An extremity vascular injury can result in bleeding and lack of blood flow beyond the site of vessel disruption may cause loss of limb. When life threatening situations happen in austere conditions, it may be impossible to repair a vessel. However, it is possible in austere conditions to use a temporary vascular shunt to make a temporary repair.
In the case of an injury, it would be possible to place a temporary vascular shunt in the uninjured segments of the vessel above and below the disruption to restore blood flow until conditions improve. At that time, the shunt could be removed and the repair performed. The problem is that current shunts were designed by vascular and neurosurgeons for use in age related vascular disease and they are not used for injuries.
The Air Force has developed a trauma-specific vascular injury shunt (TS-VIS) which could help manage extremity vascular injuries. The device was designed by combat surgeons and military researchers to enable TS-VIS to be used in civilian situations and in war zones. TS-VIS is able to adapt to the unique needs of patients and allows for the infusion of therapeutic or contract agents into the injured limb.
Systematic preclinical studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals that demonstrate the efficacy and safety of this specific vascular injury shunt. At this time, the Air Force is looking for licensing and commercialization development partners for the vascular injury shunt. A provisional patent has been filed.
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