XStat: A new gunshot blood clotting device

Courtesy of RevMedx.

As reported in Popular Science, a company called RevMedx has recently submitted their blood clotting device to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Their device injects a number of specially coated, quickly expanding sponges into wounds, and they claim the sponges expand and stop bleeding in just 15 seconds.

RevMedx recently asked the FDA to approve a pocket-size invention: a modified syringe that injects specially coated sponges into wounds. Called XStat, the device could boost survival and spare injured soldiers from additional pain by plugging wounds faster and more efficiently than gauze.

The team’s early efforts were inspired by Fix-a-Flat foam for repairing tires. “That’s what we pictured as the perfect solution: something you could spray in, it would expand, and bleeding stops,” says Steinbaugh. “But we found that blood pressure is so high, blood would wash the foam right out.”

So the team tried a new idea: sponges. They bought some ordinary sponges from a hardware store and cut them into 1-centimeter circles, a size and shape they chose on a whim but later would discover were ideal for filling wounds. Then, they injected the bits of sponge into an animal injury. “The bleeding stopped,” says Steinbaugh. “Our eyes lit up. We knew we were onto something.” After seeing early prototypes, the U.S. Army gave the team $5 million to develop a finished product.

XStat, before and after. Courtesy of RevMedx.

XStat, before and after. Courtesy of RevMedx.


Chris Cheng

Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.



  • t

    I’m looking at the size of the syringe and capsules in the picture and then at the illustration showing it in use and it is just not meshing for me. Is the person in the illustration suffering from a cannonball wound? That hole is gigantic when compared when you take into account how big those capsules look in the pic.

    • sianmink

      very small hands? Seriously though 1cm disks is not meshing with the picture, where they seem to be about the diameter of nickels. Can we get a banana for scale?

      • XHLN

        No, those sponges look about to scale in the photo, 1.0cm is really huge for something meant to be filling up wounds, especially gunshot wounds. The drawn illustration is exaggerated of course, but at the same time I don’t see how 1cm wide discs are going to fit anything in real life either.

        Maybe its the kind of thing you use when you lost a limb, or got impaled with a steel girder. Yeah.

        • Igor

          Maybe it will expand inwards?

        • David Sharpe

          Yeah I was thinking the same, 1cm is larger or right near as large as the most popular handgun rounds.

          Maybe they designed it with larger wound cavities in mind?

          The guy was an SF medic, I doubt he would design something that wouldn’t work.

          • noob

            maybe he’s thinking about the terrible bleeding that you can get from a full power rifle exit wound?

            also IED injuries can create craters on the body that need to be staunched.

        • derfelcadarn

          25/64ths of and inch =1cm Approximately equal to a .308 bullet

          • Hunter57dor

            er… no.

            1 cm = 10mm. .308 = 7.62 mm.

            something wrong with your math.

          • The Forty ‘Twa

            A .308 bullet won’t leave a perfect 7.62mm hole in flesh though (maybe on rare occasions), arguing about the exact diameter of the bullet seems a bit pointless to me.

          • derfelcadarn

            Sorry about that

          • Callum King-Underwood

            Actually 7.62mm = 0.3 inches exact. A .308 round is instead mislabelled.

  • Vhyrus

    I think I would rather die than let someone put what looks like a giant asprin enema anywhere inside my body.

    • noob

      I’ll take the sponges if you’re not using them.

  • Anton Gray Basson

    well while working anti poaching we carried tampons for the same purpose

    • iksnilol

      The pad type (sanitary napkins) can be used together with duct tape as an improvised bandage.

      Don’t ask me how I know.

      • Anton Gray Basson

        Dude Ive improvised dressings out of duct tape and a roll of toilet paper, condoms and cable ties and a seat belt and plastic shopping bags . And failing that a finger or two also works. First rule of survival is use what works and is on hand. And the second rule I have related to gunshots and stabs is always stop bleeding asap doesnt matter if all you have on hand isnt sterile an infection kills allot slower than blood loss.
        I must say that I do like this device. Its more sterile and allow you to plug a hole better.I hope it retails at a reasonable price

        • iksnilol

          I know about those but from what I know you want to avoid an infection.

          • Callum King-Underwood

            I agree that you want to prevent infection wherever possible but your entire life force draining out of your leg might be slightly more critical short term. Would you rather risk a treatable infection or bleed out?

          • iksnilol

            True, but if you can do it right the first time without risking your life then you should. I’m all for duct tape and TP but I would rather not lose an arm or something to gangrene.

            Bottom line: Do whatever it takes to not bleed out and die, if it means duct taping a dildo to your hand with the spongebob duct tape then so be it.

          • Jack

            That’s why you seek medical attention as soon as possible following a serious injury. Infection and gangrene haven’t been a guarantee of lost limb or life since at least the mid-twentieth century.

  • Jake

    They make two sizes, a 30mm (1.18 inches) for large wounds (that picture) and a 12 mm (.47 inches) for small wound tracks.
    They should have had someone with larger hands take the picture. It looks like an asprin filled dildo.

    Here’s the small size. http://static.wixstatic.com/media/14efbf_06d8cc034c83d2642390ad30ec7336bd.png_srz_p_130_156_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srz

    • West

      There have been a few hungover mornings where I could have used an aspirin filled dildo.

  • MOG

    We had two ways of stopping the bleeding, put big rags in big holes, or small rags in small holes. Sometimes neither worked.

    • noob

      sorry to hear that.

  • Schadavi

    I bet that after first major conflict where such a system is used, the most common “veteran souvenir” will be rotting sponges in the body, left over from surgery…

    • noob

      as Prax noted, the blue line is an X-ray visible tag.

      of course if the sponge is in the wrong place, you may still be unable to remove it.

    • Callum King-Underwood

      Medical grade sponges are inert to the human body. Plus they are XRay tagged.

  • Prax

    It should be noted that each sponge contains an xray tag so that they can be tracked down and removed after use.

  • Simon

    fuck sake people, how dare these people try to advance medical science?

  • kipy

    They should engineer some kind of self consolidating foam that can be sprayed into the wound, like “biofoam” in the Halo novels.

    • Molotov Watch Dog

      If you read the article blood pressure was too high to use something foam-based. The blood squirting out of the wound would just wash the foam away.

      • kipy

        Haha my bad

      • Raven

        Pfft, I bet Qwickfoam insulation would work.

    • Blake

      I bet Great Stuff would get the job done. Long ago we built a boat in the backyard & I think it had more Great Stuff than wood in it.

  • noob

    I hope that one day they’ll figure out a way to put the clotting agent in the uniform or something so that it staunches high pressure arterial bleeding automatically at the moment fabric from the uniform and other contaminants are driven into the wound by the passage of the shot.

    still, what kind of clotting agent would work in that context?

    • There are as many kinds of wounds as there are stars in the sky. You’ll never have a one size fits all. Pick a happy medium I imagine.

    • bbmg

      … effectively you want turn people into self-sealing fuel tanks 😀

  • gunslinger

    i’ve seen/heard of the tampon thing. this is..just.. the picture above looks huge. but the one from the comments doesn’t seem as bad.

  • iksnilol

    I like the idea but how will you get out all the sponges? Not trying to be a skeptic, just curious.

    • gunslinger

      Via the website, the sponges each have a tag that is detectable via x-ray. the sponges are medical surgical sponges, so i don’t thing there is a high chance of them “breaking up’ but i don’t have much experience with the things.

    • surgery as the wound is being treated

  • Hunter57dor

    Am i the only one around here wondering what happens if you are treating, say, a 9mm injury?

    those disks and the syringe itself aint gonna fit.

    also im wondering what the long term repercussionsa are gonna be if you jam this thing in a chest wound and fill the persons cavity with tiny sponges.

    • Callum King-Underwood

      I think the idea is that when they finally hit a hospital of some sort the sponges get taken out while in surgery…. Your chest cavity is not hollow so the sponges wont travel far beyond the wound site.

      Most bullet entry wounds are slightly larger than the diameter of the bullet, that and sponges are generally compressable, it will fit.

  • Mike Knox

    If this takes off, a lot of personally assembled med-kits would stop stocking on tampons..

  • Cameron

    They should put threads on the outside, so it can screw into a smaller hole easier.

  • iksnilol

    Do they plan on making a version for shotguns? Like you just shoot your mate with the “sponge slug” to stop bleeding from a distance?

    This is a stupid joke, I know.

  • Man pippy

    The should thread a string through the sponges, so that they are easily pulled out later.

    • Brandon Bowers

      That was my thought too. Sure this stops bleeding fast but you have a foreign body stuck in the wound that will require surgery to get out, clean and debride. But if it keeps you alive …. do it.

  • chris

    This is really awesome. Could have used this years ago when a buddy fell while climbing and impaled his leg on a sharp rock. We used a tourniquet but this would have helped for sure.

    • noob

      D: did he keep the leg?

      • chris

        Yes. We didn’t use one right away, only once we couldn’t get it to stop by plugging it and compression. Fortunately he wasn’t in it for long before we got him to the life flight

  • Jesse P Weaver

    Hmm…. scifi(Halo specifically) came up with the foam idea first, to bad it didnt work. But sponges are just as good i guess.

  • Sulaco

    Not just the sponges alone stopping the bleeding if I am reading this right. I think the sponges are coated with Qwikclot or similar chem to stop the bleeding, sponges alone would not suffice…