Ed Yeates ReportingEMT's with a fire department in Davis County are using a novel derivative from a vegetable to save the lives of accident victims. The new FDA approved powder instantly stops traumatic bleeding at the site of wounds.
EMT's have a lot of ammunition in their bags to stabilize victims of accidents. But here in the town of Clinton in western Davis County, EMT's and paramedics have something very unique now aboard their emergency vehicles. The non-toxic starchy like stuff is not from potentially risky animals or human blood sources, but something very innocuous.
Where does the powder come from? The potato. The food and drug administration doesn't consider it a medication, but a blood clotting topical defined as a medical device.
Guido Smith, Asst. Chief, Clinton City Fire Department: "It works as a sponge, removing the water properties of the blood, allowing the blood to become concentrated with the important ingredients that actually help blood to clot."
The powder not only stops bleeding, but could also reduce the need for blood transfusions later on.
Guido Smith: "It's bio inert, so it cannot react with the body. If the patient is on medications, no matter what the variables are with the patient's history, this component will not react adversely."
For now, Clinton City is the first in the state to get approval to use the powder. In this case, Smith says the size of the fire department here, though small, should not make a difference. And he hopes others will follow suit.
TraumaDex, as the powder is called, was tested initially for the FDA by emergency personnel in St. Paul, Minnesota.