Saturday, January 16, 2010

Military Technology- TourniCath

One of the highest causes of death in military operations is bleeding to death. The distance in time and miles from trauma care and the types of wounds incurred are the primary factors influencing this. Of course the US military is the best in the world in getting injured servicemen and women to the care they need as soon as possible. The medics and corpsman are likely the bravest and most dedicated of all our military. Technology has also advanced to help injured soldiers. From the simple tourniquet to pressure bandages to QuikClot, a clotting compound designed to stop high volume bleeding, even from arteries.(I carry a trauma kit in my car with Quikclot, a pressure bandage and other supplies. If you are EVER around guns, make a $50 investment in not bleeding to death)

From Cardio Command, we now have the TourniCath.
As they state on their website, this device is not yet approved by the FDA, so it is not as of now available for sale in the U.S.

One problem posed by gunshot wounds is that they penetrate deep into the body and as a result, applying surface pressure to the wound may be insufficient to stop bleeding as the bullet is likely to damage blood vessels and organs deep inside the body, especially with wounds to groin or shoulder area, which are mostly uncovered by modern body armor.

The TourniCath is designed to prevent exsangnuinating hemorrhage (bleeding to goddamn death) by internal wound track compression. The idea is that you insert a cylindrical inflatable balloon into the wound either at the entrance or exit. The inflated balloon provides pressure to the entire internal wound area and hopefully, speeds the clotting process and decreases the amount of blood loss. The maximum size of the balloon is about 8" in length by 2" in diameter, which would hopefully be large enough to achieve successful hemostasis of most wound tracks in the specified anatomical regions of the body. TourniCath is not indicated for abdominal or thoracic wounds. It is mostly intended for deep penetrating trauma in the groin/pelvis or the shoulder area. They state that it is easy to use due to the
smooth rounded tip and a smooth outer sheath covering the rolled balloon. This is good because it becomes much harder to accomplish any task when the stress level increases. For soldiers under fire, with their friends seriously wounded, stress levels are pretty much beyond what most people can imagine.

For some time, soldiers have carried tampons to do a similar job of blocking a wound, providing pressure and preventing blood loss. TourniCath uses this same mode of action as do the currently approved devices: the Foley catheter (not designed for wound track tamponade but often used), the Liver Balloon, the Zimmon gastroesophageal catheter, and the Kaye nephrostomy catheter.

Any device to help save lives is always welcome, so good work, people at Cardio Command. FDA administrators (I know you all read my blog) get crackin' on testing and if appropriate, approving this system. We need it.

For more information, please contact Cardio Command Customer Service by phone at 1-800-231-6370 or by email at

1 comment:

  1. Your post on the TourniCath hemorrhage control device articulates very well the need for it and its method of action. One senses you may have even been in a situation where someone needed such a device. Thanks for informing others of the need to get this device tested and approved.

    Maynard Ramsey
    CardioCommand, Inc.