PULSES of electricity could be the key to saving lives on the battlefield, if research results in rats are able to be replicated in humans.
Scientists at Stanford University in the United States carried out experiments using the electrical stimulation of the veins and arteries of rats, using microsecond pulses.
After cutting through femoral and abdominal arteries of the rodents, a series of electrical pulses were administered and shown to induce vasoconstriction, or narrowing, of blood vessels within seconds.
The blood vessels dilated back to their original size within a few minutes, and with a stronger current, a complete and permanent blocking of the blood vessels occurred.
“Further research is needed to establish whether the technique would be effective in human patients, but the technique might potentially be helpful for controlling non-compressible haemorrhages in traumatic injury or during surgery,” the study concluded.
The treatment reduced the blood loss from the femoral artery by a factor of seven compared to untreated animals, researchers said.
And in contrast to research in the 1970s, the authors observed no damage to the tissue up to 3.5 hours after the vasoconstriction.
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