- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A new creation called XStat — a spongy substance that seals bullets wounds in 15 seconds — is being hailed as the savior of U.S. battlefield soldiers and a new way to treat gun injuries.

The spongy material — injected via a modified syringe — expands to fill the hole created by the bullet, Popular Science reported. It also simultaneously exerts enough pressure to stop the bleeding, The Blaze reported.

The invention is being seen as a lifesaver. Presently, military field medics have to pack layer after layer of gauze into a wound to stop the bleeding — a time-consumer endeavor that doesn’t always bring the desired results.

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Medics are taught that if the bleeding doesn’t stop within three minutes, to pull out the gauge and start the process again — and it’s so painful, “you take the guy’s gun away first,” said one former U.S. Army Special Operations medic, John Steinbaugh, in Popular Science.

XStat doesn’t automatically mean the solider won’t bleed to death, but the spongy application is a step up from gauze.

“Gauze bandages just don’t work for anything serious,” said Mr. Steinbaugh, in Popular Science.

Mr. Steinbaugh left the military in 2012 and joined a company called RevMedx, a start-up in Oregon staffed by veterans, researchers and engineers who wanted to find a better way to address bloody wounds on the battlefield.

And the creative inspiration for XStat?

The company first looked at Fix-a-Flat foam, a tire-repair kit.

“That’s what we pictured as the perfect solution — something you could spray in, it would expand and bleeding stops,” Mr. Steinbaugh said, in Popular Science. “But we found that blood pressure is so high, blood would wash the foam right out.”

So then the team turned to sponges, purchased at a hardware store and cut into 1-centimeter circles. They injected the sponges into an animal injury and “the bleeding stopped,” Mr. Steinbaugh said, in the magazine.

“Our eyes lit up,” he went on. “We knew we were onto something.”

The Army then provided $5 million for the company to take its prototype to final development, including the addition of a more sterile solution. So far, the testing has proven stellar.

“By the time you even put a bandage over the wound, the bleeding has already stopped,” Mr. Steinbaugh said, in Popular Science.

Currently, each single-use XStat applicator costs about $100. But RevMedx expects the price to decline, as demand escalates. Still to come: FDA approval.

Already, other uses for the creation are on the horizon. Last year, the company won a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to work with Oregon Health and Science University officials to develop a special version of XStat that would stop postpartum bleeding, the magazine reported.

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