Global antimicrobial resistance is on the rise. Antimicrobial resistance affects warfighters and military personnel both on the battlefield and off. Combat wounds can be contaminated with environmental bacteria, such as S. aureus, that may confer resistance to conventional antibiotics. This was demonstrated in 2008, when multi-drug resistant bacteria were cultured from the wounds of soldiers who suffered injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. Antibacterial resistance has challenged military medicine since the discovery of penicillin. However, the situation today is compounded by the fact that no new antibiotic classes have been discovered since 1984. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls this “one of the biggest health challenges of our time,” and the World Health Organization cautions that a possible “post-antibiotic era” is on the horizon.
Traumatic hemorrhaging is the leading cause of death on the battlefield, and the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.. In contrast to lacerations and extremity injuries, deep abdominal wounds do not readily clot, are often incompressible, and cannot be sealed with tourniquets, bandages, or tissue adhesives. These injuries require prompt surgical intervention to mitigate hemorrhaging and reduce the risk of morbidity caused by exsanguination. Unfortunately, injured warfighters often have limited access to immediate surgical attention, and uncontrollable blood loss while in transit to a trauma center could potentially prove fatal.
Adhesives play an integral role in day-to-day military operations both on the battlefield and in the triage tent. Unfortunately, most adhesives lose their strength when exposed to water and aqueous solutions. Hydration compromises the intimate intermolecular contacts between the surface… Read More