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ISRAELI SUPER BANDAGE SAVES LIVES

Dr. Sody Naimer

Israeli medical doctor developed a revolutionary bandage that can replace both ordinary bandages and Tourniquet and can even be used to treat burns. The new bandage has already proved itself by saving lives of soldiers and civilians in Israel and South Africa in recent years. The Israeli military and Red Cross are considering the bandage, and its inventor hopes that when it enters mass production its low price and superior performance will allow it to save lives across the world.

Dr. Sody Naimer treated many trauma victims in his many years of living and working as a family doctor in the Gush Katif region. Soldiers suffering from gunfire injuries and shrapnel, car accident victims and various other injuries are all routine for him for as long as he can remember. Finding a way to help trauma victims in the first minutes and hours until they receive medical treatment in a hospital was his goal which led him to develop a new type of bandage. Over the years research has shown that almost fifty percent of battlefield fatalities is due to hemorrhaging. Almost one fifth of those victims could have been saved had better methods of hemorrhage control been employed. In order to solve this problem Dr. Naimer developed a revolutionary new bandage about five years ago called ELastic ADhesive Bandage or simply ELAD.

Existing anti hemorrhage equipment and techniques have many disadvantages: Direct manual compression for example can be a very effective method but is considered to be impractical in many emergency situations due to the need for continuous application, which prevents the care provider from performing other critical life saving functions. Also, direct compression cannot sustain the required constant local pressure. As a result, there is an increased tendency for the absorbent dressings to become saturated with blood due to unstemmed bleeding. Furthermore, heavy direct compression may aggravate damage to other wounded tissues such as fractures, and is inconvenient to apply over irregularly shaped or sensitive body parts. The tourniquet is another widespread way to arrest hemorrhage but is known to be painful and limited in its application. It must be applied with sufficient constricting force to cause ischemia distal of the site of application. The induced ischemia is both exceedingly painful to the victim and is a common cause of soft tissue and neurological damage to these body parts. Prevention of these undesired effects of tourniquet application could be achieved by relieving the pressure at designated intervals, but this would compromise its effectiveness and require further attention by emergency care providers. Elastic Bandages and Field Bandages also have their disadvantages mostly being non-adhesive, cumbersome and unable to achieve sufficient pressure over the wound.


ELAD - ELastic ADhesive Bandage - Open

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To overcome these limitations Dr. Naimer adopted an innovative solution utilizing separate components of gauze pads applied to the wound's surface, secured in position and compressed by an Ace Bandage (commonly used for splinting sprains). Further work with this novel technique led to the invention of the ELAD - integrated compression bandage which consists of a clear elastic self-adhering film, laminated to a minimally absorbent pad, made with materials approved by the FDA which have been clinically proven to be effective and safe.

The ELAD successfully eliminates the disadvantages of the techniques and equipment currently in use by providing a self-adhering elasticized compression dressing. The self-adhering surface provides superior compression and affords simple rapid use of the rolled dressing over diversely shaped body parts. The bandage requires minimal extension in the application, and is therefore particularly suited for use in confined spaces and where no assistance is available. Effective control of bleeding is achieved by variable compression over the absorbent pad. This pad can incorporate a coagulant for further efficacy when used on surface areas where high compression pressures are difficult to achieve (neck, groin). The bandage is constructed of transparent material, so that it will be possible to visually observe possible continued bleeding. The main advantage of the ELAD is it ability to stop bleeding quickly, thus freeing the paramedic or doctor for other lifesaving activities.

The ELAD provides a compressive force of between about 1 to 180 mm Hg. In practice, actual pressures averaging about 80 mm Hg are exerted when wrapped around a body part. This pressure level is generally sufficient to provide a therapeutic benefit without necessarily restricting arterial blood flow to the point of ischemia distal to the bandaged body part. Like existing bandage the ELAD is not appropriate for the chest or abdomen (areas that are impossible to compress) but it proved to be very effective in controlling bleeding from body regions lying outside the protection of bulletproof vests in soldiers.

Recently a clinical trial was performed to examine acute treatment of bleeding wounds. The study was jointly performed in South Africa and Israel in areas stricken by trauma. The trial demonstrated the experience with ELAD technique used indiscriminately in 64 cases. Diverse wounds over various body regions were treated with a success rate of 97.6%. A single exceptionally severely injured victim with uncontrollable hemorrhage from all facial structures was saved by this technique and released from hospital without any neurological damage.

The ELAD has a number of other important benefits: it sticks only to itself, meaning the self-adhering elastic bandage strip will not adhere to clothing, hair, skin or latex gloves. Its compact polyethylene film requires minimal storage space. And can easily be carried by a soldier or medic. The material is made from waterproof film that can withstand adverse weather conditions. The ELAD can also be self-applied to lower part of and its removal is done simply by cutting the plastic film.The ELAD can benefit burn victims. Burns with wide areas of subcutaneous tissue exposure can be softly wrapped with the transparent roll, after cutting off the contact pad. This material will not stick to burned tissue surface, will seal the burnt tissue and prevent fluid loss. Furthermore this dressing will guard a macerated wound and protect oozing surfaces from collecting dirt and infective matter until the victim can get to hospital burn care.

In an interview with IsraCast, Dr. Naimer explained that although the initial development of the bandage started back in 1989 the patent for the ELAD was applied only four years ago after extensive testing of different materials. The material which eventually proved to be the best candidate is a mix of two polymers one of which is similar to an industrial clingfilm sold in convenience stores. The bandage is currently produced in small quantities for Dr. Naimer use and for experimental purposes but if mass produced, it's price can easily go down to about 1 dollar per bandage. Dr. Naimer is hoping for a big push forward to the product if the Israeli army will acquire it as a substitute for the personal bandage distributed to soldiers. The Israeli Red Cross shall also perform a pilot trial with the bandage. The U.S. military might also be a good candidate for the bandage since it has recently purchased a similar but less sophisticated product from a different Israeli company. Dr. Naimer explained that the product purchased by the U.S. military is less effective, not see-through, both cumbersome and slower to manipulate and does not stick to itself (meaning you have to tie it up with a fastening device). Until now the project was funded privately, but mass production will require a strategic partner that will boost the project to a new level and help ELAD save lives all around the world.

David Essing

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