According to statistics, from March 2018 to March 2019, 259 people were killed in the UK using a sharp instrument, including knives and broken bottles. A victim of a stabbing may bleed to death in just 5 minutes, so the priority of the first responders is to control bleeding from the wound.
5 minutes to live or die
The police are often the first emergency personnel to arrive on the scene, so the speed with which they administer bleeding prevention treatment is paramount to increase the chances of survival. And to make it easier for the emergency team, a student created a device that takes that long to stop bleeding from a deep wound.
Joseph Bentley, Senior Product Design and Technology Student, has designed REACT, a new method for quickly stop catastrophic blood loss from a stab wound that could be carried out by the first police officers to go to the scene, while waiting for an ambulance.
The application of internal pressure is essential when it comes to stab wounds and REACT, which stands for “rapid emergency tamponade”, is based on this principle. REACT, which is shaped like a gun and is 3D printed, consists of two parts: a medical grade silicone cuff, known as a “tamponade,” and a handheld device called an “actuator.”
Impaled objects should never be removed from stab wounds, as they exert internal pressure. However, in cases where the wound is open, the police or paramedics could use the REACT device.
A gun that stops bleeding
How does REACT work? In this way:
- The health or police must introduce plugging first in the wound.
- Then, connect the REACT device to the plug through a valve
- Now you have to select on the device the area of the body where the wound is located.
- Actuator inflates to a defined pressure based on the location of the wound, thus avoiding internal bleeding.
Joseph has created a semi-functional 3D printed prototype, with a working side and rear user interface, side LEDs for wound illumination and an actuator. The prototype is currently targeting wounds in the armpit and groin area and in the abdomen, a spot that paramedics and first responders told Joseph was difficult to treat during research on his project.
Save lives in 1 minute
When asked why he wanted to create a device focused on saving stabbing victims, the creator of REACT explained that stab crimes have affected people he knows personally: “I know several friends who have been unfortunate victims of stab crimes, although luckily none of the incidents were fatal. “
“I am haunted almost daily by the news of someone who has lost his life as a result of crimes with a knife; there were five murders in three days this spring bridge. It’s horrifying”.
The advantage of REACT is its simple application and automatic inflation procedure, which make it “an element of change for the first to assist the injured.” The tamponade may be in place and stop a hemorrhage in less than a minute, which saves hundreds of lives a year.
And since tamponade is suitable for large cavities such as the abdomen, “it is also easier and faster to remove than current methods used to stop bleeding, giving the patient the best chance at reconstructive surgery. “
As default team
Joseph now intends to further develop REACT, expanding it to other wound locations in the body, running it internally on batteries, and fine-tuning the air pressure needed for tamponade. His dream?: “I hope that one day all the emergency services will carry it: the police, the ambulance personnel, even the military, but the absolute objective is that this product is used as soon as possible. “