Patching up a gunshot wound can be really tricky, and even experienced surgeons sometimes find it quite difficult to stop the bleeding, which complicates the entire surgery.
Add in the fact that many gunshot wound victims bleed out before they even make it to the hospital and you'll see how important it can be to plug up a gunshot wound as quickly as possible.
This is the thought behind the XSTAT by RevMedx, the sponge-filled dressing device that plugs up a gunshot wound with “expandable, tablet-sized sponges” that serve as a Rapid Hemostasis System.
The sponges are injected into the wound site, where they expand and effectively stop blood loss until the victim can receive proper treatment.
The XSTAT was approved for military use in 2014, and it recently saved a soldier who would have bled out if it weren't for the XSTAT:
The femoral artery and vein were transected and damage to the femur and soft tissue left a sizable cavity in the leg. After a self-applied tourniquet stopped the bleeding, the patient was transferred to an FST for evaluation and treatment. After proximal and distal control of the vessel was achieved, several hours were spent by the team trying to control residual bleeding from the bone and accessory vessels. Throughout the course of the roughly 7-hour surgery, multiple attempts at using bone wax and cautery on the bleeding sites were unsuccessfull and the patient received multiple units of blood and plasma. Eventually, the FST team opted to use XSTAT and applied a single XSTAT device to the femoral cavity— resulting in nearly immediate hemostasis. The patient was stabilized and eventually transported to a definitive care facility.