Date of Award

3-2013

Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering

Department

Biomedical and General Engineering

Advisor

Dr. Lanny Griffin

Abstract

This study investigated possible solutions to the current wartime problem of junctional hemorrhaging, or massive traumatic hemorrhaging in non-tourinquetable areas such as the neck, groin, or armpit. Junctional hemorrhaging has been identified as a major contributor to potentially survivable deaths seen on the battlefield today and therefore is a priority for the U.S. armed and coalition forces (Kragh et al., 2011a; Bozeman, 2011). Common tourniquets today are standard issue and carried by soldiers in the military, but are limited to distal extremity trauma. As the battlefield has changes however, trauma has transformed from commonly seen gunshot wounds to more extreme trauma such as dismounted complex blast injuries which typically includes loss of one or more appendages. These newly found situations render the traditional tourniquet ineffective. Thus, the development of a new tourniquet to control hemorrhaging from regions such as the neck, armpit, and groin has been deemed necessary.

The development of a new tourniquet for hemorrhage control included market research, preliminary testing to determine design restraints, design ideation, finite element analysis, manufacturing a prototype, and prototype testing. Research and comparisons were done of the strengths and weaknesses of tourniquets already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Next, design limitations were found using preliminary testing on a blood-flow replicate model developed by Tracey Cheung. The results from this testing provided a framework for designing a new tourniquet. A new approach to control junction hemorrhaging was then designed, built, and tested on the Cheung model. To verify the design, simplified models were analyzed using finite element analysis. The prototype was then tested and compared against the FDA approved tourniquets, listing the advantages and possible shortcomings.

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