WACO, Texas — A Baylor professor patented a break-through treatment for traumatic wounds. The new drug will extend the "golden hour" to save lives impacted by traumatic injury.

Dr. Erica Bruce said she has been busy in the lab. It took seven years for Bruce and her team to come up with a way to extend "the golden hour"

"When we have trauma that occurs, the golden hour is that 60-minute post injury that’s critical in getting folks to a medical facility to be treated,” Bruce said. “If we can get them there with that 60-minute time limit our chances of them surviving increase dramatically."

Bruce is the Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director of Environmental Science. She says the new drug, which is a powder, will help extend the golden hour to possibly 72 hours.

Bruce said service members injured in combat, hemorrhage, or bleeding out, are the most common causes of preventable deaths. Getting patients to a hospital quickly is sometimes unlikely.

"When we have those injuries occur in a combat theater, you are not close to a medical facility,” Bruce said. "Getting to a medical facility within that golden hour is extremely difficult. The drug we worked on is an oxygenating therapeutic. It will add oxygen to a system without having to have blood."

Bruce said the drug has gotten attention from the Department of Defense. She said it can be deployed and can be taken out and given immediately in the field. A recipient can be any blood type to get it. Overall, she said she just wants to save lives.

"That’s the goal, to get this in the hands of people as soon as we can."

Bruce said, right now, there's a $2 million research proposal under review with the Department of Defense to help with funding and to extend her work. 

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