On the battlefield, medics have one option to use when a soldier receives a gunshot wound: pack the wound with gauze and hope for the best. But a new treatment now under development may be changing the way we treat hemorrhages and other types of bleeding on and off the battlefield.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing a new type of wound dressing called XStat, a modified polycarbonate syringe that injects specially coated sponges directly into wound sites. The sponges, which cling to moist surfaces, expand and fill the entire wound cavity, creating uniform pressure that stops the bleeding. We have found no published data in humans; however, preclinical data from animal studies show that both hemostasis and survival are improved with XStat compared with combat gauze.
Oregon Health and Science University plans to examine whether XStat has an obstetric application, specifically as a treatment for postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), the leading cause of maternal mortality in low-income countries. We’ll be awaiting data showing how XStat compares with standard treatments for PPH. In the meantime, the U.S. Army has requested expedited FDA approval of XStat. We’re sure to hear more about this product soon.