HemCon Bandages Battle Their Way into Hospitals

HemCon Medical Technologies, a Portland, OR-based wound-care company, has inked a deal with Cardinal Health to bring HemCon’s hemorrhage-control bandages — thus far, used primarily by the U.S. military for battlefield trauma — to hospitals and surgery centers.

The four-year agreement, for which neither company would disclose financial terms, is for a new line of bandages, geared specifically for non-military settings. Privately held, six-year-old HemCon recently reengineered its bandages to meet the specific needs of civilian trauma and emergency medicine. The new bandages, which control severe arterial bleeding, are thinner, more flexible and sized differently than the original HemCon military bandage. The technology used in the bandages is particularly useful in hospital settings, because it allows providers to standardize one hemorrhage-control solution across multiple disciplines.

These new HemCon bandages will be available to all Cardinal Health clients, reports Columbus Business First, which notes that the large healthcare services company currently works with 90 percent of U.S. hospitals. Business First reports that the new line will be co-labeled by Cardinal and HemCon.

Using Chitosan, an extract from shrimp shells, HemCon Bandages control moderate to severe external bleeding within minutes of being applied directly to moderate- or high-pressure, high-flow external bleeds. They aggressively adhere to the site on contact with blood or moisture. This adhesive-like action forms a strong, flexible barrier that seals and stabilizes the wound.

HemCon Bandages, used by the U.S. military since 2003, have been 97% effective at controlling bleeding on the battlefield. In 2005, the Army Surgeon General mandated that any soldier serving in Iraq or Afghanistan carry at least one HemCon Bandage.

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