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STABBING DEVICE: Student wins national design award for device that treats stab wounds


STABBING DEVICE: This year’s James Dyson Award winner is attempting to solve the problem of blood loss associated with knife crime and stab wounds, which can result in death.

22-year-old Product Design graduate, Joseph Bentley, has developed a new concept, REACT, with the aim of helping police treat knife wounds while waiting for medical assistance to arrive.

Last year, there were around 46,000 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in England and Wales, which is the highest number of offences since the year ending March 2011. Many of these incidents can result in medical assistance being required, and last year there was 54% increase in admissions to hospitals in England for attacks by sharp objects.

The average wait time for an ambulance is currently just over eight minutes, yet it can take just five minutes for someone to bleed to death.

Joseph set out on a mission to design a device that could help first responders stem the bleeding. According to his research, the police are often the first trained responders at the scene, but they do not currently have the rapid and accessible tools required to prevent blood loss.

REACT (Rapid Emergency Actuating Tamponade) is an anti- stabbing device which aims to reduce catastrophic blood loss from a knife wound.

The current advice for treating stab wounds is to never remove the object from the wound if it is still in place. This is because the instrument is applying internal pressure to the wound site, whilst also filling the cavity and preventing internal bleeding.

Joseph’s concept is based on the same principle. The implantable medical‐grade silicon Balloon Tamponade would be inserted into the wound tract by a first responder. The actuator device is connected to the Tamponade valve, and the user selects the wound location on the device interface. Squeezing the trigger on the actuator starts the automated inflation sequence, and the Tamponade is inflated to a defined pressure based on the wound location to try and stem the bleeding.

This year marks the 17th year of the James Dyson Award, and the 17th year of championing ground-breaking concepts in engineering and design. This year has also seen its highest number of entrants in the Award’s history across all 27 participating nations.

Joseph is available for interview to talk about his invention, the research behind it and explain how it works, it’s intended purpose and impact it will have on victims of crimes involving knives and sharp instruments.

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