Air Force

Trauma-specific vascular shunt

A vascular injury shunt to restore blood flow to an injured extremity until definitive vascular repair can be accomplished

Medical & Biotechnology

The U.S. Air Force has developed a vascular injury shunt for treating traumatic wounds and hemorrhage control, which allows field surgeons to save lives and limbs that would otherwise be lost.

Vascular injury shunt prototype

A prototype of the Air Force’s vascular injury shunt is available for review at TechLink.

The patented vascular shunt design is available to companies that would manufacture it for commercial sales.

The device is a temporary vascular shunt (a small caliber hollow plastic tube), which is placed in the uninjured segments of blood vessel above and below the disruption to restore blood flow until conditions improve and the shunt can be removed and repair performed.

Currently available vascular shunts were designed for use in age-related vascular disease treatment and not traumatic injury. Wartime and civilian reports confirm the effectiveness of vascular shunts; however, at present their use is limited.

The Air Force shunt was designed by combat surgeons and military researchers to minimize the risk of complications, ensure its adaptability to the unique needs of patients, and allow infusion of therapeutic (therapeutic reperfusion) or contrast agents (angiography) into the injured limb via an injection port. The Air Force is pursuing FDA approvals.

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