During World War II, pilots used G-suits, which were meant to counteract g-forces that could prevent blood from pooling in the pilots’ legs, causing them to black out during flight. That invention inspired medical anti-shock trousers used in the 1950s to 1970s to stabilize hemorrhagic shock patients by shifting blood from their legs to their core organs.
Now in 2019, OHK Medical, an Israeli company, has created a new device called HemaShock®, which is designed to make it easier and faster to restrict blood flow to the arms and legs. HemaShock is a tight silicone ring attached to a pressure stocking, and is used to squeeze blood out of the legs (also arms if needed) and block reentry of arterial blood flow into those limbs. This can be done quickly by a single caregiver (Paramedic, Medic, Nurse, Physician) even during transport.
The inventor of HemaShock is Dr. Noam Gavriely, medical-device inventor and emergency-care physician. As a young medical officer in the Israel Defense Forces in the late 1970s, Dr. Gavriely found several technical and logistical problems with anti-shock trousers: it required two people and several minutes to position them, and when they were removed the patient’s blood pressure fell drastically.
The new device, created by Dr. Gavriely, is an elastic silicone ring wrapped in stockinet fabric. It is rolled up the leg, and takes about 30 seconds by one medic to do so. There’s no need to remove the patient’s pants, and it can be rolled off gradually to prevent a sudden drop in blood pressure, reports Israel 21c.
When a patient is experiencing loss of blood, HemaShock acts as an auto-transfusion device, redirecting blood from one or both legs – about a half liter per leg – to essential organs.
“HemaShock takes the blood from the legs and shifts it to the core. The heart gets filled up with the patient’s own blood and at the same time the legs are prevented from receiving any blood flow, so CPR compressions channel the blood to the brain, heart, kidneys and other essential organs, which is exactly what we want,” Dr. Gavriely explains.
HemaShock was introduced to the market in November last year at a price of $175 per set.
The device actually is a repurposed product based on Gavriely’s successful HemaClear device to displace blood from limbs for bloodless orthopedic surgery.
“I developed the device in the early 2000s. Today we are selling HemaClear in 42 countries,” including the US, China, Australia and European nations. “HemaClear has been used in more than 1.2 million cases. It provides much better safety to the patient and easier work for the surgeon,” he says.