House Expected to Pass Defense Budget Tonight Including Funding for Oregon-Based Businesses

July 22, 2004
Press Release
Washington, DC – The House of Representatives tonight is expected to approve legislation including $22.9 million for several Oregon based businesses, including HemCon, Oregon Medical Laser Center and Oregon Ironworks. The funding was requested by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and included in the Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2005 Appropriations bill conference report.

“At a time when Oregon’s economy is hurting, federal investment in our region is particularly important,” said Blumenauer. “Funding for these projects helps not only Oregon’s economy but our troops fighting abroad.”

Included in the legislation was:

 

  • $7 million for the purchase of chitosan hemorrhage control dressing for U.S. troops from HemCon, a company located in Tigard, Oregon. According to military physicians, 90% of soldiers killed in war die before they reach a medical facility, most often of blood loss. Wounds to the extremities are considered the main preventable cause of death in military action. Two years ago, the FDA approved a chitosan hemorrhage control dressing, manufactured by HemCon Inc., and the dressing has already shown to be successful in Iraq and Afghanistan for the U.S. troops.
  • $3.5 million for additional research into internal use of Hemcon dressing. Scientists in Oregon and at the U.S. Army Institute for Surgical Research have shown that the HemCon dressing dramatically increases survival and reduces blood loss from internal trauma and during surgical repairs of damaged organs such as liver, spleen and large arteries. This research funding will accelerate the availability of this life saving technology to deployed troops.
  • $4 million for research into tissue replacement and repair at the Oregon Medical Laser Center. Researchers at the Oregon Medical Laser Center (OMLC) have created tissues for repair of battlefield injuries based upon the natural protein elastin, as well as laser techniques (“dye targeted laser fusion”) for instant sealing of wounds. Even if repair is feasible, combat injuries treated with sutures, staples and synthetic materials often result in life threatening complications from rejection, bleeding, infection and organ failure. Use of elastin patches and dye targeted laser fusion may save countless lives now lost to internal organ damage and blood loss.
  • $8.4 million for the Navy to purchase SEALION Cascading Vehicles from Oregon Ironworks. The SEALION is a medium-range multi-mission craft that has been designed to fully minimize the risk of detection in medium to high threat areas by incorporating low observability features into the design. This funding will be used to design, build and evaluate multiple vehicles that can be carried onboard the SEALION craft.

The Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2005 Appropriations bill conference report will be voted on later this evening.

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