The Food and Drug Administration has approved for civilian use a revolutionary device that can stop bleeding from a gunshot wound in less than a minute. On December 7, the agency gave the green light to deploy the XStat 30 to hospitals.
The simple invention is a syringe-like tool that injects tiny sponges into a wound to treat hemorrhaging. Originally developed with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in mind, the XStat 30 could change the way gunshot victims are treated in the U.S.
The device is designed to plug bleeding from bullet and shrapnel injuries to the groin, armpits, and other areas where applying traditional tourniquets could be difficult.
“When a product is developed for use in the battlefield, it is generally intended to work in a worst-case scenario where advanced care might not be immediately available,” said William Maisel of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “It is exciting to see this technology transition to help civilian first responders control some severe, life-threatening bleeding while on the trauma scene.”
The device is the brainchild of a small startup in suburban Portland, Oregon, called RevMedx, which primarily designs products for military personnel and emergency first responders. This past April, RevMedx shipped XStat devices to the military for the first time.
Over the long term, these devices and similar ones could reduce gun deaths in the United States. Data from the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research suggests 30% to 40% of civilian traumatic injury deaths are due to blood loss.