When he was a lifeguard, French industrial designer Julian Lois saw his share of accident victims with wounds that bled heavily. The medical kits he had on hand could help stem the bleeding, but, in truth, they weren’t always that effective. Fortunately, these were cases where medical help was not far away.
But it made Lois wonder about the plight of people who cut themselves badly while hiking or camping in remote areas. How much good would a standard first aid kit do them? He and fellow designer Ines Le Bihan started doing some research and found that more than a third of deaths that occur before someone makes it to a hospital are due to heavy bleeding. They also learned how quickly a person’s blood pressure can drop, sending him or her into shock.
They got to work designing a device that would be easy for a person to use alone, even if seriously hurt, and one that could by itself apply even pressure to the wound to slow blood loss. The result is Uflex, which they describe as a "one-handed, anti-hemorrhage device."
It’s actually a cloth lined with retractable metal bands that allow it to wrap firmly and easily around a bleeding arm or leg and then be locked into place with Velcro. Once the Uflex is secure, the polyurethane foam inside inflates and tightens around the wound, giving an injured person a far better chance of stabilizing his or her condition and staying conscious until help arrives.