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New temporary dressing works to prevent bleeding out on the battlefield

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XSTAT, an expandable, multi-sponge wound dressing to control the bleeding from certain types of wounds received in battle, has been approved by the FDA for military use only.

The device consists of three, syringe-style applicators containing 92 compressed, cellulose sponges that have an absorbent coating and can expand and swell to fill the wound cavities in areas such as the groin or armpit where it is impossible to use a tourniquet, and acts as a temporary physical barrier to blood flow. The tablet-shaped sponges are each 9.8 mm across and 4- 5 mm in high. They can absorb 3 milliliters of blood or body fluid
According to the U.S. Army Medical Department, Medical Research and Materiel Command, “since mid-World War II, nearly 50% of combat deaths have been due to bleeding out (exsanguinating hemorrhage out).” Unfortunately that number could have been cut in half had this type of emergency care been available.
The number of sponges needed to control the bleeding will depend on how big and how deep the wound is. Up to three applicators may be used on a patient.

“XSTAT is a novel device that can be rapidly deployed, providing fast-acting hemorrhage control to stabilize a wounded patient for transport,” said Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “This will be an important new treatment option for our nation’s military to treat injured soldiers who may not be in close proximity to a medical facility.”
She also noted that the sponges “cannot be absorbed by the body and all sponges must be removed from the body before a wound is closed. In addition, each sponge contains a marker visible via X-ray as well as to confirm removal of every one of them.”

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