BROOKE ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Texas — Researchers, doctors and biotechnicians at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research are working on a new, more efficient way to administer blood to troops in a heavy trauma situation.
One possibility? Powdered blood.
Researchers are looking at, “How do we replicate the red blood cell?” said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Johnson, commanding general of Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, which sits adjacent to the research facility.
During Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s Nov. 16 tour of the hospital, Johnson spoke with Military.com about the latest medical technologies the institute is cultivating “because on the battlefield, that’s a big issue for us.”
It’s complicated to keep blood, “at the right temperature, in the right volume, make sure it can still store oxygen when you put it into somebody,” Johnson said. As a result, researchers are trying to develop an artificial blood product.
“We’re looking at powder products that get reconstituted [as liquid],” he said. It would save the exhaustive measures required to keep whole blood viable while in remote areas or on the battlefield.
Skin in a Spray Bottle
Johnson said the institute is also looking at ways to patch up burn victims on site.
Read more of this story at Military.com.