Turkey, Science-Technology

Turkish researcher designs 'life-saving' medical device

People suffering from advanced cardiac or pulmonary insufficiency to benefit from device made at university in Izmir

Nilay Kar   | 02.05.2018
Turkish researcher designs 'life-saving' medical device


By Nilay Kar Onum

IZMIR, Turkey

A Turkish researcher at Izmir Dokuz Eylul University has designed a portable blood pumping machine, which is expected to save the lives of people suffering from advanced cardiac or pulmonary insufficiency.

Professor Erdem Silistreli, who has been a cardiologist for 28 years, has designed the device together with his nine people-strong team following five years of hard work amid his tight hospital schedule.

The device, which is only about 20 centimeters in length, can remove large blood clots from the body and return oxygenated blood to patients.

 Leyla Alaton, president of Alvimedica (L) Professor Erdem Silistreli (R)

Health specialists can use it anywhere since it is portable, differing from the existing ones, which are heavy and not mobile.

Patients in serious condition will not have to wait to go to the hospital to get treatment with this device, reducing the risks to their health.

“It is the first time that such a practical and portable device has been designed in Turkey,” Silistreli told Anadolu Agency in Izmir.

Usually, patients, who are in critical conditions and need an immediate response and life-support unit, end up waiting to be taken to a hospital, which in turn threatens their lives.

In Turkey, around 3,000 people with advanced cardiac or pulmonary insufficiency need such a life-supporting unit yearly, according to Dokuz Eylul University figures.

The needs of many of them are not met immediately since the machines are expensive and unreachable. However, the new device may end up changing these facts soon. 

Production within 1 year

“It is a life-saving machine as it enables immediate response to people, who get drowned in a river or have a heart attack in a street or while taking patients [who are in critical conditions] to hospitals by ambulance or helicopters,” Silistreli said.

The portable device can also be used as a life-support unit at hospitals, which could help patients with advanced cardiac or pulmonary insufficiency.

Our goal is also to make the device user-friendly, Silistreli added.

Erdal Celik, rector of the Dokuz Eylul University, also hailed the project, saying it would be more practical to use the device, which is also expected to cost less than the existing ones.

A preliminary protocol regarding the device has been inked at Dokuz Eylul University with a leading Istanbul-based medical firm Alvimedica.

“We plan to realize the project within a year,” Leyla Alaton, president of Alvimedica, told Anadolu Agency.

Alaton said the firm also plans to export the blood pumping device.

“It is a value-added device, which will ease access to health not only in Turkey but also in the world. Through this device, we will contribute to expanding life spans,” Ismail Tuna, general manager of Alvimedica medical company, said.

It is not clear how much the device will cost once it goes into production; however, officials said the cost of the device is expected to be 50 percent lower than existing ones.

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