Gunshot Wound Healed In 15 Seconds: Explosive Tiny Sponges Treat Bleeding From Bullet, Invention Interests Military

  • Peter Black , Design & Trend Staff Writer
  • Feb, 04, 2014, 03:03 PM
army medic
(Photo : - Tam Nguyen) Company says new invention can heal gunshot wounds in 15 seconds.

After you've gotten shot, a new company wants to shoot you again—with sponges.

The Oregon based startup RevMedx created an applicator called "XStat" that launches mini-sponges into open gunshot wounds, purportedly stopping bleeding in 15 seconds, Popular Science reported. 

RevMedx got the idea from Fix-a-Flat foam for repairing tires. They then "bought some ordinary sponges from a hardware store and cut them into 1-centimeter circles, a size and shape they chose on a whim but later would discover were ideal for filling wounds. Then, they injected the bits of sponge into an animal injury."

The sponges apparently "healed" the unspecified injury on the unspecified animal.

"Our eyes lit up," said former military medic John Steinbaugh, who now works for RevMedx. "We knew we were onto something."

The only problem was that the animal then had kitchen sponges leaking bacteria into its open wound.

To solve this problem, the creators made a sponge from wood pulp and chitosan, a "substance that comes from shrimp shells."

They also put big black X's on the mini sponges, aka "radiopaque markers," which are meant to alert medics that the sponges are rotting inside the victim's body when he/she arrives at the hospital.

The current method for treating gunshot wounds on the battlefield is a simple one: gauze. Military medics are carry around big rolls of gauze and shove it into wounds by the pound in order to stop bleeding arteries. The process is apparently extraordinarily painful.

"A medic must pack gauze directly into the wound cavity, sometimes as deep as 5 inches into the body, to stop bleeding from an artery," Live Science said. "It's an agonizing process that doesn't always work--if bleeding hasn't stopped after three minutes of applying direct pressure, the medic must pull out all the gauze and start over again. It's so painful, 'you take the guy's gun away first,' says former U.S. Army Special Operations medic John Steinbaugh."

The U.S. Army gave RevMedx $5 million to finish developing the product. The final prototype is currently being reviewed by the FDA.

RevMedx said that each applicator will cost around $100.

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