Device can seal gunshot wounds, stop bleeding in seconds

Device can seal gunshot wounds, stop bleeding in seconds
PHOTO: YouTube

Imagine a device that can seal gunshot and shrapnel wounds and stop bleeding in a matter of seconds. Infographics journalist HO YAN HAO shows you how this new invention can save lives

Invented in the 1940s, duct tape, originally known as "duck" tape reportedly because it could repel water, was to help the war effort and came in army green. The soldiers noticed it was great for repairing items.

The EpiPen, known as the epinephrine autoinjector, was a device developed during the Cold War. The device was originally used for self-injecting antidotes to nerve gas. This device is now used to treat severe allergies.

A research and development team from RevMedx, a US-based medical company, was inspired by expanding foam that was used for repairing tyres.

That concept was turned into XStat, a syringe containing tiny centimetre-long sponges. The sponges are wood pulp-based and contain chitosan, a micro-organism.

Costing US$100 (S$144) each, the lightweight syringe is made of polycarbonate plastic and can be inserted deep into gun wounds to stop bleeding.

The sponges expand upon liquid contact. The expanded sponges erect a barrier against the blood flow almost instantly.

The Xstat is designed to be used in scenarios where advanced medical care might not be easily available. The dressing is effective for up to four hours after initial use.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the XStat for non-military use.

However, despite its usefulness, it is not a panacea: The XStat is not suitable for gunshot wounds on the abdomen, pelvis, chest and soft tissue above the collarbone.

This article was first published on January 18, 2016.
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