New Delhi, (Health Wire):
In a major shot in the arm for India’s paramilitary and police forces, an indigenous medical kit that ensures protection from serious injuries and faster healing of wounds in case of a nuclear warfare has been developed by a central medicine institute.
With more than 25 items including radio protectors that provide 80-90 per cent protection against radiation and nerve gas agents that can destroy human organs and nervous system, the kit has been developed after two decades of lab work by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS).
Being made for the first time ever in India, it’s a potent alternative to similar kits that were until now being procured from strategically advance nations such as US and Russia at much higher prices.
The contents include advanced form of Prussian blue tablets, which is highly effective in decorporating Radio Cesium (Cs-137) and Radio thallium– among the most feared radioisotopes in nuclear bombs that destroys human body cells.
The tablet provides 100 per cent absorption from gut and other portals of entry to the human body, according to documents on the medical kits.
According to INMAS, the kit has been developed for the armed, paramilitary and police forces only as they are the first ones likely to get exposed to radiation during any nuclear disasters may it be during a nuclear, chemical and biomedical (NCB) warfare or rescue operation after a nuclear accident.
The kit also has an EDTA injection that traps uranium in the guts and blood of the victims during a nuclear accident or warfare.
“In case of a radioactive scenario, most of the radioactivity in the environment will be in the form of bivalent cations, making EDTA exceptionally useful,” says the document on the medicine.
The kit has also has Ca-EDTA Respiratory Fluid which is the inhalation formula for chelation of heavy metals and radioactive elements deposited in lungs through inhalation at the nuclear accident sites.
The medicine reduces body burden of radioactivity by 30-40 per cent in controlled conditions and is highly useful for the rescue teams and victims after a nuclear accident.
The world has witnessed several nuclear disaster, however, the worst were in Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011.
While not many were reported to have died immediately due to the radiation, but scientific agencies said that hundreds were affected by the radiations and will have problems in their later life.
The kit, which INMAS wants the defence forces to consider as one stop solution to save lives of personnel during any nuclear accidents, has found resonance with Indian Navy and Central Armed Police Forces.
According to INMAS, different forces are processing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the institute for seamless procurement of the product.
“In some ways, medical and health issues faced by military and paramilitary are quite different to that of general public. The three areas of particular concern to the defence sector are high altitudes, war injuries and NBC warfare,” A K Singh, Director of INMAS, said.
Nuclear Biological Chemical warfare
“The conventional war of the last century is slowly giving to unconventional Nuclear Biological Chemical warfare whose clandestine nature and devastations have started reaching the realm of reality,” he added.
Stating that the Pharmaceutical industry is a mere spectator due to limited commercial scope in such products, Singh said: “Government sponsored research is the only way forward in this area with practically no import potential.”
“INMAS, the medical face of DRDO doubles up for the paramilitary also because there is no medical research in Bureau of Police R&D. The institute, as a policy, churns out complete medical solutions rather than dishing out research products,” he added.
He said that the drugs in the medical kit are Made in India, without any foreign counterpart and come with the tag of cost effective and industrial networking.
The medical kit has radioactive blood mopping
Explaining further about the other vital medicines in the kit, Aseem Bhatnagar, Additional Director at INMAS informed that the kit has Radioactive Blood Mopping Dressing — a special kind of bandage that absorbs the radiation from the human body and prevents it from effecting.
He explained that during radioactive accidents, depending upon its severity, hundreds to thousands of patients may be rushed to hospitals. In several cases if not most, they will be additionally having traumatic, orthopedic, surgical injuries or burns.
The blood of such patients requiring immediate medical kit interventions will be radioactive and will require wound dressing that has significantly higher absorption capacity so that nothing leaks and infects others.
“Such highly absorptive dressings and gauzes also makes it safer for the medical staff to handle radioactive patients as chance of their own contamination is reduced,” Bhatnagar said.