Wilsonville startup developing life-saving sponges

WILSONVILLE, Ore. - It's the sponge that may save your life one day.

The XStat, a syringe full of specially crafted compressed sponges, is a new medical device developed by Wilsonville startup RevMedx to treat deep, penetrating wounds like gunshot or stab wounds.

RevMedx President and CEO, Andrew Barofsky, told KATU the product is revolutionary.

"We think it's groundbreaking. Frankly, we know of no other device that can do what this does," Barofsky said.

What the XStat does, according to Barofsky, is allow a medic to apply pressure to a deep wound, like a severed artery or vein, stymying the flow of blood and buying the patient time to reach a hospital.

Barofsky said the syringe is placed into the wound, then the plunger depressed, forcing tiny sponges up against the wound. When they hit blood, the sponges rapidly expand, filling the wound area and putting pressure against the hemorrhage.

"You need something that can get in there and stop the bleeding very quickly because the blood is coming at you hard and fast with these types of trauma wounds," Barofsky said.

The XStat is currently awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Military Backing

Barofsky said the U.S. military approached RevMedx to develop this product in 2009 specifically to help soldiers on the battlefield.

"Gunshot is generally the most common source for these types of wounds but it can be blast injuries, shrapnel from bombs, knife wounds," Barofsky said. "The most famous example of the type of injury we're trying to treat with this and save war fighters is an injury that occurred during the Black Hawk Down mission. It's actually portrayed in the movie (Black Hawk Down). An Army Ranger in that mission received a bullet wound through his femoral artery."

But Barofsky hopes the XStat will be used outside the military as well. He says once the device is approved by the FDA, mass production for civilian and military use should be easy.

"It's a relatively inexpensive technology. We haven't invented some exotic new material that's made out of platinum," Barofsky said.

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