A sad reality is that medical devices aren’t always developed to address the frailties that the human body was born with. Here’s a case in point, where a recently FDA approved device aims to stop the flow of blood from gunshot wounds.
Current medical practices employed in war zones include packing open wounds with gauze – a method that is both time consuming and painful. Thus, the U.S. military asked medical technology company RevMedx for a product that could more effectively stop service members from bleeding out on the battlefield. What they came up with was XStat-30™ which was FDA approved earlier this year.
Differing from other approaches to achieving hemostasis, which are mostly powder-based concepts, XStat rapidly deploys a series of small sponge-like discs from a syringe into the open wound. Each sponge then expands to 10 times its size, plugging the wound and providing necessary compression. XStat sponges are designed to swell to fit the cavity within 20 seconds of contact with blood and shave off several minutes from previous medical applications, according to the company.
After RevMedx was confronted with the wound-plugging challenge by the military community, one of the company’s founders was shopping at kitchenware retailer Williams Sonoma. According to CNN, Dr. Ken Gregory came across a kitchen sponge that was sold compressed but would expand to a normal size when splashed with water.
RevMedx says the device will be available for use in battle later in 2014 and eventually available for paramedics and law enforcement.
XStat discs are removed for the most part using forceps, although larger scale removal method is yet to be finalized. Blue radiopaque threads are sewn into the sponges, allowing any remaining in the wound to be detected by x-rays prior to surgical removal.