A US-based company has developed a device that helps stop severe bleeding, associated with gunshot injuries, in less than 15 seconds.
The XStat, designed in the shape of a syringe, works by injecting mini-sponges into the wound. On reaching the wound and contacting blood, the sponges, basically made from wood pulps, will start expanding, blocking the blood flow, preventing severe blood loss and facilitating blood-clotting. (Click here to see Photos)
For this purpose, the sponges have been coated with an antimicrobial, blood-clotting substance - called chitosan - derived from shrimp shells, Popular Science reported. The round-shaped one-centimetre long sponges are also capable of withstanding high pressure of the blood flow. They do it by clinging to the moist surfaces.
"By the time you even put a bandage over the wound, the bleeding has already stopped," former US Army Special Operations medic John Steinbaugh, told Popular Science.
The innovation is expected to be of great use on the battlefield as it reduces chances of bleeding to death. Normally, dressing up a gunshot wound is time-consuming and is obviously a painful affair. It involves wrapping up the wound with many layers of gauzes. "Gauze bandages just don't work for anything serious," Steinbaugh, added to Popular Science.
Interestingly, there are X-shaped markers on the sponges to easily track them during X-ray screening, avoiding possibility of any being left in the wound.
"I spent the whole war on terror in the Middle East, so I know what a medic needs when someone has been shot," Steinbaugh explained to Popular Science. "I've treated lots of guys who would have benefitted from this product. That's what drives me."
The innovation comes from an Oregon-based company named RevMedx. The product, costing around $100, is in its final stages of FDA approval, so is expected to hit the commercial markets soon.
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