RPH surgery first to stem bleed­ing

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By EMILY BAKER

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.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d433464

Dr Di­eter We­ber with the de­vice that is in­serted into the heart to stem bleed­ing.

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