The debate has raged for years as to which is better for a “blowout” kit on a range (one designed to treat gunshot wounds): Celox or tampons. Each camp has their opinions and evidence to back them up. But as with most things in life, there’s a tradeoff when choosing one over the other. Neither is ideal. But a new product being introduced seems to bridge the gap between the two approaches, providing immediate wound-packing to prevent further blood loss as well as giving the blood something to use as a structure around which to form the clots necessary to stop internal bleeding. It’s called the Xstat . . .
For those wondering, the argument for the tampon is that it’s a commonly-available cylindrical object that works well when inserted into a gunshot wound and provides some packing material to try and stop the bleeding. While Celox doesn’t pack a would, it’s designed using tiny granules that give the blood a structure to use to start the clotting process, sealing things up pretty quickly. But with the Xstat, you get both the wonders of modern medicine and sanguination-sopping technology in one easy-to-use applicator.
From The Verge:
Xstat uses small, expandable sponges. The sponges — which are standard medical sponges that have been compressed and coated with a hemostatic agent called chitosan — take just 15 seconds to expand once they’re in the wound. They help with clotting and slowing blood flow, while providing enough pressure that no manual pressure is needed. Each sponge is also marked so that it can be seen by an X-ray and removed from the body, though RevMedx is also hoping to create a biodegradable version as well.
As I like to repeat often: immediate treatment is the best indicator of survivability. The sooner you start plugging holes, the better your chances of living are. And where before people needed to fumble with all manner of medical contraptions and tinctures to try and stop severe bleeding from a gunshot wound, now there’s a quick and simple method of getting the packing material where it needs to be quickly while still being able to find and remove it later. That said, it does look like actually using this instrument properly would be rather uncomfortable for both the patient and the medic. We’ll be keeping an eye on how the thing works as it continues testing.