A group of scientists and engineers have developed a device that uses small medical sponges to stop bleeding from gunshot wounds in just 15 seconds. These small sponges from XStat, developed by RevMedX expand to seal a gunshot wound anywhere on the body.

Popular Science explains how it works:
The team settled on a sponge made from wood pulp and coated with chitosan, a blood-clotting, antimicrobial substance that comes from shrimp shells. To ensure that no sponges would be left inside the body accidentally, they added X-shaped markers that make each sponge visible on an x-ray image.

The sponges work fast: In just 15 seconds, they expand to fill the entire wound cavity, creating enough pressure to stop heavy bleeding. And because the sponges cling to moist surfaces, they aren't pushed back out of the body by gushing blood.
The sponges are injected into the wound and it will reach as close to the ruptured artery as possible.


Life and death could be determined by the humble sponge. [RevMedx via Popular Science]