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Fayetteville company provides life-saving equipment to military

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Thousands of soldiers are recovering from combat wounds after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many of them made it back home due to new life-saving tools.

One of the companies that manufactures those tools is Combat Medical Systems in Fayetteville.

The company serves every branch of the military and it's gear is engineered to keep soldiers alive on the battlefield long enough to get them to a hospital.

One of CMS' latest developments is the Croc, a modern twist of a tourniquet.

"If they step on a large mine or large IED and they lose their limb up to their pelvis, a belt tourniquet will not go around their leg because the leg is missing all the way up to the body," says Corey Russ, CMS President.

The Croc presses against the artery at the pelvis and clamps to control the bleeding. But without a device like the Croc, things are more complicated in the field.

"In Afghanistan and Iraq the distances were so great you are asking soldiers to apply pressure with their hands for hours at a time and is not effective," says Russ.

CMS also sells its products to law enforcement, federal agencies, and allied militaries, but 85 percent of its life saving equipment goes to the United States Military.

The company specializes in products that fit inside a soldier's backpack, like combat gauze which is impregnated with a material that hyper activates the body's clotting factors.

In World War I, about 36 percent of soldiers died from combat related injuries. With improvements in every war since, the number has dropped to 9 percent. CMS says that's the power of battlefield medical care.

CMS also manufactures a stretcher apparatus, a contraption that can be fitted into a chopper.

"Particularly in the Middle East you have to travel long distances. This allows you to secure them and work on them at the same time," says Russ.

Russ says being based in Fort Bragg also gives them insight as to what's needed in battle.

"A zero casualty rate is not entirely realistic, but that's what we are shooting for," says Russ.

Melanie Sanders

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