December 24, 2008 in Nation/World

Army drops wound treatment after warning

By PAULINE JELINEK Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Until more testing can be done, Army medics are being told to stop using a new product just sent to the war front to help control bleeding among wounded troops.

Officials were in the process of distributing some 17,000 packets of WoundStat, granules that are poured into wounds when special bandages, tourniquets or other efforts won’t work. But a recent study showed that, if used directly on injured blood vessels, the granules may lead to harmful blood clots, officials said Tuesday.

The Army Medical Command will continue its research and work with the manufacturer in hopes of figuring out in the next few months whether to resume use of WoundStat, said Col. Paul Cordts, head of Army health policy and services.

WoundStat manufacturer TraumaCure Inc. of Bethesda, Md., said late Tuesday that “experts differ” on whether the Army’s most recent testing, which put the granules into surgically-created injuries in swine, is relevant to a product used in a trauma setting. But the company said it would cooperate with the military on research to clear up any questions.

“It is important to note that there have been no reported incidents or adverse outcomes in humans” from the product, Jack McDonnell, chairman and CEO of TraumaCure, said in a statement.

The product had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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