IDF to buy state-of-the-art medical products

Army to receive first shipment of new micro-respirator, Combat Gauze.

IDF medical cool 224.88 (photo credit: IDF)
IDF medical cool 224.88
(photo credit: IDF)
With a large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip possibly just days away, the IDF Medical Corps is purchasing some of the latest, state-of-the-art medical equipment for field units. In the coming days, the IDF will receive the first shipment of a new micro-respirator that the Medical Corps has developed together with a US manufacturer called Impact. Until the Second Lebanon War, only brigades were outfitted with battery-operated respirators that weighed some 10 kilograms. Due to their weight and relatively large size, the respirators were not deployed at the front lines, but kept by medical teams that waited behind the combat units to treat soldiers. The new respirator weighs 3.5 kg and can also be connected to a standardized gas-mask filter in the event of a chemical or biological-infected battlefield. Each system costs $5,000. A second device being incorporated into field units is called the "Combat Gauze," which is meant to replace the ancient "personal bandage" that every soldier receives upon induction into the IDF. Manufactured by Connecticut-based Z-Medica, the QuikClot Combat Gauze will be supplied to medics and field doctors throughout the IDF. While the old bandage stopped bleeding by placing pressure on a wound, the Combat Gauze uses a hemostatic agent that coagulates blood and prevents blood loss. Jeffrey Horn, Z-Medica's COO, said that the company had scaled up production of the product to meet Israeli and other international customer's demands. "The product preserves lives by way of coagulating blood and rapidly clotting blood so you maintain the host blood supply if hurt in trauma," Horn said. "Our product has been tested all over the world and was determined to be the best hemostatic agent in the world for an individual." According to the company, when in direct contact with an open wound, the bandage absorbs the water molecules from the blood. The larger platelet and clotting factor molecules remain in the wound in a highly concentrated form. This promotes extremely rapid natural clotting and prevents severe blood loss. Each bandage, however, costs about $30, while the old personal bandage costs only a few cents. For this reason the new bandages will only be given to medics and field doctors at this stage, for use in the event of an emergency. The gauze is used by the US military. Chief IDF Medical Officer Brig.-Gen. Dr. Nachman Ash told The Jerusalem Post that the IDF was in close contact with the US military and its medical corps. "We have learned a lot from the Americans," Ash said. "And we have decided to follow in the footsteps and experience when it comes to products for trauma cases." Another product the Medical Corps is planning to purchase is called Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT), a small lightweight one-handed tourniquet that completely stops arterial blood flow in an extremity. CAT uses a band and buckle to fit a wide range of extremities combined with a one-handed windlass system. The tourniquet currently in use is an elastic band that does not have an attached windlass, or stick, for tightening. Medics are trained today in the IDF to use a stick to tighten the tourniquet in the event of a severe wound.