A medical device called the X-STAT-30 was used to save a (non-US) coalition soldier’s life after we was shot while operating in an unnamed location in the Middle East in 2015. The plastic syringe is filled with tiny sponges that expand when they come into contact with blood. The pressure of the sponges expanding is used to stop the bleeding. SOCOM is currently fielding these devices in smaller quantities.

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Image courtesy of RevMedx

According to Army Times,

The coalition soldier (not an American) was injured in the “Middle East where U.S. forces are operating” in the middle of 2015, said Will Fox, the VP of sales and marketing for XStat maker RevMedx. The soldier was shot in the leg, a bullet shattering his femur, Fox said.

After arriving at the forward operating base, the surgical team removed the tourniquet applied in the field, Fox said. They had were having extreme difficulty trying to stop the bleeding where the bone-shattering bullet had created a cavity, or a deficit wound. They tried to cauterize the wound, insert bone wax (a wax used to control bleeding from bone surfaces during surgery) and they tried to stuff it with gauze; none of these measures stabilized the patient, Fox said.

XStat consists of a pocket-sized syringe-like device full of 92 disc-shaped sponges made of special sterile cellulose and coated with chitosan, a clotting agent. The sponges expand to about 10 times their size, providing hemostatic pressure and blocking blood flow. That gives doctors time to make repairs before the patient bleeds out. XStat sponges can be removed incrementally, and each has a marker visible by X-Ray to ensure none gets left behind.

Here is a video showing how the X-STAT works:

Image courtesy of mandesager.dk