Body armor regularly worn by soldiers does not provide protection to the area where the trunk and legs join. This region is usually targeted by insurgents to injure the largest blood vessels, leading to the death of the soldier within minutes due to excessive bleeding.
Two emergency physicians, Dr Richard Schwartz and Dr John Croushorn have developed a new device, known as abdominal aortic tourniquet, which can be placed on the body near the navel level. The device can then be inflated into the abdomen until it occludes the aorta and stops the bleeding, providing a vital one hour window for physicians to halt the excessive bleeding.
"By effectively cross-clamping the aorta with the abdominal aortic tourniquet, you are essentially turning the faucet off. You are stopping the loss of blood from the broken and damaged blood vessels. You are buying the patient an additional hour of survival time based on blood loss", Dr Croushorn said.