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New emergency procedure could be live-saving for car crash victims

Friday April 21st 2017 at 5:56 AM


Researchers at the University of Aberdeen are trialling a new emergency treatment that could save the lives of car crash victims in the North East.

By inserting a balloon into someone’s main artery through their groan, life-threatening bleeding from injuries could be halted until the patient can get to an operating theatre.

The procedure, called REBOA (Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta), can stop bleeding to injured parts of the body, while maintaining it around vital organs including the brain and heart.

The trial, which will cost the university approximately £1.1 million will compare the survival of those who receive the treatment and those who do not, in order to measure its effectiveness.

It will take place across ten major trauma centres in England over the next four years; it is estimated around 120 patients may be treated with REBOA during this time.

Jan Jansen, a consultant in general surgery and intensive care medicine, and honorary senior clinical lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, said: “REBOA is quite a simple concept which many in the medical profession believe will be a tool that helps save more lives.

“This trial will provide evidence that either supports or refutes that conception.

“The technology is not without its complications. Cutting off blood from half the body can only be done for so long and you have to deal with the consequences of that but with injuries this severe it can be a trade-off worth making.

“We want to find out if it is worth taking an extra few minutes to do this procedure and arrive in the theatre in a more controlled state.”

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