With 57 percent of Americans still opposing a war despite the threat of ISIS, it’s not surprising if a new battlefield invention were to raise some eyebrows. A relatively new invention, however, aims to help the injured and prevent death. Called the XStat, the syringe-like device can plug up life-threatening wounds.

Recently approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the XStat has been used on battlefields worldwide for the past year-and-a-half. Created by RevMedx, an Oregon-based medical device company, it’s not made for cuts or scrapes, but rather deep gunshot and stabbing wounds, for which it’s able to stop the flow of blood in under 20 seconds. "By the time you even put a bandage over the wound, the bleeding has already stopped," former U.S. Army Special Operations medic John Steinbaugh told Popular Science last year.

XStat works by injecting 92 tiny sponges into the opening of a wound. These sponges expand, effectively blocking blood flow and creating a natural pressure seal. The sponges, made of wood pulp, don’t dissolve in the body and are coated with chitosan, a type of material that resists bacterial infection and promotes blood clotting.

Each injection of sponges can soak up to a pint of blood, and as many as three injections can be given to a single patient. The XStat is only meant to be used for up to four hours, according to RevMedx’s website. Once at a health care facility, each sponge features a marker that shows up in X-rays. So once the patient is ready for surgery or another form of medical care, each sponge can be located and removed.

In an FDA news release, the agency says it’s meant to be used in patients where tourniquets cannot help stop blood flow, such as the groin and armpit. Additionally, it’s not “indicated for use in certain parts of the chest, abdomen, pelvis, or tissue above the collarbone.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 84,000 gunshot-related injuries and over two million knife-related injuries occurred in 2013. Both cause deep hemorrhagic wounds — profuse bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel — which the FDA says account for up to 40 percent of civilian deaths from traumatic injuries. Considering not everyone can get to a hospital immediately, having an XStat on hand could be the difference between life and death.

Though the FDA has approved XStat for public use, there is no timetable yet for when it’ll be available to emergency personnel or the public at large.