Device to stem blood loss from knife wounds wins UK James Dyson award

A 22-year-old has won an award for designing a device to help stem bleeding from knife wounds which he believes could save hundreds of lives every year.

Joseph Bentley picked up this year’s UK James Dyson Award for a tool which aims to help police treat knife wounds by preventing significant blood loss while waiting for medical assistance to arrive.

Stab victims can bleed to death in just five minutes, so the priority is to stop excessive blood loss.

The product design graduate from Essex says his prototype could potentially stop a haemorrhage in under a minute.

Mr Bentley said he designed his React device, which stands for Rapid Emergency Actuating Tamponade, after two of his friends were victims of knife-related incidents.

The tool inflates an implantable medical-grade silicone balloon tamponade into the wound tract, effectively filling the cavity and preventing internal bleeding.

“Knife crime is a topic that is personal to me, as two of my friends were victims of knife-related incidents,” he said.

“Thankfully both incidents were not fatal, but this is often not the case for so many others.

“Seeing the profound effect that it had on my friends and their families urged me to try and create a solution that could help others in the future.”

Mr Bentley said current techniques to treat wounds, such as tightly packing with gauze, can be slow, technical, and extremely painful for the victim.

His achievement means he wins £2,000 towards developing his concept as part of the national prize and will progress to the international stage of the James Dyson Award 2021.

An A&E doctor said the design “could be an impressive solution” towards dealing with the early stages of such serious injuries.

Dr Alex George said: “Sadly, knife crime is on the rise and we’re seeing more and more incidents of knife-related injuries in A&E departments in London and across England and Wales.

“Time is of the essence in treating these types of injuries and the React system could help buy some valuable time before full medical treatment can be administered.”

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