The company RevMedx envisages medics treating future gun shot wounds in the same way that we repair a flat tyre. The Xstat dressing, is a new technology that is currently in development and was inspired by the foam that is used to repair a flat tyre.
RevMedx’s co-founder, John Steinbaugh told Popular Science: “That’s what we pictured as the perfect solution: something you could spray in, it would expand, and bleeding stops. But we found that blood pressure is so high, blood would wash the foam right out.”
To combat this problem, Xstat contains tiny, expandable medical sponges. The sponges are compressed and coated in a hemoststic agent called chitosan, just like regular medical sponges. Once placed in the wound, they expand within 15 seconds, helping to clot the blood and stop blood flow. The sponges are detectable on an X-ray and medics can remove them.
The company tested these new sponges on pigs and found that they resulted in a “significant improvement” in survival one hour following the injury. Currently a 30 millimeter and 12 millimeter version are being developed so that medics can treat small and larger wounds.
Although Xstat is still in development, the company has received $5 million from the American military to actually produce the product. At the moment treatment of injuries sustained on the battlefield involve packing the wound with gauze. This new device could potentially provide a significant improvement in the treatment of gun shot wounds.
RevMedx are also looking at developing a biodegradeable version.
[Image via RevMedx]