Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Terrorism & War
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Experts Warn of Synthetic 'Bioweapons' DangerAnother Foe for the U.S. Military: Skin CancerMild TBI Linked to Increased Dementia Risk in VeteransTime-Related Deployment Factors Predict Suicide Attempt RiskWeightlifting Injuries Common for Deployed U.S. TroopsTerrorist Nuke Attack Could Overwhelm U.S. Medical System: StudyNightmares Common Among U.S. Troops, But Seldom ReportedWounded Combat Vets Face Increased Risk for High Blood PressureFor Female Soldiers, Deployment May Up Risk for Premature BirthWartime Bomb Blasts May Lead to Memory ProblemsTherapeutic Horseback Riding Can Help Alleviate PTSD in VeteransLong-Term Opioid Use Down Among U.S. Vets: StudySubstantial Unmet Need for Mental Health Care for VeteransOpioid Prescribing Trends in the VA Similar to Other SettingsVA Health System Failing on Mental Health Care: ReportNearly 30 Percent of Veterans Report Current Tobacco UseTobacco's Grip on U.S. VeteransIntense End-of-Life Care Found to Be Less Likely for VA PatientsPrevalence of Diabetes Tops 20 Percent Among U.S. VeteransAnother Legacy of Terror Attacks: MigrainesComing Soon: A Gel That Could Help Save Soldiers' EyesGulf War Illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Are Distinct Disorders: StudyIs Meth Use Destroying Vets' Hearts?Helping Children Cope When a Mass Tragedy StrikesKetamine Not Linked to PTSD in Military Trauma SettingMilitary-Related Trauma Tied to Eating Disorder SymptomsLand Mines Being Replaced by More Deadly Explosive Devices: StudyCan Suicide Tries Spread Among Soldiers?U.S. Soldier in Custody Following Slaying of 5 Americans in Iraq
Questions and AnswersLinksBook ReviewsSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Mental Disorders
Disasters

Coming Soon: A Gel That Could Help Save Soldiers' Eyes

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Dec 6th 2017

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- When eye injury strikes, the time needed to rush patients to proper care becomes crucial.

Now, researchers say there may be a quick way to seal severe eye injuries until they can be treated by doctors.

A team of scientists and engineers has developed a gel that changes from a fluid to a strong seal when applied to the eye. So far, the gel has only been tested on rabbits. Human clinical trials could begin in 2019, the investigators noted.

One potential use for the gel is to seal eye injuries on the battlefield. When the patient is ready for surgery to repair the injury, the seal can be removed by adding cool water, the researchers said.

"If you look at historical data over the last several decades, the rate of war-related ocular (eye) injuries has steadily increased from a fraction of a percent to as high as 10 to 15 percent," said John Whalen. He is an assistant professor of research in the department of ophthalmology at the University of Southern California.

"Some of that can be attributed to changes in warfare, especially with the use of improvised explosive devices," he explained in a university news release.

"When the Department of Defense asked the scientific community to develop novel approaches to treating ocular injuries, we immediately thought of an advanced material we had previously worked with as a possible adhesive for a retinal implant," Whalen said.

However, the battlefield isn't the only place the gel could be used.

"First responders at a mass casualty incident could deploy the hydrogel while patients wait for their injuries to be completely repaired by an ocular surgeon in appropriate microsurgical facilities," Whalen noted.

"It could also be useful in emergency rooms in rural areas where there isn't an eye center with such capabilities nearby," he added. "It may even have potential for temporarily treating gunshot wounds."

The research is described in a report published Dec. 6 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

More information

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has more on eye injuries.