Ask any emergency room employee; there’s nothing more dangerous than a gunshot wound. This is, of course, the entire idea of shooting somebody, but in the military, the entire idea is that our soldiers aren’t the ones getting shot. So RevMedX found a way to keep soldiers from bleeding out in the battlefield.
The Old Ways Are Not The Good Ways
Here, essentially, is what happens to you if you get shot, whether you’re a soldier on the battlefield or somebody who has just had a really bad day; the medic on site assesses the wound, checks the bleeding, and then starts packing the wound full of gauze. That is every bit as painful as it sounds, and if, after applying pressure, the bleeding doesn’t stop, you yank the gauze out and try again.
Needless to say, anything would be an improvement, but RevMedX came up with a novel one.
Sponge It Up
Essentially, the company developed a sponge, made out of wood fiber and covered with a substance that’s antibacterial and encourages clotting, that can be fired out of a specialized syringe. True, you’ve still got to stick it into a wound up to five inches deep, but the sponges quickly expand, sealing the wound and preventing hemorrhage, which is what often kills gunshot victims. It’s not a permanent solution; you’ll still need to get to a hospital. But it’s a far more effective one.
A Simple Idea That Saves Lives
This is still in the process of being approved by the FDA. But the military has already funded it, and it seems likely they want it on the battlefield sooner rather than later: Three of these sponge-syringes could replace five rolls of gauze in a combat medic’s field kit. In short, we’re on the edge of changing completely how we treat serious injury… and that’s a good thing for all of us.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.