RESCUE: Stent to maintain organ perfusion after torso trauma

Youngjae Chun, PhD Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering
Bryan Tillman, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Vascular Surgery

42,000 US patients each year have non-compressible hemorrhage due to injury of the chest or abdomen, most commonly gunshot wounds. Those patients with rapid blood loss suffer a mortality rate over 80%.  The major obstacle in the Emergency Department is that vascular expertise and dedicated imaging are not immediately available during the critically short window before a patient bleeds out. Pryor Medical’s Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA) technology can be used to prevent the patient from bleeding out until the patient can reach a vascular operating room and specialists. In 2014, it was used by paramedics en route to the hospital for the first time. But this device completely occludes the aorta, giving surgeons just minutes to find and stop the bleeding and remove the device before organ failure and paralysis occur. The RESCUE Stent improves upon this concept in several ways: 1. Its expanding stents occlude any injuries along both of the most vulnerable sections of the aorta even when the exact vascular injury location(s) are not known; 2. Blood flow through the aorta and into the branch vessels that perfuse organs can continue; 3. Radiofrequency guidance technology is now under development, potentially enabling placement by virtually any Emergency Room resident / physician / surgeon, even without advanced vascular training; 4.  It can be easily removed at the time of permanent repair;  5. It can be used for emergencies in the operating room, both of the large vein (cava) and artery (aorta). The Department of Defense has supported this project with a $2 million grant for research and trials. The project is seeking commercial partners for FDA clearance and marketing.