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Combat Casualty Drugs

Combat Casualty Drugs

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Why In News?

DRDO’s medical laboratory has come up with a range of ‘combat casualty drugs’ that can extend the golden hour of gravely wounded security personnel till the trooper is shifted to hospital.

Combat Casualty Drugs

  • These drugs are developed at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a laboratory of the DRDO.
  • The main battlefield emergencies are excess bleeding, sepsis, shock, hypovolemia (decreased blood volume) and pain
  • The spectrum includes bleeding wound sealants, super absorptive dressings, and glyceratedsalines, all of which can save lives in the event of warfare in a jungle and high altitude areas as well as in terror attacks.

Why such move?

  • There is only one medical person and limited equipment to take care of soldiers during combat in most cases.
  • This is compounded by battlefield conditions such as forests, hilly terrain, and inaccessibility of vehicles, experts said.
  • Chances of survival and minimum disability are highest when effective first aid care is given within the golden hour.

Take a look of few CCDs

GlyceratedSalines

  • Among the drugs developed is glycerated saline, a battlefield intravenous fluid that does not freeze till -18C and is useful in handling trauma cases in high altitude areas.
  • The glycerated saline, unlike normal saline, reduces inflammation.
  • The drug can be life-saving, particularly if the traumatic edema(the collection of fluid in tissues and cavities of the body) is in the brain or lungs.
  • It has life-saving capacities as it gives more time to the medical personnel to shift the wounded patient to a higher care facility.

Special Medicated Dressing

  • INMAS has also developed a special medicated dressing material which is 200 times more absorptive than normal dressings during bleeding wounds.
  • The cellulose fibre-based dressings are more effective in stopping bleeding and keeping the wound clean.
  • Additionally, antiseptics, antibiotics and curcumin can be impregnated in the dressing which acts as a slow drug release system.

III. Chitosan gel

  • INMAS has developed a chitosan gel which helps in preventing blood loss by forming a film over the wound.
  • Coupled with platelets and red blood cells aggregation, it stops the bleeding.
  • Its antibacterial and wound health properties are of added benefit.

Hypocholorous acid disinfectant

  • Part of the range is hypocholorous acid (HOCL), a disinfectant for troopers involved in jungle warfare.
  • It is helpful in treating necrotising fascitis, a rapidly progressing bacterial infection of soft tissues.
  • Bacterial toxins cause local tissue damage and necrosis, as well as blunt immune system responses.
  • In such cases, pure 0.01% HOCL which has broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity can rapidly neutralise bacterial toxins.

Nalbuphine injection

  • INMAS scientists have also discovered a new route for administering the Nalbuphine injection to reduce pain during mutilating war injuries.
  • The 10 mg injection of Nalbuphine hydrochloride is more effective for an injured trooper if it is given through the submental/sublingual route instead of intra-muscular or intravenous route.

Significance and the need:

  • 90% of gravely wounded security personnel succumb to injuries within a few hours. And the availability of proper medical facilities can extend this golden period and help save lives. Chances of survival and minimum disability are highest when effective first aid care is given within the golden hour.
  • The main battlefield emergencies are excess bleeding, sepsis, shock, hypovolemia (decreased blood volume) and pain. DRDO’s indigenously made medicines will be a boon for paramilitary and defence personnel during warfare.

Additional References

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indian-defence-lab-develops-combat-drugs-to-reduce-casualties-in-pulwama-type-attacks-warfare/article26495523.ece

Mains  Question

What is Utility of CCDs for soldiers on battleground?