Friday, April 4, 2014

New Medical Device: X-STAT

As a medical nerd, I'm always a little fascinated by new medical devices and what they can do. I was alerted to this device by Mike H. via Facebook (Thanks, Mike!) and found it worthy to post upon to keep all your medical treatment scenes in those novels up to date.

The Blaze
It is true that not all bleeding can be controlled by direct pressure. It is also true that bleeding is the leading cause of death when it comes to bullet wounds (unless you have suffered a direct hit to either your heart, brain, and/or spinal cord which is likely the end of your life here on earth.) Uncontrolled bleeding from limbs is one thing that harkened back the use of the tourniquet. First by the military and now by civilian EMS agencies. They found the concern over tissue damage didn't pan out in the research.

For those other folks who get shot in the chest and/or abdomen, it's always a race to the hospital where definitive control of bleeding can happen-- which usually necessitates a trip to the OR-- which takes time. You may have heard the term "Golden Hour" which is generally the preferred window to get the patient to definitive treatment before they die.

Rapid control of bleeding could actually extend this hour in my opinion.

Enter the X-STAT.  For lack of a better term, the X-STAT is a tampon shaped (sorry, guys) device that is filled with dime-sized medical grade sponges that are coated with a hemostatic (stops bleeding) agent. It is inserted into the wound and the plunger places these sponges deep into the wound where they expand (like the firework snakes) and stem bleeding without direct pressure. The expansion of the sponges prevents them from being forced out of the wound.


Thus far it seems to be listed as an investigational device and its use is limited but if it does what it says it does I think this could mean a big difference for trauma patients.

You can read more about the X-STAT here

What do you think of the X-STAT? Would you use it in a novel? You can bet I'll find a way to.


  1. Celox has had a similar product out for a while:

    Have used other hemostatic products with success but have not yet used an applicator style product. I don't see any reason why they wouldn't work on an extremity, or at least be worth a try. I wonder why there's not more books and movies using these products.. they are so cool.

    Here's a new bleeding control device that seems to be all the rage. Looks like a fad to me but it will be interesting to see if many agencies pick it up:

    1. The Celox-A looks interesting. But I wonder about getting those granules out of someones chest or gut. And the iTClamp-- wow-- that does look a little like a medieval torture device. I'll post about these two in the interest of fairness. Thanks for pointing them out to me!

    2. I think celox is contraindicated in the trunk but I could be wrong. The website states celox is not for internal surgical use. I can't imagine the xstat working all that well with a penetrating thoracic or abdominal wound either though. It would be nice if the xstat people would post some more information about their products including the xgauze.

      From the website:
      "Celox™ is made with chitosan, a natural polysaccharide. Chitosan has a known metabolic pathway. That means any left in the body is broken down by the body’s normal enzymes and converted into materials normally present in the body. This is unlike other hemostats that can leave mineral residuals in the body. Chitosan is digested by lysozyme, a human enzyme which is present is tears, saliva and mucus."

      I like the celox trauma gauze. No granules to have to deal with. You just pack the wound with it and tear off what you don't need. It also has the secondary use of becoming a cool, mucilaginous dressing for burns when moistened with saline. Dual use items = less stuff to have to pack around with you.

      It's made from shrimp exoskeletons but is non allergenic.

      Cool stuff.

    3. Wow! That's so interesting. I love how medically nerdy you are, Drew.

  2. I've read about this. I suspect that it will eventually make its way into some novels, probably first by writers with a medical background. Isn't medicine fascinating?

    1. Medicine is VERY fascinating!! I worked as a Medical Transcriptionist Lead for many years. I LOVED the job! Would certainly be interested in how this will change things in the future.

    2. Always glad to please fellow medical nerds like myself.

  3. Wow! Isn't amazing how a simple new invention seals a gunshot wound in just a seconds.

    By the way, upon seeing the image on this post above. I thought the image is just for entertainment purposes. And found out on other post that X-STAT really looks like that. Really looks like a syringe device with the sponges looks like a tablet inside.

    1. Yes, this is from their website. In the interest of medical accuracy-- I'd only post the real thing.