Remember those little capsules we buy for the kids, the ones that blow up into sponges in the shape of dinosaurs, cats, dogs, birds and other cool creatures when you throw them into the bathtub? Well, now this technology is more than cool—it is saving lives on the battlefields and soon it will be available for civilian use.
The XSTAT technology can save lives. How does it work? XSTAT is delivered as a 30mm diameter capsule, directly into a gunshot, shrapnel or stabbing wound. Once it makes contact with the blood or fluid within the wound, the capsule, which is actually made up of roughly 92 tiny cellulose sponges made from compressed wood, expands to ten times its original size. The expanded sponges completely fill the wound, stemming the flow of blood. As the sponges continue to expand, they provide hemostatic pressure. All of this happens within 20 seconds, making the difference between life and death. Each XSTAT capsule can absorb as much as a pint of blood. Up to three capsules can be inserted, depending upon the extent of the wounds.
Basically, XSTAT buys time. Bullets, knives or shrapnel cause deep wounds, often times in the joint areas between limbs, in places where it is impossible to apply a tourniquet. The FDA reports that 40% of civilian deaths are from uncontrolled bleeding. With XSTAT, the location of the wound does not matter. The innovative capsules can be used for as long as four hours, buying valuable time for emergency responders to transport the victim to a hospital or treatment center for surgery.
XSTAT was designed by the Oregon based company RevMedx, with funding from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s Combat Casualty Research Program and U.S. Special Operations command. It was approved for military use in April 2014. In December 2015, the FDA announced that it has cleared the technology for use on adults and adolescents in civilian centers. As more and more civilian population centers unfortunately face threat from terrorism, involving bombings, stabbings and gunshots, the FDA approval to use this technology could not have come at a better time.