lost one that is not attached to a person. Also, the ultrasound is directed into the patient. Very little of it manages to get out again.



This tourniquet could make the wounded into quite noticeable targets.



Wounded people are generally easy to find. Trails of blood, noise, uncontrolled movement, all that stuff.



What about their buddy/buddies who applied the thing in the first place ? I'm sure they're nearby and quite ready to blow your head off.



What are the possibilities of adapting jamming devices already employed to cover up the ultrasonic frequencies?



Oh yeah. Carry a jammer with you that will output much, much more energy than the tourniquet. What was that about being a target again ?



How soon till there're few serviceable airwaves?



Hold it. You're confusing sound waves and radio waves here, right ?

Knowing the government ... (2, Insightful)

Durandal64 (658649) | more than 7 years ago | (#15824398)

The project plans to commit $51 million over the course of 4 years.
So, it'll cost $4 billion and take 15 years to produce something that doesn't work?

teh stupid (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15824574)

hello, i'm a pointless slashdot twat, and every time a story is posted about some kind of scientific breakthrough or new invention, i immediately presume i know everything about it and also that i know better than the people who invented it, and proceed to "pick holes" in teh st00pid scientists and engineers who are that fucking cretinous as to make glaring schoolboy errors that are obvious to a pathetic nerd nobody like me, from a quick scan of a 2 paragraph summary of a news article about the project.

Reported uses for the device (2, Funny)

FusionDragon2099 (799857) | more than 7 years ago | (#15825513)

Early leaked information says that this so-called "sonic tourniquet" is able to open locks, repair mechanical devices, and communicate with computer systems. It is also usable as a tourniquet.

Rather than applying intelligence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15825517)

"Rather than applying pressure to the wound..."

Because sound waves are magical and not fluctuations in pressure. (Drools onto self...)

Scam? (1)

nytmare (572906) | more than 7 years ago | (#15826570)

So not only do ultrasonic waves clean your teeth and break down fat cells, they can also effect localized internal blood clotting. Wow, is there anything ultrasonics can't do?

No, this sounds like bullshit pseudoscience to me, in the same vein as ions, magnets, and energy auras.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...