RevMedx has received $5 million from the American military to develop a product called Xstat, an in-combat injury treatment system that could temporarily plug up a gunshot wound much in the same way that you stop air from leaking out of a car tire, by inserting small expandable sponges directly into the wound. These sponges are compressed and coated with a hemostatic agent called chitosan so that it isn’t just mechanical pressure holding the blood back, but biochemical processes as well. Each sponge is tagged with a radiopaque marker so that it can later be seen through X-ray and removed, although one co-founder, John Steinbaugh, expressed desire to develop a biodegradable version as well.
In a swine model with aggressive non-compressible hemorrhaging, Xstat provided statistically significant improvement in hemostasis and survival 60 minutes after injury with a large reduction in blood loss, resuscitation fluid requirement, and medic treatment time compared to conventional hemorrhage control dressings.
There’s no timeline as to when this would be ready to use in a combat situation, but it’s not inconceivable that it makes its way to a paramedic’s arsenal sometime in the near future.