We just received a sample of a new product that I am not at all eager to test.
It’s a KytoStat Bandage, which is an interesting piece of new medical technology designed to quickly stop bleeding. The pad of the 1″ x 4″ bandage is made from chitosan, which is a naturally occurring compound found in shrimp shells, according to HemCon, the manufacturer. (People with shellfish allergies can use the product, officials said.)
When the bandage is applied to a bleeding wound, the chitosan attracts red blood cells and pulls them into the dressing. Blood makes the pad extremely sticky, and it then seals the wound.
The bandage has several advantages for use in the woodshop, according to a company spokesman. The KytoStat can eliminate trips to the emergency room for those cases where you are not sure if you need to get stitches or not. Also, if the wound is serious, the KytoStat will stop bleeding so you can get to the emergency room without unnecessary blood loss. Also, the bandage is ideal for woodworkers who are taking daily doses of aspirin or blood-thinning medication.
The KytoStat bandage was developed by HemCon after the company had great success with the same technology in a military bandage that is currently in use in Iraq and Afghanistan. The product was approved by the FDA in 2003 and now is carried by every member of the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The bandages are available at some Albertsons supermarkets and through drugstore.com. A package of three costs $14.99.
If the product works as advertised, it’s a small price to pay to avoid a trip to the emergency room for typical woodshop cuts. The last time I went to the emergency room for a woodshop injury it was for a cut where I was really on the fence about whether I needed stitches. (For the record, I was sharpening a chisel using a student’s honing guide. The guide failed to hold the chisel, which slipped out and cut my finger.)
In the end, that wound was less than 3/4″ long, but it was difficult to stop the bleeding with simple pressure. Three hours (and three stitches) later, I was back in the shop. My hope is that the KytoStat could prevent drives like this to the urgent care center.
Because we don’t have any volunteers here at the magazine to test the product today, however, I’m afraid you’ll have to just wait for a field test.