Lifesaving Numbers

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The Government Accountability Office issued a report Wednesday with an eye-glazing title: Defense Health: Actions Needed to Help Ensure Combat Casualty Care Research Achieves Goals.

But it contained some interesting numbers: 24, 84, 1.13 billion and 4.

— The Department of Defense (DOD) estimates that approximately 24 percent of all servicemembers who die in combat could have survived if improved and more timely medical care could be made available in the combat setting.

— DOD estimates that approximately 84 percent of potentially survivable battlefield deaths are caused by bleeding.

— The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (Health Affairs), the military departments, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are responsible for this research [into saving these lives], with funding of over $537 million in fiscal year 2010, $272 million in 2011, and $321 million in 2012.

— Health Affairs and Army MRMC [Medical Research and Materiel Command] officials told us that DOD fielded a combat gauze product that was the result of combat casualty care research. This gauze includes a mineral to help form blood clots and is designed to stop severe bleeding in less than 4 minutes.