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Last Updated Thursday May 23 2019 05:33 AM IST

Malayali's wonder bandage is now the most powerful weapon in medical science

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Axiostat Leo Sebastian Mavely (inset)

From kite-flying festivals in Ahmedabad to warfronts in Ukraine, the world has become a safer place thanks to a band that stops bleeding instantaneously. The Axiostat band, designed by Leo Sebastian Mavely, is now a trusted companion in the medical kits of the Indian Army, the Central Reserve Police Force, the Border Security Force and the National Security Guard.

The bio-engineer who traces his roots to Irinjalakkuda shot into global fame when his invention helped soldiers on the Russia-Ukraine warfront. He has been picked by the Fortune magazine for its list of 40 under 40 India list of emerging business leaders.

The sponge-like band stops blood flow from a wound within minutes, saving lives even if there is a delay in taking victims to a hospital. The band is also unique in its ability to dissolve when saline water is poured over it, sparing the traumatised patients the pain of the removal.

Sebastian’s bands were found successful in a feasibility study conducted by the MIMS Hospital in its ambulatory services. It was later approved by the European Union.

Axiostat bands were first put to use in Chhattisgarh by the security forces in their fight against the Maoist rebels. The forces vouch for the efficacy of the smart bandages. They helped severely injured paramilitary personnel survive the drive back to the base that typically lasted four to five hours.

It was only a matter of time before the smart bandage caught the world’s attention. Military organisations from across the world bought them in large scale. Some of them were famously used in Ukraine.

Axio has designed versions of the bandage for purposes ranging from dental care to paramilitary operations. The bandage could help stop bleeding after angioplasty in less than four minutes, a huge improvement from the 30 minutes it took for the bleeding to stop in normal conditions.

The band is used by a host of hospitals including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Fortis, Apollo and Manipal.  

The band came as a boon in Ahmedabad, where four people died during a kite-flying festival in 2011 when the kite’s lines cut into their throats. About 200 people were injured. The next year, the police sought Sebastian’s help. His invention helped the lives of more than 30 revellers.

The young innovator is the son of Sebastian Maveli, a retired bank manager, and Lucy. His wife Priya is a senior designer with Axio.

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