When it comes to preventing the kind of blood loss that is caused by traumatic injury, there are only so many options to choose from. Until you get to the hospital, you’re mostly limited to applying pressure to the wound, or forming a tourniquet. Fortunately there have been some pretty impressive advances in the emergency medical field, such as QuikClot, which has proven to be a revolutionary life saver. However, there’s a new type of field dressing that will be hitting the market this year, and it may prove to be far more impressive than QuikClot. It also might be replacing a significant portion of your first aid kit by the end of the decade.
It’s called Vitagel, and it was invented by 22-year-old Joe Landolina when he was just 17. By all accounts it’s an all natural substance that can stop the bleeding of just about any injury in seconds. Upon applying it to a wound, it forms a kind of mesh which not only stops the bleeding, but according to the inventor it also forms a “scaffolding” which promotes healing.
You can see it in action in the video below. They demonstrate it by cutting through a steak and pumping blood into it, and then use the Vitagel to instantly stop the bleeding. (on second thought, you might want to skip the video if you’re particularly squeamish).
What’s especially cool about this substance, is its versatility. It’s just as effective at dealing with traumatic injuries, as it with sealing up minor cuts and scrapes. The inventor even thinks that it might be used at some point to regenerate organs. It’s also incredibly easy to use, and it’s all natural properties mean that you don’t necessarily have to remove it. After a while, your body will simply absorb the Vitagel.
For now, Vitagel is not commercially available, and is currently pending approval from the FDA. But by the end of this year, it will be available to veterinarians, which is a short step away from human trials. Someday soon, everyone’s medicine cabinet may have a cheap, natural substance, capable curing injuries that once required emergency care to heal.