The Xstat is a pocket-sized invention that could soon save the lives of many wounded soldiers on the battlefield.
The XStat, developed by Oregon-based company RedMedx, is a syringe that injects tiny sponges into a bullet wound to completely seal it off and stop bleeding within 15 seconds. It’s a groundbreaking medical invention that may soon be found in the gear bags of US Army medics.
Popular Science reported that after seeing the prototypes, the US Army gave RevMedx $5 million to develop the XStat. The Army has also asked the Food and Drug Administration to quickly approve the technology, so that it can get into the hands of field medics as soon as possible.
Sealing A Bullet Wound In SecondsThe XStat injects sponges one centimeter in diameter into a bullet wound to stop bleeding. The sponges quickly expand inside the cavity and stop heavy bleeding within 15 seconds.
RevMedx’s invention solves an age-old problem for medics on the battlefield: How do you quickly stop bleeding in a gunshot wound and seal it off completely? Medics usually pack gauze directly into a wound in order to stop bleeding from damaged arteries; however, it’s a painful and sometimes ineffective solution to treating severe bullet wounds. It’s a problem that former U.S. Army Special Operations medic and RevMedx developer John Steignbaugh saw all too often throughout his military career.
“I spent the whole war on terror in the Middle East, so I know what a medic needs when someone has been shot,” Steinbaugh told Popular Science. “I’ve treated lots of guys who would have benefited from this product. That’s what drives me.”
How It Works
The initial prototype of XStat used foam injection, similar to the foam material that’s used to quickly seal car tires on the roadside. But the foam injections proved ineffective at stopping heavy bleeding. RevMedx’s solution was to use small foam sponges, cut into one-centimeter circles, that could be delivered through the syringe.
The sponges are made from wood pulp, and coated with a type of blood-clotting, antimicrobial substance that’s found in shrimp shells. When injected into the wound, the sponges take just 15 seconds to expand and completely fill the cavity and stop heavy bleeding. Each sponge is marked with an X that shows up during an X-ray scan, so that they can be easily found and removed in post-treatment.
The XStat syringe is a 30 millimeter-diameter polycarbonate pocket-sized device that stores with the handle inside, so that medics can carry multiple applicators in the field.
Popular Science reported that both RevMedx and the Army are in the final stages of talks with the FDA to get the XStat approved.
RevMedx is also working on a version of the XStat that can stop postpartum bledding. The company, along with Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, won a seed grant last summer from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to adapt the technology for medical use.