John Steinbaugh is a former special forces medic with over twenty years of service in the US Army. As a medic, he’s seen his fair share of horrific injuries and, despite huge advances in battlefield treatment since the days of the Vietnam War, one thing has always caused experienced medics like John a serious headache – wounds caused by gunshots and shrapnel that won’t stop bleeding. It’s a problem that’s as old as war itself. Blood loss caused by internal hemorrhaging and damaged arteries is a major killer of both soldiers and civilians, and traditional methods of packing the wounds with wadding and sealing them up with gauze is effective, but not effective enough.
John knew there had to be a better solution, so he searched around for a material that could pack a wound more effectively and help stem the flow of blood until the injured serviceman or woman could be evacuated to a military trauma center. He searched around for such a material and, after a couple of failed attempts, he hit on a novel solution – a cheap sponge soaked in a chemical called chitosan, which is a chemical made from the shells of sea shrimps.
John left the army to develop his product, joining a research and development company called RevMedx. The company worked out a way of compressing the chemically-infused sponges into tiny lozenges which, when injected into a wound, absorb the blood flow, expand rapidly and put pressure on the artery to stop the bleeding. They called their invention XSTAT 30 and, as the following video shows, it’s ingenious. The sponges are delivered into the wound by a patented syringe, and start working the moment they hit their first drop of blood. The military has already ordered its first batch. Thanks to the work of John Steinbaugh and RevMedx, hundreds – if not thousands – of service personnel’s lives could be saved in the future. Good work, John.