Despite all the technological advances made in medicine in the last few years, doctors are still stumped by some of the most basic challenges posed by the human body. For instance, though many aspects of emergency medicine have gotten far more sophisticated, uncontrolled hemorrhaging remains one of the biggest concerns for patients with traumatic injuries, like gunshot or knife wounds. This is especially true for combat victims — Gizmag reports that 80% of combat deaths are caused by loss of blood that occurs while patients wait for treatment.
A patent-pending invention from the start-up RevMedX is directly addressing this deadly concern. Called XStat, the gadget's almost poetically simple: It's essentially a giant syringe filled with small sponges that expand when injected into a wound. As the sponges grow, they apply enough pressure to help stop bleeding.
According to RevMedX's website, XStat is intended to be used for a maximum of four hours, as a stopgap measure until the patient can be transported to a hospital and taken into surgery. The sponges are then removed — each contains a marker that is visible on X-ray to ensure none is left behind.
While XStat sounds like a miracle fix, the device is still in its early stages — and, it's not fit for use on injuries in many parts of the body, including the abdomen and chest cavity. Still, trauma experts are cautiously optimistic that this tool could be a game-changer for treating patients in the field. Kinda makes your grungy dish sponge look like an underachiever, doesn't it?