Expandable sponge-filled syringe that stems bleeding cleared for civilian use

A fast-acting medical device for treatment of battlefield wound has been cleared for civilian use by the FDA. The XStat 30, a syringe that can stop severe bleeding within 20 seconds through the injection of small sponges into a wound, is now available for use by the general population.
Taken from prototype stage through to its final development under a US$5 million US Army contract, the first variant called XStat was approved for use on the battlefield in 2014. Narrow, penetrative wounds like those resulting from a gunshot are obviously very agonizing, but emergency treatments in the field involving the application of special gauze and direct pressure cause extreme discomfort for the patient, too.
Functioning in essentially the same way as the military version, XStat 30 works by filling a wound with small cellulose sponges, which are made from wood pulp and coated in chitosan, a compound found in crustacean shells. Researchers have previously sought to harness the antimicrobial properties of chitosan for things like tackling superbugs and spray-on coatings that boost the shelf life of fresh fruits.
In this case, further to its bacteria-battling abilities, chitosan also serves to trigger clot formation. This works in conjunction with the expanding sponges to fill the cavity, apply sufficient pressure to stop arterial bleeding and quickly stem blood flow. And as the sponges also contain an x-ray absorbing material, they can then be detected and safely removed when surgical treatment later becomes available.
"It is exciting to see this technology transition to help civilian first responders control some severe, life-threatening bleeding while on the trauma scene," says William Maisel, acting director of the Office of Device Evaluation in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.