FDA speeds approval of device to save limbs of U.S. soldiers

The FDA has decided to fast track a medical device that will help prevent limb amputation for U.S. soldiers

“The device works by connecting the ends of a severed blood vessel, providing a bridge or shunt around the damaged area and restoring blood flow to the injured limb. It can be implanted on the battlefield and other remote areas to bypass damaged blood vessels and temporarily maintain blood flow to the injured limb until the patient can be transported to a surgical facility.”

Why are they rushing this through? Because official numbers are that 6% of the 14,120 soldiers injured in Iraq between March 2003 and August 2005 — equivalent to 28 soldiers per month – had arm or leg amputations (from the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies in Washington. So with this new Scottish-made (Japanese parent company) “Temporary Limb Salvage Shunt” they’ll try to save an arm or leg on one or two soldiers a week. Five hundred-plus soldiers have already lost limbs.