RPH surgery first to stem bleeding
A TEAM at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) has become the first in Australasia to perform a new type of life-saving procedure.
The State Adult Major Trauma Unit completed the Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA).
RPH trauma surgeon Dieter Weber said the operation was performed as a last chance for patients with uncontrollable internal bleeding.
“REBOA is performed in the emergency department on patients who often have no pulse, and without this procedure wouldn’t make it from the emergency department to the operating theatre in time,” Dr Weber said.
REBOA involves inserting a tube into the groin and feeding it up into the aorta, which carries blood from the heart.
“We take an x-ray to ensure the tube is in place and then inflate a small balloon to stop blood from flowing out of the heart and leaking out of damaged organs,” Dr Weber said.
“By preventing blood loss, we are able to buy some time to take the patient to surgery and repair their damaged organs.”
REBOA has been used at RPH in place of a resuscitative thoracotomy, where the chest is cut open to directly access the aorta and insert a clamp.
“The REBOA procedure is less invasive, helping to reduce the impact on the patient and shorten their recovery time,” he said.
Dr Dieter Weber with the device that is inserted into the heart to stem bleeding.