Sponge-filled syringe can plug a gunshot wound in 15 seconds

Dec 12, 2015

The FDA has just cleared a device known as the XSTAT 30 for use in the general population. It’s a new kind of field dressing that’s value is not in its ability to heal, but to give gunshot victims more time, slowing the clock till the wounded can receive medical care.
Prior to the FDA’s recent press release, the XSTAT 30 was only approved for military use. So, in addition to battlefield medics, ambulances now have access to this new technology that allows them to dress a wound in 15 seconds. The device itself looks like a syringe full of sponges, and it is.

These 92 tablet-sized sponges are injected deep into the wound. Then these sponges do what sponges do best, absorbing the blood and expanding in the wound, filling it to create a temporary barrier to stop further blood loss in just 15 seconds. One XSTAT 30 dressing can absorb about a pint of blood, and the dressing can be used for up to four hours, according to the FDA.

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24 comments on “Sponge-filled syringe can plug a gunshot wound in 15 seconds

  • It is clarified in the Source of the article:
    “Each one is tagged with a radiopaque marker that can be detected through X-ray imaging, assuring the patient and medical staff that all sponges have been cleared of the body.”



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  • At first I thought: how does absorbing the blood help? It’s still blood loss. Apparently it’s main life-saving function is expansion to plug the wound. This is really clever stuff.



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  • Florian Feldner
    Dec 12, 2015 at 7:55 pm
    “Each one is tagged with a radiopaque marker that can be detected through X-ray imaging, assuring the patient and medical staff that all sponges have been cleared of the body.”

    Unfortunately, Xrays are used before or after operations, but not during operations, while a bunch of sponges may have some hidden behind others in the clump.

    I recently had two sets of Xrays to see if my wrist was broken.
    Both sets of results were inconclusive.

    Knowing there are 92 is fine, but if they are sold to amateurs, or with a small wound, all 92 may not be injected, and no record of remaining ones may be kept, when an ambulance crew removes the victim to hospital.



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  • So, no need for gun control then!
    Does anyone else find the timing if this a bit sinister?
    Can we have a sweepstake for how long it will be until the NRA takes on that argument…



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  • Anything that saves lives is always welcome, and I’m sure a great many families will benefit from this technology.
    None the less, at a time when the tide seems to be turning on something being done about gun control, something that makes guns seem less deadly appears. I stand by finding the timing of it sinister.



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  • Doug
    Dec 13, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Is there ever a bad time to approve a lifesaving device?

    Probably not, but there is probably a good time for avoiding needing one, by tackling the problem at source!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35086934

    The EU should crack down on the illegal gun trade, the prime minister will urge in the wake of the Paris attacks.

    At this week’s European Council, David Cameron will call for “greater co-operation” and a halt to the traffic in “guns from the western Balkans”.

    Mr Cameron will also propose a “new EU-wide ban on all high-powered semi-automatic weapons“.

    Number 10 said that alongside a ban, measures would include greater sharing of ballistics data, a plan to improve intelligence about firearms in the western Balkans, action to take firearms out of circulation and a “clear implementation” plan for all member states.



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  • Billy Dengel
    Dec 13, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Actually they can use x ray during surgery. It’s called fluoroscopy and it’s pretty cool.

    Thanks for that info.

    I still wonder about availability of expensive hospital equipment, and management of radiation levels for patients and radiographers/ surgeons.

    For regular X-rays and CT scans, the hospital staff usually leave the room before switching on.

    https://www.aapm.org/meetings/03am/pdf/9790-14134.pdf

    The initial injection of sponge pellets looks straightforward. The follow-up procedures not so much!



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  • RFID technology in each foam tablet is entirely doable. About 10 cents 200 micron PET or PI sandwich disc per tablet insert moulded into the foam. Each tablet can have a unique identifier so they can be counted out and counted in again with a loud enough search coil. Cap storage per disc offers retransmission during the millisecond or so quiet time.

    I’ll take my standard royalty, 3%.

    Simpler, string them on nylon thread. Cut off surplus with gizmo on syringe terminating with a ring pull.



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  • Doug
    Dec 13, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    by tackling the problem at source!

    Assuming guns are the source of the problem.

    I think it is pretty well established, that guns are the source of gunshot wounds,

    As I noted elsewhere, it’s not just for gunshot wounds.

    . . . although the carrying of weapons generally, is likely to also contribute to the incidence and severity of injuries.

    This sponge-filled syringe device is probably not much use for shotgun wounds.



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  • Shawn Curtis
    Dec 13, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Radiopaque isn’t the same as radioactive. I had radiopaque substances injected before a surgery as a marker to guide the surgery team. It’s pretty routine.

    I realise that, but it is the Xray beam which has potential to give radiation burns and cause radiation damage, not the injected or ingested radiopaque material, used to assist in imaging the organs.

    That is why the medical staff have to wear protective radiation resistant suits when using such equipment.

    Quotes from page 7 of my earlier link.

    Radiation Safety:

    Operator and Assisting Personnel

    Select appropriate personal shielding devices

    Protective aprons

    lead equivalent thickness of 0.5 mm recommended,
    required in some states wrap-around style needed if side or back faces exposed

    Thyroid shields

    use recommended if monthly collar badge reading
    exceeds 4 mSv

    significantly reduces effective dose with minimal
    inconvenience

    Leaded glasses

    use recommended if monthly collar badge reading
    exceeds 4 mSv

    side shields needed since user does not typically face
    the exposed patient volume

    Leaded gloves

    0.5 mm lead equivalent shielding recommended if
    hands must be in the primary beam

    leaded surgical gloves provide partial shielding (30-
    40% attenuation) if hands are in high scatter area provide minimal protection if hands are in the primary
    beam: ABC drives up dose rate, protection on one side only




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  • Ha ha ha? That was going to be one of my stupid questions as to why can’t:

    Simpler, string them on nylon thread. Cut off surplus with gizmo on
    syringe terminating with a ring pull.



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  • The paris attackers used AK47s with full rock and roll. That kind of weapon is already banned in the EU but since they’re readily available in numerous nearby middle eastern hell holes you’re going to have a hard time keeping people from simply bringing them in via boat to commit their attacks.



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  • The simply part of your post is the answer. Let’s not make it simple. Let’s make it as hard as possible. That’s the simple part.



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