Launch the slideshow to learn how the seafood bandage works.

When it comes to war wounds, red is dead. Stop the bleeding, and you save the soldier. It´s a simple idea that´s driving a budding industry for fast-acting blood-clotting agents.

The latest in the category: a pourable bandage called Celox. Made by SAM Medical Products near Portland, Oregon, Celox is a granular compound derived from shrimp shells. â€It resembles uncooked grits,†says Adrian Polliack, SAM´s head of research and development. When poured directly into a bleeding wound and subjected to pressure, the posi-
tively charged Celox granules cross-link with negatively charged red blood cells, forming a putty-like plug that blocks blood flow [see slideshow].

The process takes about five minutes and features key advantages over two kinds of high-tech bandages now in use in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unlike HemCon, a bandage also made of shrimp shells that works only on surface injuries, Celox can be poured into major wounds. QuickClot, a clotting aid made of mineral powder, is similarly applied but creates heat that can cause severe burns.

Celox could hit war zones by year´s end, pending approval by the Food and Drug Administration. After that, your first-aid kit.

illustrated medic putting pressure on a bleeding wound

by Taylor Vignali

Pressure helps Celox plug up the gash
illustrated man with an open wound on his leg

by Taylor Vignali

A putty-like plug blocks blood flow-potentially saving the soldier’s life
illustrated red blood cells connected with a positively charged chain

by Taylor Vignali

The positively charged granules electrostatically attract red blood cells
illustrated medic putting Celox granules on an bleeding wound

by Taylor Vignali

Celox granules are poured into a wound