Device developed by MME grads helps stroke surgery

Friday, August 19, 2022

A medical technology company, Vena Medical, which was launched by two Mechanical Engineering graduates, Michael Phillips and Phillip Cooper, is making news this week. It has announced that a device it developed, called Vena Balloon Distal Access Catheter (BDAC), has been successfully used to treat stroke victims.

This device combines a balloon guide catheter and a distal access catheter to get closer to blood clots in the brains of stroke victims during surgery to remove them, offering excellent effectiveness. The inflatable balloon temporarily restricts blood flow while surgeons use tools to remove clots, increasing the chances of success on the first attempt.

Now the device has been used by surgeons at hospitals in London and Ottawa to remove blood clots and restore blood flow as quickly as possible for five patients.

“This is cutting-edge technology that would normally need to be launched somewhere far from here, but we’re excited to make an impact locally before we make an impact globally,” said Phillips, CEO of Vena Medical, in media release.

The first time the device was used in late June, a clot was removed from the brain of stroke victim Wilene Leyen in less than 10 minutes by Dr. Michael Myich and his team at the London Health Sciences Centre-University Hospital. Her movement and speech were restored almost immediately.

Doctors and founders in front of the machine“When a blood clot is causing a stroke, over two million brain cells can be lost each minute, so seconds count,” Mayich said. “This device offers the possibility of removing clots in fewer attempts, shortening the procedure and maximizing the chances of good outcomes for our patients.”

The company is now based at Medical Innovation Xchange in Kitchener and has eight employees, planning to help more and more patients in the future. Full story available on Waterloo News.

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