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To ensure immediate and effective medication to soldiers and the public in the event of terror attacks and accidents, the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed medicines such as a wound-healing gel and freeze-resistant saline water that are extremely helpful at higher altitudes in saving lives in the absence of doctors.
The Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) -- DRDO's Delhi-based bio-medical and clinical research lab -- has so far been providing the medicines to the Army and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) -- but now it is also planning to collaborate with the premier AIIMS health facility to take these to the common people.
The INMASEAL Gel, INMASEAL Gauze dressing and Sodium Chloride solution have been developed to save the lives of victims in the periphery n the absence of doctors.
According to medical science, 60 per cent of deaths from combat injuries are caused due to excessive bleeding.
INMAS Joint Director Aseem Bhatnagar explained that the INMASEAL Gel is extremely effective in stopping profuse bleeding.
"The Chitosen gel formulation can stop blood oozing within a minute even in case of venous rupture. It can be applied at multiple sites and is extremely useful in case of battlefield casualty, gunshot injuries, road accident injuries and falls," Bhatnagar told IANS.
Currently, this medication -- meant to stop profuse blood flow due to trauma injuries -- is available at a much higher cost of Rs 8,000.
Till now, at least 11,000 units of the medication have been provided to security personnel and, of this, 4,000 units were given to CAPF personnel during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The INMASEAL Gauze dressing, a single-time medication to stop bleeding but sterilised by gamma radiations, reduces bleeding and stops oozing of blood, INMAS scientist Amit Tyagi said.
"The dressing gauze can be used in any environment, from high altitude to hot Rajasthan desert. It can stop oozing of blood in significantly short span of time with enhanced natural wound-healing process."
The dressing is even effective at a temperature of -40 degrees Celsius, where normally all other dressings and bandages do not work.
Indian security personnel suffer trauma injuries while carrying out operations against Maoists and terror groups -- the most recent one being the death of 25 CRPF troopers in Chattisgarh's Sukma district.
INMAS Director A.K. Singh told IANS that around 5,000 tubes have been supplied to the armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir and the CAPF.
The third product developed by INMAS is a Sodium Chloride formulation, also known as saline water, which does not freeze even at -17 degrees Celsius.
"Unlike normal saline which freezes at high altitudes, this formulation does not freeze at all. It has been developed for places where we cannot give blood-transfusion to the injured personnel," Singh said, adding that the medication is immensely helpful in reducing brain oedema.
He stressed that the saline water has additional uses such as reducing pulmonary oedema, reducing oedema from traumatic injuries and increasing blood pressure and blood fluid volume in case of blood loss.
According to INMAS, though the medications are currently being supplied to the security forces only, an agreement with AIIMS was on the anvil to make them available to common people.
Various meetings have been held between AIIMS Trauma Chief Rajesh Malhotra and the DRDO in the matter.
"A DRDO team came to the trauma centre a fortnight ago to look into various collaboration projects. They have developed very nice products to stop bleeding in acute injuries. There is a need for capacity building as combat-like casualties are very common in public life including gas cylinder blasts, burns and fractures," Malhotra told IANS.
(Rupesh Dutta can be contacted at Rupesh.email@example.com)