By Joel Lindsey
A new device, known as XStat, created by the Oregon-based medical device company RevMedx stops the bleeding of an open gunshot wound in a matter of seconds.
“One of the co-founders of the company, Dr. Ken Gregory, was shopping at a Williams-Sonoma and discovered this kitchen sponge that was dried and compressed. You’d bring it home, splash water under it, and it would pop up into a normal-sized kitchen sponge,” RevMedx CEO Andrew Barofsky said in an article published recently by CNN. “That was kind of a light bulb moment.”
XStat works by using a syringe to inject a dose of tiny sponge-like discs that have been treated with an anti-hemorrhagic substance into an open gunshot wound. Once these discs come into contact with blood, they quickly expand to approximately 10 times their original size, simultaneously plugging the open wound and providing enough pressure to help stop the bleeding.
Developers involved with the new technology say it could prove revolutionary in treating dangerous gunshot wounds.
“Three to five minutes can mean the difference between life and death,” said John Steinbaugh, a former Army Special Forces medic who now works as the director of strategic development for RevMedx. “You put it in and the bleeding instantly stops.”
While XStat was originally designed for use in military combat, researchers involved with the device say it could also prove beneficial in other contexts as well. In particular, the device could become an important tool for paramedics and law enforcement officers.
“XStat is a novel device that can be rapidly deployed, providing fast-acting hemorrhage control to stabilize a wounded patient for transport,” Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a press release published on RevMedx’s website.
XStat received FDA approval in April, and RevMedx representatives say they plan on providing a limited number of the devices to military medics sometime during 2014. The company also hopes to expand to other, non-military markets a short time later.
“Every drop of blood on the battlefield is precious,” said Steinbaugh. “The faster you can stop the bleeding, the higher the probability you can save a guy’s life.”
Image credit: RevMedX