With gun-related deaths tragically on the rise and cries for added gun-control restrictions falling largely on deaf ears, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a military-developed sponge-dispensing syringe for use by civilian first responders to control bleeding from severe gunshot wounds.
The Xstat Rapid Hemostasis System is designed to inject small, expandable cellulose sponges that close gaping wounds within 20 seconds of contact with blood after being directly inserted into tissue. The sponges are designed to block blood flow by absorbing up to a pint of blood each at the groin, armpit, and other areas where a tourniquet cannot be applied.
The United States Army Institute of Surgical Research reports that blood loss causes somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of civilian traumatic injury deaths – in 33 to 56 percent of those fatalities, before the victim can even reach a hospital. Xstat sponges are meant to hold back bleeding during transport and are tagged with radiopaque markers for later detection and removal.