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U.S. Military Developing Ultrasonic Tourniquet 121

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the i'm-not-bleeding-you-insensitive-clot dept.
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."
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U.S. Military Developing Ultrasonic Tourniquet

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  • by BlackSabbath (118110) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @02:38AM (#15823418) Homepage
    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.
    • by aXis100 (690904) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @02:43AM (#15823430)
      Massive clotting would be a pretty good sign of "unnatural causes"
      • 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.
        • by dave1791 (315728) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:03AM (#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 (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Latent Heat (558884)
            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

            • 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.
            • This is complete and utter nonsense. Most every military member gets a version of first aid similar to what the Air Force calls "Self-aid and Buddy Care (SABC)" The use of tourniquets is reserved for when the normal steps to stop bleeding don't work. Elevation, direct pressure, pressure points and then tourniquet. This is the standard procedure for in normal civilian first aid and has nothing to do with responder time. Cheers.
              • Tourniquets do kinda suck, though. Rather than hauling some ridiculous ultrasonic contrapton around, keep a couple packets of QuikClot [z-medica.com] (zeolite powder) in your kit.

                Testing this on pigs, they cut the pigs' femoral arteries and let 'em bleed for 3 min. IIRC.

                No therapy - 80% mortality.
                Best competing products - 60% mortality.
                QuikClot - 0% mortality.
                • Testing this on pigs, they cut the pigs' femoral arteries and let 'em bleed for 3 min. IIRC.

                  So they had a nice, clean cut instead of a mangled mess where you probably cannot find the artery.

                  Also, I'd like to see this power applied to an internal injury.

                  • >Also, I'd like to see this power applied to an internal injury.

                    QuikClot is now available on a "sponge" which will stay in the wound despite massive blood flow. Using this stuff does not require finding the exact source of the bleeding, and it can be used on internal inuries in virtually any area of the body.
                    • Using this stuff does not require finding the exact source of the bleeding,

                      However, I think you need to be able to _access_ it. Internal injuries are, well, internal and do not necessarily bleed outside the body. To use this stuff, you will have to cut a hole into the patient first, and of course know where and how to cut.

                    • The ultrasonic unobtanium-plated bleed-burning boondoggle won't really be used in most internal injuries either - it's just for limbs. Limbs you are willing to risk amputating later, from the sound of its risky battlefield-operating, computer-controlled blood- boiling. Life-threatening closed-wound internal bleeding in the limbs has to be scarce - big arteries have to get nicked, and how often is that really going to happen in a limb without puncturing nearby skin? If the bleeder is not life-threatening,
              • There was discussion on PBS about the threat to life and limb from explosions (command-detonated mines, IED's), the military-issue tourniquet was shown (a Velcro strap with a plastic handle for applying tension to the strap), and the controversy regarding distributing these medical devices to the ranks instead of only to trained medics was discussed. Watching PBS doesn't make anyone an expert, but to imply that what is reported on PBS is "complete and utter nonsense" is a rather serious critique.

                There wa

                • Of course he wouldn't go through the "elevation, pressure, pressure point" series because it sounds like a catastrophic wound. It's not rocket science to understand that battle injuries may require one to skip a step or two. It doesn't mean those steps don't exist or that they aren't taught them.

                  I never suggested that tourniquets weren't appropriate. You made the claim:

                  "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
      • 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.
    • 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 me

      • 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.

        • 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

          • by ArcherB (796902) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @07:18AM (#15824147) Journal
            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.
            • by Sj0 (472011)
              Calling it "infinite harmonic" seems silly to me. If an explosion sound contained infinite harmonics, then they superposition of the infinite harmonic waves would cause an infinite energy release, causing the end of life and the universe as we know it.

              Is this a real term? Are audio mathematicians on acid, or is there a rational explanation for the term?
    • 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.
    • by wowbagger (69688) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @07:06AM (#15824103) Homepage Journal
      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.
      • 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 d
        • ... dies of massive clotting of the brain.

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

        • by wowbagger (69688) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @08:29AM (#15824430) Homepage Journal
          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.

          • Never have I seen a more vehement rant that was so perfectly executed and justified. Sir, I salute you.
          • 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
          • Jesus Christ you're a whiney bitch.

            "Boo hoo, nobody reads my posts. Boo hoo, moderators are out to get me. Boo hoo, this thing isn't a weapon."

            If life's so hard, get off the Internet. Go sit in your room in fetal position, day after day, until you run out of food and water and die. And after you die, don't bitch to God about it, he doesn't want to hear it.
      • "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.

        • > 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.
      • There are many decaffinated brands that taste just as good as the real thing.
      • 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...
      • You obviously haven't heard of laser ultrasound.
        http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/physics/research /ultra/research/laser/ [warwick.ac.uk]

        Yes - ultrasound at a distance (specifically refer to the thermoelastic regime).

        By the way, is there are particular reason your response is so obnoxious or does your assumption of total superiority imbue with a compulsion to act like a complete knob.
        • Yes - ultrasound at a distance (specifically refer to the thermoelastic regime).

          Yeah, riiiight.

          If you manage to create enough ultrasound energy this way to clot blood, you've probably burnt a hole into the victim with the laser already. Also, the technology requires focused ultrasound, i.e. you need a way to direct the ultrasound beams. The laser things most definitely doesn't do that.

          It doesn't work at a distance. Period.

    • by andrewman327 (635952) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @08:17AM (#15824376) Homepage Journal
      "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?"

      • If it doesn't cause the clots to form quickly, then I don't see the use. If a person is bleeding, they'll be dead long before the person in your example if the sonic tourniquet actually takes any large amount of time to form the clots.

        "Oh no! I'm bleeding so badly I need to sacrifice this arm by using a tourniquet to stop the blood flow, or I'm going to die!"
        "Don't worry, I've got this sonic tourniquet!"
        "Oh, great!"
        "Well, you're going to be dead long before this happens, but it's going to make all t
        • In EMT training I was taught how to apply one of these hideous travesties (again, I'm talking from a streets perspective, not a combat one). It requires wrapping a dressing around the limb several times and inserting something hard into it like a pen. You then start twisting and twisting until blood flow ceases. This is not an instant process, so I doubt that the new device is instant.

          DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this post is designed to constitute medical advice, as the author is not a physician. If faced

    • 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
    • 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. Altho
  • Worst. Idea. EVER. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kuroji (990107) <kuroji@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @02:41AM (#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.
    • by tacarat (696339) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:25AM (#15823541) Journal
      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.
    • 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.

    • 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 - t

    • 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."
    • Yeah, I'm not sure I'd want to be a beta tester for this thing.
  • More uses? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Centurix (249778) <centurix AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @02:43AM (#15823431) Homepage
    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.
    • Now THAT'S a smart idea.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • That would be sort of like trying to repair a building after it has been blown up by investing in more bomb technology.
  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @02:44AM (#15823433) Homepage
    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...
    • 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."
  • 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.
    • 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. :)
  • Reversible? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oostevo (736441) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:05AM (#15823487) Homepage
    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? (Score:2, Informative)

      by cannonfodda (557893)
      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.

      • 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.

    • 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*
    • 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.
  • by tacarat (696339) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:11AM (#15823504) Journal
    "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".
  • by tomatensaft (661701) <tomatensaft.gmail@com> on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:18AM (#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.
  • ...to an extremity for however long it takes to get back to a real hospital?
    Sounds like a good recipe for gangrene.
    • 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?
    • What do you think a tourniquet is?
    • 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...
      • 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.
        • 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...
  • 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...
  • Old News (Score:3, Informative)

    by POPE Mad Mitch (73632) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @05:22AM (#15823816) Homepage
    BBC News carried a story about this back in June.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5106598.stm [bbc.co.uk]

  • by aapold (753705) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @06:13AM (#15823942) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • 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
    • 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

      • 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.
        • In the post-Vietnam era any losses are not acceptable; the American public refuses to accept that a war does cost lives. From the military point of view something that'll lead to more soldiers being saved, thus less negative PR, is extremely valuable.
    • 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.
  • 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).
  • ... "US Military Developing Ultrasonic Trebuchet".

    I am now somewhat disapointed with the subject matter.
  • 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.
  • 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
    • 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 i

  • by Durandal64 (658649) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @08:23AM (#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?
  • 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.
  • by nytmare (572906)
    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.
    • No, this sounds like bullshit pseudoscience to me, in the same vein as ions, magnets, and energy auras.

      In that case you need to get a clue.

      Ultrasound doesn't magically cause clotting. Ultrasound causes heating. With most diagnostic devices, this effect is pretty much negligible and/or needs to be kept below a certain threshold according to (insert local medical device agency, for example FDA) regulations.

      However, if you direct several strong ultrasound sources at a certain volume of tissue (hence "fo

  • I took a seminar at the Univ of Wash; the biophysics professor was the man working on this project. I saw a video demonstration (on a pig). You all needn't be so skeptical, unless you like flamewars; it works. This device may also be used for a direct, transcutaneous/transdermal (non-invasive) approach to targeting cancer cells/tumors. When applied, the injured area cauterizes, creates scar tissue, which is a heck of a lot better than bleeding to death or suffering side effects from a bombardment of che
  • I wonder if this thing (or something based on the same principal) could be used to kill someone and make it look like a heart attack?
  • Whatever happened to the old field method of gunpowder and match cauterization...

    can they really get these things to generate enough heat that quickly? wouldn't it be easier to just keep a nice chunk of titanium/copper etc and a way to superheat it? I mean, yeah it's basically civil war technology, but i don't really see how this is going to be cheaper, faster, or more reliable.

    please let me know if my logic is screwy.
  • Tourniquet was a poorly chosen word. The device DOES wrap around, but it does NOT automatically clot all blood in the general area. It provides a combination of ultrasonic imaging so that qualified medical personel can locate severe bleeding, and stronger ultrasonic cautery so that said personel can then target specific trouble spots. The cautery itself doesn't simply close off the artery in question, it causes clotting over the injury to the artery while bloodflow hopefully continues through it.

    The clott

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