Realistic Simulated Bleeding System for Wound Training Saves Lives
What started as an idea of how to make training more realistic for medics has developed into a commercialized product in use by numerous military and civilian organizations in the United States and abroad.
Effective training of medics is vital, given that a high percentage of fatalities and disabilities result from delays in effective hemorrhage control. Realistic training helps prepare medics for what may be a shocking first sight for some, preparing them to take appropriate action with minimal delay in the line of duty -- the difference that could mean life or death in some cases.
Army medics learn to treat wounded warriors to prevent such casualties during Combat Medic Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. However, Army veteran Sgt. Lynn Randall King felt that the existing training tools didn't sufficiently re-create the stress and difficulty of real-life hemorrhage control in the field. He developed the Field Expedient Bleeding Simulation System (FEBSS) while he was an Army medic trainer at Brooke Army Medical Center (now San Antonio Military Medical Center) to better prepare medics for real-life blood loss treatment emergencies on the battlefield. The FEBSS simulates several concurrent wounds, either mild or severe, from a venal nick to a pulsing arterial hemorrhage. Units are suited for retrofitting of typical manikins, or the systems can be worn by personnel in a role-playing exercise. When worn by personnel, the device is camouflaged under their uniform and the added element of surprise occurs when, during training and battle simulations, the personnel becomes "wounded," screaming and bleeding unexpectedly.
An exclusive patent license agreement (PLA) to Skedco, Inc. allowed the small U.S. business to commercialize the FEBSS Army technology, which was first enhanced under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), and is now the subject of several U.S. and foreign patents. Both the CRADA and PLA were negotiated by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's Office of Research and Technology Applications.
Since its commercialization in spring 2008, FEBSS has been purchased and is in use by several military and civilian medic training organizations in the United States and abroad. In 2009, the FEBSS was one of 30 products named to the Journal of Emergency Medical Services Hot Products list. Reviewed by Emergency Medical Service providers, products that make the list are deemed as the most innovative, functional and potentially life-saving products to come to market in the past six months.
While statistics have yet to be compiled on how effective the use of FEBSS is during training, there is a documented case of an Army soldier who was able to react quickly after a fellow soldier was hit by sniper fire in Iraq. Despite the soldier not being a medic, his quick reaction allowed him to stop the bleeding of a femoral artery injury in time to save his comrade's life. Prior to deploying the soldier had received training via the FEBSS, and he attributed this training to his quick thinking and actions.
In 2010 both the president and vice president of Skedco and Army veteran/inventor King traveled to Iraq to provide training to combat soldiers and medics using the FEBSS. A trip to Afghanistan to provide training is slated for summer 2011.
For more information, visit http://www.skedco.com/Military/Detail/fs-1000