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3-D video simulates severe bleeding for combat medics’ training

Fluid dynamics principles used to calculate and model highly realistic anatomy and bleeding from a shrapnel wound


BOSTON — A 3-D simulation of hemorrhage, caused by shrapnel in a human lower leg, was created as a training aide for combat medics.

The video, presented at the fluid dynamics meeting of the American Physical Society by UCLA investigators, adapts smoothed particle hydrodynamics and a 3-D reconstruction of the skin, bone and internal tissue of a lower leg.

The team simulated a lower leg shrapnel wound because of the frequency of those injuries on the battlefield and because the geometry of the leg is relatively easy to model, reported the New Scientist.

“We’re genuinely hopeful that our simulations will enhance the educational experience for medical trainees,” said Jeff Eldredge, who led the work. “We are solving the governing equations of fluid dynamics and tissue mechanics, so these are truly physics-based simulations.”

In the future the research team hopes to add treatments, like tourniquets and drugs, to allow medics to see the real-time impacts on hemorrhage control.