Former Army medic John Steinbaugh's invention, XStat, will soon be used by the military to help stop severe bleeding on the battlefield.

Courtesy RevMedX

Could Tiny Sponges Save American Lives on the Battlefield?

This incredible but simple device can seal gunshot wounds in lightning speed.

A company in Oregon has invented a syringe-like device called the XStat that uses tiny medical sponges to stop bleeding in gunshot wounds—in just 15 seconds. This could be the difference between life or death, as hemorrhaging is one of the leading causes of fatalities on the field. According to Popular Science, once these sponges are injected, they “expand to fill the entire wound cavity, creating enough pressure to stop heavy bleeding. And because the sponges cling to moist surfaces, they aren’t pushed back out of the body by gushing blood.”

This invention, created by veterans, scientists, and engineers at RevMedX, is especially useful because gauze cannot always stop bleeding from gunshot wounds that are several inches deep. XStat is also useful to apply on parts of the body that tourniquets cannot tie off, like the shoulder or pelvis. XStat’s potential doesn’t only lie in stopping blood loss; this device could also save soldiers from the pain of emergency treatment on the field, an excruciating process that involves stuffing gauze directly into the wound.

MORE: Bravery After Battle: How This Navy SEAL Uses His War Wounds to Help Fellow Soldiers

Promisingly, the XStat showed positive results after it was tested on an animal injury. The company is currently seeking FDA approval for the XStat, and has already been given a cool $5 million from the U.S. Army to develop the product. Saving our soldiers’ lives—all thanks to a simple sponge.

Source: Popular Science

Lorraine Chow is a freelance writer and reporter from Los Angeles, California. She previously worked for the New York Post's Page Six.