This New Navy Bandage Could Save Limbs on the Battlefield


The company that last year debuted a "gun" that could drop enemy drones is back with a new Navy bandage wrap that promises to prevent limb loss or even death by keeping severely wounded arms and legs clean and protected for up to three days.

The Acute Care Cover for the Severely Injured Limb, or ACCSIL, is a bandage wrap designed by Ohio-based research company Battelle and sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. Battelle is also the maker of DroneDefender, a portable counter-unmanned aerial vehicle system now being purchased in small quantities by the military and Department of Homeland Security. According to an ONR release, the company's new bandaging stops drying, deterioration and blood loss that happen naturally when a limb is severely wounded.

The two-part ACCSIL wrap, designed to be carried by medics and corpsmen, included an outer cover that conforms to the shape of the wounded arm or leg to inhibit blood loss, keep the limb warm, and block dirt, and and inner "bioactive" layer that uses chemical compounds to treat pain, prevent flesh from dying out, and stop infection, ONR officials said.

"Successful development of this system will provide military medics with a solution currently unavailable to them," Kelly Jenkins, director of advanced materials for Battelle's Consumer, Industrial and Medical business unit, said in the release. "Current bandages aren't very good at keeping out bacteria, so a lot of medics improvise by using plastic wrap and lots of tape-which is actually really good at keeping the wound moist but not protecting or preserving tissue. ACCSIL will function much better."

Researchers believe the new Navy bandage wrap could also be useful in industrial settings and aboard ships, where sailors and Marines are at greater risk for crush injuries and burns. Officials said in the release that the bandaging could also be used to triage victims in terrorist attacks such as the bombings this year in France and Brussels, Belgium.

"ACCSIL will be designed as a 'tactical to practical' tool," Jenkins said. "Not just for warfighters, but also for first responders and law enforcement. Urban warfare and domestic terrorism present a real need for a device like ACCSIL, which can dramatically improve medical treatment during such an event."

Officials said they plan to demonstrate the capabilities of the Navy bandage within the next two years.

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