An Oregon startup, RevMedx, which specializes in creating triage products for military medics and emergency service professionals, has created a device that can start healing a gunshot wound within 15 seconds, according to Popular Science. Indeed, this new leap in medical technology has the mucky-mucks who run the U.S. Army so excited that their Web outlet is editorializing for it to be fast-tracked into it’s medicine cabinet as soon as possible.
As news reaches us daily of newer, ever more fiendish armor-piercing bullets and IEDs (Improvised explosive devices) created in Iran by Quds and Revolutionary Guard scientists for use by Hezbollah volunteers in the Syrian and Iraqi civil war, the number of ‘innocent bystander’ fatalities from what, heretofore, had been more isolated to military conflicts, this product needs to be utilized as quickly as possible. The XStat device and its creators are hoping the FDA (Federal Drug Authority) will approve it for use by medical professionals.
Uncontrolled hemorrhage is the leading cause of death on the battlefield and the second leading cause of death in civilian trauma. At the point of injury, saving every possible drop of blood is precious and cannot be replaced. Many wounds occur in parts of the torso where the simple application of compression, such as the pelvis or shoulder, will not be effective. Such copious bleeding is called non-compressible hemorrhaging. Such wounds—often caused by exploding IEDs+ made from bullets, industrial ball-bearings and roofing nails usually basted in copious amounts of human fecal matter—were almost impossible to dress in a battlefield triage situation because military or civilian first responders owned no material designed specifically for treating non-compressible hemorrhages.
Working closely with Special Operations Forces medics, RevMedx developed an original hemostatic dressing (XSTA dressing) capable of stopping high-flow arterial bleeding from non-compressible wounds. Using a lightweight applicator, the expanding sponges are forced inside the wound cavity. The core technology behind the XStat dressing is a connected series of mini-sponges that expand upon contact with blood, causing an immediate hemostatic stanching effect without any need for manual compression. This kind of self-expanding sponge technology can be pre-prepared for medics into a portfolio of hemostatic dressings, custom-shaped in advance to suit a wide range of wound types.
The device looks like a large plastic syringe filled with tiny, pellet-shaped sponges that enlarge to fill up a wound area quickly to prevent blood loss. Composed of standard medical sponge material coated with a hemostatic agent and compressed, the XStat sponges expand, creating a quick-clotting barrier to blood flow, without any direct manual pressure being necessary. Better yet, the tiny sponges won’t get lodged and lost in your body forever as used to be the case with so many bits of bandages and tape. Marked with a radiopaque marker, they will show up on an x-ray when the victim reaches the hospital and be easily extracted.
The RevMedx team recently received US$5m from the U.S. Army to finish developing the product, and a seed grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a version of XStat which will help stymie postpartum bleeding, according to Popular Science.
Anyone who’s seen enough American movies or been in a city emergency room on a weekend night knows that military medics and civilian first responders currently use gauze to stanch gunshot wounds in a painful primitive process that hasn’t changed in hundreds of years. Medics often pack gauze directly into wounds that can be as deep as six inches to stop arterial flow. Cue XStat, a device so wonderful and prescient, you wonder how come nobody thought of it until now.