SAN ANTONIO -- Treating an injury in the battlefield could mean the difference between life and death. That's why doctors at the Institute of Surgical Research at San Antonio Military Medical Center are putting a new twist on a piece of equipment.
The doctors' goal was to better treat patients who have large wounds where they could bleed out quickly. So, they've reinvented the tourniquet, using a mini medic system which controls the tourniquet remotely.
The hand held device can treat several patients at once. In the field, it could be controlled by the patient, medic, or platoon leader. The intelligent tourniquet can also create additional pressure for a wound and monitor the vital signs of a patient to see how they're doing.
Doctors would like to see the system built into specialized military uniforms.
"If sensors on the body detect some kind of traumatic event, IED, an explosion, those sensors will automatically activate all the sensors that are built into the uniform," explained Jose Salinas, PH.D., Intensive Care Research.
A model is still in the works. but the doctors here are hoping the intelligent tourniquet will be approved soon, so they can be used in the battlefield to help save lives.