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article imageCoagulant to stop blood loss, save lives, being developed at UBC

By Marcus Hondro     Oct 4, 2015 in Science
A product that could save lives daily all over the world is being developed by researchers at UBC in Vancouver. The remarkable powder is being designed to travel through the flow of blood and stop bleeding at its source.
Self-propelled particles
Every year countless people die around the world after a fall, a car accident or other trauma, or due to other events such as hemorrhaging during childbirth. Many of these deaths could be prevented if first responders and surgeons had a sure-fire method of stopping a patient's bleeding.
The product being created is able to stop bleeding at source and a press release from UBC describes it as the "first self-propelled particles capable of delivering coagulants against the flow of blood to treat severe bleeding."
James Baylis is one of the researchers at the Michael Smith Laboratory at UBC and he told media that tests show it to be a fast-acting coagulant that solves the problem of finding the source of the bleeding because it in effect makes it so you do not need to know the source.
"It’s very surgical scenarios or in situations of major bleeding where blood is just pouring out of a patient and you don’t know where it’s coming from,” said Baylis. "What we came up with are these self-propelling particles. You put them in liquid and they just foam and propel and they bubble and they go absolutely everywhere.
"We found that when you load them with the proper pro-coagulant then you can apply it to the site of bleeding and it stops it right away," he added. "You don’t even need to know where the site of bleeding is. It doesn’t even matter how severe the bleeding is."
Stops bleeding at source
The press release explains that the product is made up of "gas-generating calcium carbonate micro-particles" that release "carbon dioxide gas, like antacid tablets, to propel them toward the source of bleeding."
An application the coagulant is intended to target is postpartum hemorrhaging. It will be especially helpful in developing countries with a high-rate of mortality during childbirth due to bleeding as it won't require a doctor to administer.
"We’re designing this so it can be applied directly to the uterus by a birthing attendant, midwife, any nurse - or anyone else who is around," said Baylis.
While they have run extensive tests they have not tested the coagulant on humans; such testing is two to three years away.
More about blood clot, powder to stop bleeding, ubc research
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