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Current Affairs

DRDO lab develops combat drugs to reduce casualties in warfare

Date: 12 March 2019 Tags: Military

Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) has indigenously developed range of 'combat casualty drugs' that can help to reduce casualties in warfare and terror activities. These drugs can extend golden hour till injured soldier/trooper is shifted to hospital. INMAS is laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Need for combat drugs

During warfare or terror attack on security forces, 90% of gravely wounded security personnel succumb to injuries within few hours. In these cases, chances of survival and minimum disability are highest when effective first aid care is given within golden hour.The main battlefield emergencies are excess bleeding, shock, hypovolemia (decreased blood volume), sepsis and pain. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also has recommended cost-effective drugs to be inducted into paramilitary forces and efforts are on with other armed forces under Defence Ministry for induction.

INMAS combat casualty drugs

  • It includes bleeding wound sealants, super absorptive dressings and glycerated salines. Some of them are

Glycerated saline

  • It is battlefield intravenous fluid that does not freeze till -18 degrees Celsius. It is useful in handling trauma cases in high altitude areas.
  • Unlike normal saline, it reduces inflammation. It can be lifesaving, in case in traumatic edema, collection of fluid in tissues and cavities of body is in brain or lungs.
  • It has lifesaving capacities as it gives more time to medical personnel to shift wounded patient to higher care facility.

Special medicated dressing material

  • It is cellulose fibre-based dressings which is more effective in stopping bleeding and keeping wound clean.
  • It is 200 times more absorptive than normal dressings during bleeding wounds.
  • In it, antiseptics, antibiotics and curcumin can be impregnated which acts as slow drug release system.

Chitosan gel

  • It which helps in preventing blood loss by forming film over wound.
  • It is coupled with platelets and red blood cells aggregation and it stops bleeding.
  • Its antibacterial and wound health properties are of added benefit. It is suitable for sealing wounds by twin action: haemostasis by chemical action and filing action.
  • It can be used for wounds on the limbs and also cavities such as abdomen and thorax.
  • It can be poured onto wound and held with physical pressure for few minutes till the bleeding stops.

Hypochlorous acid (HoCL)

  • It is 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 has both broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity and can rapidly neutralise bacterial toxins.
  • Its use does not obviate need for antibiotic but augments treatment and speed of wounds healing.
  • It also reduces need for undesirable side effects and antibiotics resistance.

Benefits

  • These indigenously made medicines will be boon for paramilitary and defence personnel during warfare
  • They can save lives of security personnel in event of warfare in jungle and high altitude areas as well as in terror attacks.
  • They will also ensure that soldiers do not suffer from unwanted blood loss while being taken to a better healthcare from war zones

Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS)

  • It is laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It was established in 1961.
  • It does biomedical and clinical research with special reference to ionizing radiation.
  • It is also involved in nuclear medicine research and responding to nuclear explosions accidents.
  • It is first institute in world to offer formal training program in nuclear medicine. It offers two-year diploma in radiation medicine.