Bleeding is the single largest cause of preventable trauma death, and when our armed forces are out in the combat zone, stopping a bleeding wound can be difficult. Dr. Dennis Filips, a retired trauma surgeon from the Canadian Navy and CEO of Edmonton, AB-based Innovative Trauma Care, saw a lot of bleeding while serving in Afghanistan, and wondered if there could be a way to reduce the mortality rate from traumatic hemorrhage other than using tourniquets and hemostatic wound agents, which take time to apply.
Inspired by a simple hair clip, Filips designed a device called the ITClamp. The ITClamp is essentially a sterile, plastic clamp approximately five centimeters in length, with curved needles along the “jaws” of the device. In a trauma situation, the responder clamps the device along the wound. The curved needles and the shape of the ITClamp draw the wound up into the device and anchor it with even pressure, allowing the blood underneath to create a clot around the wound and help stop the bleeding until the victim receives further medical attention.
The ITClamp can be applied in a matter of seconds and can used by basically anyone with minimal training. The device only costs about $65, so it’s affordable for military units, hospitals, and paramedics anywhere, but it’s yet to clear the regulatory process before it becomes available.