Revolutionary sponge sealing technology may plug bullet wounds before you can say 'AAAAHHHHHH...'


The idea seems to have come from sci-fi movies where wounded characters get their lacerations fixed in no time using futuristic medical devices. However, XStat is not just an idea but a revolutionary tool that makes quick healing a possibility.

A startup company called RevMedx has developed a tool that could be a lifesaver particularly in the battlefield where many soldiers bleed to death because of hemorrhagic wounds. The device called "XStat" can close up a bullet wound and stop the bleeding within 15 seconds.

The pocket-sized syringe injects chitosan-coated sponges into the bullet wound where they expand to fill the entire cavity and stop the bleeding. Chitosan is an antimicrobial, blood-clotting substance.

To use the device, medics simply need to insert the syringe into the gunshot wound and inject the sponges the closest possible to the soldier's artery. Markers that are visible on an x-ray image are also placed on the sponges to prevent them from being accidentally left inside the body.

"We developed a novel hemostatic dressing (XSTATTM dressing) capable of stopping high-flow arterial bleeding from non-compressible wounds," RevMedx described XStat on its website. "The core technology behind the XStat dressing is mini-sponges that expand upon contact with blood -- resulting in a nearly immediate hemostatic effect without manual compression."

RevMedx has received a $5 million funding from the U.S. Army to finalize the development of the device and the product will likely be primarily used by the U.S Army. Once it gets approval from FDA, XStat will become the first battlefield dressing to be used for deep and narrow wounds.

Former U.S. Army Special Operations medic John Steinbaugh, who is on the design team of RevMedx, said that XStat applicators will likely cost about $100 each but the price may go down depending on the demand for the product.

While XStat is developed primarily for use in the battlefield, it is isn't unlikely that it will find civilian uses. RevMedx and Oregon Health and Science University, for instance, have already received a seed grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a version that could stop postpartum bleeding.

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