Dyson Award winner takes on knife trauma

Written by: Andrew Wade | Published:
(Credit: Dyson)

The 2021 UK Dyson Award has been won by Joseph Bentley for his invention REACT, an emergency medical device to reduce blood loss from knife attacks.

REACT (Rapid Emergency Actuating Tamponade) uses an inflatable silicone balloon to apply pressure to the internal cavity caused by knife and stab wounds. An actuator is connected to the tamponade valve, and the user selects the wound location on the device interface. Squeezing the trigger on the actuator then starts the automated inflation sequence, and the tamponade is inflated to a defined pressure based on the wound location, stemming the bleeding.

Bentley, a product and design grad from Loughborough University, developed the idea for REACT after discovering how paramedics use gauze to treat knife wounds. Gauze is good for creating internal pressure in wounds and allowing clotting to take place. However, removing gauze can sometimes disrupt the clots that form around it, initiating more bleeding. REACT’s inflatable balloon allows clots to form around it but can then be deflated later in hospital to leave those clots in place.

“Knife crime is a topic that is personal to me, as two of my friends were victims of knife related incidents,” said 22-year-old Bentley. “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.

“I was thrilled when I found out I’d won the national James Dyson Award. This prestigious endorsement confirms that the REACT concept could have real world benefits and a positive impact on society. Although medical device testing takes a long time, I’m looking forward to using the prize money to develop my innovation further and hopefully see the device in the hands of first responders saving lives.”

Bentley will receive £2,000 for winning the UK Dyson Award and will go on to compete against other regional winners for the international prize. The international shortlist will be announced on October 13th with the winners revealed in November. In the meantime, Bentley will work on securing a patent for his winning design.

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