This new investigational device has made quite a splash during the past week. Manufactured by an Oregon company, it is designed to control bleeding, and is for use by combat medics and first responders.
Inspired by the old Fix-A-Flat expanding foam tire patch system, the XStat looks like a big syringe, and is filled with small 1cm sponges that expand rapidly when they get wet. It’s designed to stop hemorrhage in small wounds and wound tracts. Just pull back the plunger (which comes fully inserted to save space), push the unit into the wound, then hold the plunger while pulling the syringe out. This serves to leave the load of sponges in the tract and achieve rapid hemostasis.
It would seem that leaving a lot of tiny sponges in a wound could cause problems, especially if they are not removed at the time of definitive surgical management. However, each one is tagged with a radiopaque marker so they can be identified with xray or fluoro.
Preclinical trials have claimed to be successful, and an application has been submitted to the FDA for human use. This has the potential to save lives when bleeding gunshot wounds are encountered, especially in combat situations.
I have no financial interest in RevMedx, the manufacturer of this device.