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February 6, 2014 12:47 AM   Subscribe

Simple new invention seals gunshot wounds in 15 seconds. (SLPopSci)
posted by sexyrobot (65 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Chitosan, chitosan, chitosan! I don't know why, but it makes me happy to hear about it in bandages.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:58 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Link gives me 'Page Not Found' error on the PopSci website.
posted by Quilford at 1:03 AM on February 6


That's amazing. Thanks for sharing.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 1:03 AM on February 6


[Removed a bit of cruft from the end of the link url. Perhaps this will help those having problems accessing the page.]
posted by taz at 1:07 AM on February 6


That's fucking awesome. I hope it ends up saving a bunch of lives!

when I first saw the picture of the device I wondered how injecting large pills into a wound would help - then i rtfa :)
posted by littlesq at 1:07 AM on February 6 [9 favorites]


(The link is still not working, but searching for the text of the OP reveals Google has a cached version of the page. Huzzah! And it's a quality article, too. Thanks for sharing!)
posted by Quilford at 1:15 AM on February 6


Yay a solution for gunshot wounds! Freedom is so close I can almost taste it.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 1:25 AM on February 6 [4 favorites]


(Australian users will have all popsci.com links redirect to popsci.com.au, with the same url - which of course produces a 404. No matter how many times I tell them this is stupid, they refuse to fix it. This might explain why some people can't read the link though.)
posted by curious.jp at 1:32 AM on February 6 [6 favorites]


I love this stuff, Simple yet Awesome. Science rocks. Thanks for posting.
posted by marienbad at 1:35 AM on February 6


Curious.jp, is there a workaround for Aus users?
posted by gingerest at 1:39 AM on February 6


Here is an old meta on the topic. I think that solution is still the current state of the art, although I've been having trouble using coralised links lately.
posted by curious.jp at 1:46 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Couldn't find the article on the Australian site, because PopSci are morons apparently (Why do they even have region specific sites? It's science! It's freaking universal). Here's a Gizmodo article on the same thing, apparently based on the PopSci article.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:13 AM on February 6


At first I thought that was a silly stock photo of a syringe full of pills
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:20 AM on February 6 [8 favorites]


Australian readers could use a free web proxy site to access this article.

e.g. http://www.uswebproxy.com
posted by walrus at 2:38 AM on February 6 [3 favorites]


The coralised link worked and then didn't. Good enough though! Thanks, curious.
posted by gingerest at 2:39 AM on February 6


e.g. http://www.uswebproxy.com

Well, that is an awesome thing I did not know about. Thanks!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:50 AM on February 6 [4 favorites]


My first thought after reading this was "these would be great standard issue items for US schoolkids to carry around, like Epi-Pens"

My second thought was to go get a drink.
posted by sarastro at 2:53 AM on February 6 [24 favorites]


sarastro, I'll join you--that was my first thought, too. The manufacturer will probably be wholly owned by one of the gun companies or the NRA. And then the new magic penis-substitute gun will be "guaranteed to make wounds which cannot be sealed by chitosan".

Glug glug.
posted by maxwelton at 3:01 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


This makes me happy. I'm not quite sure why, but I guess the "grassroots" history lends itself to a certain charm, and more impactful to me, it's just nice to read about a military spending millions on something that isn't designed to make bigger holes in and/or vaporize people*.

I don't know what that says about me or the state of the world , but this article brought a bit of cheer to a sleepless, pain-filled night.

* I know that the Army's thought is to both make bigger holes in "other" people, while saving training and recovery $$ and the lives of their own soldiers, but still...
posted by Debaser626 at 3:13 AM on February 6


I also just saw the title of this post.

No I certainly would not, but now I can see this being a focal point of an episode of JAG or Law and Order SVU.

Thanks for the mental image. :)
posted by Debaser626 at 3:17 AM on February 6


I have something similar to this, in my car. They're called compressed towels. Just add water and they pop right up. I doubt I'd want to use them for gunshot wounds, but the technology appears very similar.
posted by Solomon at 3:24 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


A question and an observation:

- Does biologically-derived chitosan matter for people either a) shellfish allergies b) strong religious convictions? I appreciate in b) shot victims might have other things on their mind, but still..

- There are, I would guess, also civilian opportunities to use this for stabbing wounds. But probably not with a 30mm diameter syringe. In the UK, for example, there are more than 1,000 stabbings per year in London alone and a non-trivial number of stabbing deaths.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:24 AM on February 6


Amazing. Every classroom in the nation should be stocked with these.
posted by Flashman at 3:55 AM on February 6 [5 favorites]


Seems like this will be useful in Chicago's gang wars. It's pathetic watching the body count pile up each weekend when I leave a browser tab open to the local news site. It also doesn't help that I remember being with a relative in a suburban ER when they had a gunshot victim come in from the local drug fueled area. The poor guy was screaming for his mother until he finally gurgled out. Shocking stuff. Hope this stuff saves many lives.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 4:00 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


They should wrap bullets in these sponges!
posted by dirtdirt at 4:07 AM on February 6 [12 favorites]


I don't know that the 'technology' is new (in military use too). (see: one, two for eg.) Also, the popsci schematic is wonderfully symmetrical. Good luck finding such a well-behaved gunshot wound out in the wild. This sounds like a noisemaking puff piece to get some startup $$ interest.
posted by peacay at 4:35 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


peacay, i don't see what either of your links have to do with the subject of the post.
posted by empath at 4:43 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


I wonder what it'll do to soldiers who are allergic to shellfish.
posted by dmd at 5:13 AM on February 6


- Does biologically-derived chitosan matter for people either a) shellfish allergies b) strong religious convictions? I appreciate in b) shot victims might have other things on their mind, but still..

Chitosan isn't kosher (albeit it also is t being ingested, per se), but the general interpretation of Jewish law in this case is that if using a thing like this is the difference between life and death, then there is an imperative to use it.

That applies to many other restrictions as well: not fasting on Yom Kippur, doing prohibited activities on the Sabbath, etc. The way I understand it, is a bigger transgression to let someone (or yourself) come to harm because of strict following of the rules than it is to break them.
posted by griphus at 5:18 AM on February 6 [9 favorites]


Safety of chitosan bandages in shellfish allergic patients
posted by gimli at 5:25 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


I wonder if they could number them so that when the hospital is extracting them they can keep count and not leave any behind?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:28 AM on February 6


This is why I can't be a doctor*

*blacks out in chair*


*aside from ability in the sciences, work ethic and people skills, obvs
posted by ominous_paws at 5:36 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


I wonder if they could number them so that when the hospital is extracting them they can keep count and not leave any behind?

"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."
posted by griphus at 5:39 AM on February 6 [3 favorites]


I wonder if they could number them so that when the hospital is extracting them they can keep count and not leave any behind?

The x-ray visible tag is a far better way to go. The last thing you want is someone in the ER looking for the last one, not knowing that it fell out on the way to the ER, or wasn't fully injected in the first place.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:39 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


The 10th Regiment of Foot: "I wonder if they could number them so that when the hospital is extracting them they can keep count and not leave any behind?"

They've got X's marked on each sponge that are visible under x-ray, so it's easy to... *puts on shades* never leave a man behind.
posted by Static Vagabond at 5:39 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


MuffinMan: "here are, I would guess, also civilian opportunities to use this for stabbing wounds. But probably not with a 30mm diameter syringe. In the UK, for example, there are more than 1,000 stabbings per year in London alone and a non-trivial number of stabbing deaths."

They are testing a 12mm version too for narrower wounds.

The 10th Regiment of Foot: "I wonder if they could number them so that when the hospital is extracting them they can keep count and not leave any behind?"

Their solution of making them show up on an x-ray seems simpler. Especially considering some sponges could fall out of the wound during application unnoticed.
posted by Mitheral at 5:39 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Someone on my Facebook feed posted this with the following (ironical) comment : LIBRULS BUILD PLASTIC DILDO THAT SHOOTS JULIENNED TAMPONS INTO OUR TROOPS. WILL THEY STOP AT NOTHING TO PUSSY AMERICA UP?
posted by suckerpunch at 5:53 AM on February 6 [18 favorites]


I love that this was inspired by Fix a Flat.
posted by Kokopuff at 5:58 AM on February 6 [4 favorites]


Their solution of making them show up on an x-ray seems simpler.

Totally, but is it possible their x-ray image could interfere with finding fragments?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:10 AM on February 6


Safety of chitosan bandages in shellfish allergic patients

On the one hand, I'm glad to see it apparently won't kill a wounded patient by way of anaphylactic shock. On the other hand, I'm surprised that "This is the first study demonstrating the safety of this bandage in shellfish allergic subjects." Didn't anyone do this study before they released chitosan bandages for treatment?
posted by rtha at 6:16 AM on February 6


My guess is that they were very confident in the purity of the chitosan and had tested it for the presence of allergenic proteins. The gel electrophoresis method mentioned in the study conclusions was probably performed during product development, and I bet they use it for batch testing as well.
posted by gimli at 6:47 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Especially considering some sponges could fall out of the wound during application unnoticed.


"So then we put in sponges 1, 2, and 4, and he's been looking for 3 ever since!"
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 6:52 AM on February 6 [4 favorites]


This is the first study demonstrating the safety of this bandage in shellfish allergic subjects.

I think the bolded part is the important part of the sentence. Presumably there had been prior testing for all of the components: chitosan, bandage, and whatever else is in there, and those had turned out OK.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:54 AM on February 6


Phew. I can immediately increase my gang-banging activities.
posted by jimmythefish at 6:57 AM on February 6


The 10th Regiment of Foot: "Totally, but is it possible their x-ray image could interfere with finding fragments?"

Maybe. I'm guessing you'd want to remove both fragments and bandages once the patient is in a place where they can get sewed up so it doesn't really matter whether it's a fragment or piece of bandage.

I'm knid of curious now though. My dentist has a very portable digital x-ray device mounted in each of his examination rooms that returns instant results. Do combat operating theaters have x-ray devices like this or does the patient go to a separate room?
posted by Mitheral at 7:01 AM on February 6


Then, they injected the bits of sponge into an animal injury.

There's a lot of compressed narrative in that sentence.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:07 AM on February 6 [13 favorites]


"Someone on my Facebook feed posted this with the following (ironical) comment : LIBRULS BUILD PLASTIC DILDO THAT SHOOTS JULIENNED TAMPONS INTO OUR TROOPS. WILL THEY STOP AT NOTHING TO PUSSY AMERICA UP?"
posted by suckerpunch

That is not a Julienne shaped sponge.
posted by marienbad at 7:20 AM on February 6


Yeah, it's not a Julienne, but then I start thinking 'maybe it's a brunoise?' and then I think 'blood consommé' and nope nope nope nope nope nope nope
posted by suckerpunch at 7:28 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


The X-ray my vet uses is fairly portable. I'm assuming this is safe for humans.

He runs it with an extention cord at the barn, but I believe other power sources are an option. The laptop, obviously, runs on battery.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:28 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


then I think 'blood consommé' and nope

This ain't Sparta!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:55 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


This is fascinating and fantastic. Cool!
posted by zarq at 7:57 AM on February 6


Please tell me they bring it to the commercial market as "Fix a Gat"
posted by a halcyon day at 8:20 AM on February 6 [4 favorites]


LIBRULS BUILD PLASTIC DILDO THAT SHOOTS JULIENNED TAMPONS
Funnily enough, tampons are excellent for gunshot wounds. Sterile. Nice little tail so you can pull them out. Had some people looking at me funny on planes with my big bag-o-tampons in my pack. (Jesus, is your wife comin'? How bad does your wife bleed, anyway? etc.)
Good for broken noses too.

Didn't anyone do this study before they released chitosan bandages for treatment?
I'm not a scientist, but afaik, chitosan is pretty much structural, not chemical. If that makes any sense. It is "sticky" around blood platelets in a mechanical way - hemostatic - not a chemical or "protein" way which is, as I understand it, what causes the reaction in people who have the allergy.
(2nd hand info for me, so grain of salt)

What part of the holdup has been, traditionally, is the recognition of hydraulic shock. People got the big hole causing massive blood loss end of the equation. But many (Army for example) refused to believe that further tissue trauma (and so traumatic bleeding) could be caused by something other than direct pressure from the bullet itself.
Gauze, etc, is more of a direct application to one region of the wound.

What's nice about this is it stops all the bleeding everywhere around the impact point. There may or may not be shock damage to tissue far from the wound, but that blood (like any liquid) is going to go to the point of least pressure i.e. the big hole from the bullet.

This definitely makes getting shot more survivable.
Of course...there's a caveat....

Seems like this will be useful in Chicago's gang wars.
There's something goofy about saving a guy who already has a number of bullet scars in his carcass. You'd think a colostomy bag would slow a gang member down. Not so much though really.
(Fun anecdote: at a social thing with some people, apparently Joe Druglord thinks I'm a tough enough guy, wants to hire me. Kinda cute really. The level of self-delusion involved. Anyway, the guy genuinely thought he could buy me off. There must be a stupefying amount of money coming in such that everyone involved loses all perspective. And it's cash so, what, just a matter of shooting the right people out of your way?)

Add to that there's more and more fire from large caliber and automatic weapons... the problem isn't going to be fixed with a better bandage no matter how great it is.

Just practically speaking, most gangs don't have a combat medic on-scene, and this doesn't stop sepsis or prevent organ or brain damage. And unlike a number of years ago it isn't poseurs with 9mm pistols held sideways doing the shooting.
If you've got street guys buying ammo for penetration and expansion qualities, they're looking to kill someone, not scare them off their corner.
And someone is doing the gunsmithing. They're not just buying what they can get from the suburbs. I know people who work on guns and do private security and, yeah, they're getting extra income from somewhere. Modifying rifles and pistols? Probably. Making a buck on advice? Most certainly.
Someone gets an AK-47, ok, I can see how that can fall into someone's hands. Some 20 year old whipping out a milled AKSU with a suppressor and waffle mags in Back of the Yards?
I think the guy got some help.
In fact, Bryon Champ, 21, was caught with a .40 S&W a few months after the shooting with the AK. It's a fairly sophisticated choice of hardware. It's stable enough that you can put out a fast 15 rounds accurately from 25 meters out. So he didn't just walk in to a gun store and pick up anything he could. (Also, he pleaded guilty to felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. And got boot camp.

So sentencing too, maybe part of the big picture problem. Someone caught with Heroin or coke or Meth or LSD gets 4 to 15 years. Sell it outside a school, church, park or F'ING Movie Theater, the sentence is doubled.
Guy with a pistol designed for stable rapid fire after being involved in an earlier shooting with military hardware though - yeah, 180 days and some push ups.

But I hope this (and the ever more popular Israeli bandage, the one that reportedly helped save Gabrielle Giffords) gets more widespread use - even as I hope the need for them drops.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:26 AM on February 6 [6 favorites]


Gang members have access to the internet too; I can't imagine with all the militant prepper boards out there that proper weapon select advice to take down people is hard to come by. And that's assuming that gangs aren't running their own boards.
posted by Mitheral at 8:42 AM on February 6


Also, if you have a gunshot wound big enough to fit that thing in, you are probably going to bleed out in under a minute or two, if it isn't applied immediately. How many people get shot, with an ambulance standing by?
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 8:56 AM on February 6


Paramedics and cops should have these in their vehicles.
posted by FunkyHelix at 9:00 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


maybe it's a brunoise?

They're tampon medallions.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:42 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine with all the militant prepper boards out there that proper weapon select advice to take down people is hard to come by.

The objectives are entirely different though.
One kind of crazy does not necessarily equal any other kind of crazy.

What you carry is typically dictated by why you're carrying it. Screwdrivers are useful. Power screwdrivers are more efficient, but more limited in use. Tougher to pry something up with a power screwdriver. See a guy with a screwdriver, you can infer he's going to do something. A guy with a power screwdriver, different inferences.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:12 PM on February 6


Funnily enough, tampons are excellent for gunshot wounds. Sterile. Nice little tail so you can pull them out.

Tampons aren't sterile. They're individually wrapped, and they're machine-produced so they're unhandled and clean, but they aren't sterilized.
posted by gingerest at 5:55 PM on February 6


Neat.
posted by homunculus at 11:09 PM on February 6


Gingerest,

Tampons aren't as sterile as, say, gauze?
posted by effugas at 11:30 PM on February 6


Tampons aren't sterile.
Then why do they taste so terrible?
posted by Smedleyman at 2:06 PM on February 7


Gauze pads are generally sterile but gauze bandage roll can be sterile or nonsterile (it's marked on the package and sterile gauze costs more). If a sterile dressing's package is intact, it's assumed to be sterile (up to a point - I think most dressing materials come with best-before dates these days). Basically, if a dressing is designed to be in direct contact with a wound, it's sterilized at manufacture. Tampons are intended to be placed in a non-sterile environment and kept there for no more than a few hours; they aren't intended for wound dressing, but they're still likely cleaner than most other things you could improvise with. Similarly, a disposable diaper would probably work well as an improvised absorbent field dressing, but it's not as good as purpose-designed, sterile wound dressing materials.
posted by gingerest at 3:10 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


A couple hours at 160 degrees will sterilize tampons if you ever need that kind of bandage and have access to an oven but not commercial bandages. Or just as a cost cutting measure in your bug out shelter; tampons are super cheap at dollar stores.
posted by Mitheral at 5:39 PM on February 9


Rayon fibre starts to break down at 149C, so if you don't want to have to irrigate tampon bits out of your wound when it comes time to change the dressing, make sure to get all-cotton tampons if you plan to oven-sterilize. (Or you could just carry clean cotton cloths instead - they're multipurpose.)(I really don't mean to rain on anyone's improvised-field-dressing parade, here.)
posted by gingerest at 10:41 PM on February 9


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