This cheap and ingenious device could be saving battlefield gunshot victims soon

Shoot back (with sponges)

The XStat sterile sponge injector (RevMedX)

The XStat sterile sponge injector (RevMedX)

When a person gets shot, the first thing to do is stop the bleeding. Battlefield medics will apply gauze bandages, but these are often useless for the most serious injuries. RevMedX, an Oregon company staffed by soldiers and scientists, has created a novel way to plug a gunshot wound in seconds.

Called the XStat, the device injects tiny, sterile sponges straight into the wound; as they expand, they stop the bleeding and give the victim a chance to get further treatment. It’s lightweight, affordable (each costs around $100) and comes with an endorsement from the U.S. Army, which is urging the FDA to approve it as soon as possible.