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Perry Health

Occlusion Device Supports Oxygenation During Cardiac Arrest

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 25 Oct 2021
A fluoroscopy-free balloon catheter provides temporary occlusion of large blood vessels in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) patients in order to redirect blood flow to the brain and heart.

The Neurescue (Copenhagen, Denmark) system is composed of a controller and a single-use balloon catheter kit that together provide aortic occlusion--an emergency technique that supercharges blood flow to the heart and brain--within one minute from deployment. The catheter-based device is delivered via the femoral artery, temporarily inflating a soft balloon in the aorta to redirect blood flow towards the upper body. The procedure is performed to provide additional time to control blood loss and bridge patients to additional life-saving treatment options.

Image: The NeuRescue occlusion catheter and control unit (Photo courtesy of NeuRescue)
Image: The NeuRescue occlusion catheter and control unit (Photo courtesy of NeuRescue)

The control unit houses patented sensors and automated inflation technology, with an intelligent safety feedback system that helps ensure safe catheter positioning, providing automated filling and feedback in order to prevent over-inflation, rupture, and tissue damage, while monitoring blood pressure throughout. The NeuRescue can thus accomplish immediate resuscitation from SCA, as well as bridge patients to definitive treatments such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), stents, or pacemakers.

“The increase in blood supply to the heart ensures that many more hearts can be resuscitated,” said Habib Frost, PhD, founder and CEO of Neurescue. “The increased blood supply to the brain protects against brain damage, allowing for more time to treat the underlying cause of the cardiac arrest. This approach can greatly improve the current survival rate.”

“The NeuRescue device represents a significant advancement that could meaningfully improve the survival rates for emergency patients,” said Maham Rahimi, MD, PhD, assistant professor of cardiovascular surgery at Weill Cornell School of Medicine (New York, NY, USA). “The device gives patients suffering traumatic blood loss a longer window of time to receive appropriate medical interventions, which can directly translate to saved lives.”

During SCA, heart function ceases abruptly, and without warning. Without bystander intervention using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automatic defibrillator (AED) devices, survival rate is about 10%. It is important, however, to remember SCA is not a heart attack; heart muscle does not die. It occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and the heart stops beating, most commonly due to ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia (VT).

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