U.S. combat troops may soon benefit from faster and more effective relief from gunshot wounds on the battlefield.
The U.S. Army has requested expedited approval from the FDA for XStat, a new product that has the potential to decrease troop casualties during warfare. The product acts as a modified syringe -- injecting specially coated sponges into deep tissue wounds to stop hemorrhaging, Popular Science reports.
"[Medics] wanted something that was like a 'fire and forget,' so they can inject it and move on to treat the next wound," John Steinbaugh, an Army veteran and former Special Forces medic, told New York Daily News.
Steinbaugh joined a team of veterans, engineers and scientists at Oregon-based RevMedX in 2012 to develop XStat.
Compressed sponges injected by XStat to help clot bleeding.
If a soldier is shot on the battlefield today, the wound is packed with gauze -- an exhausting, painful and unreliable method to stop bleeding. Gauze is only FDA-approved for external use, but "everyone knows that if you get shot, you have to pack gauze into the wound," Steinbaugh told Popular Science.
After seeing early prototypes of XStat, the U.S. Army agreed to give RevMedX $5 million in funding to complete the product.
One advantage of XStat is how quickly it works. The sponges expand in the wound to fill the entire cavity in about 15 seconds. And, because they to cling to moist surfaces, they resist extraction from the body -- even in cases of severe bleeding, according to Popular Science.
"By the time you even put a bandage over the wound, the bleeding has already stopped," Steinbaugh told the outlet.
Another benefit of the product is its size. Steinbaugh told Medill Reports that each medic could likely carry two-to-three packets of three syringes each, replacing the need to carry five "bulky" rolls of gauze.
According to the Daily News, XStat is in the final stages of approval with the FDA to make it a reality on the battlefield.