A DEVICE produced by a small company in St Leonards offers hope for people who face losing a limb due to peripheral vascular disease.
After six years and $8 million of research and development, the product has already saved, in a pilor study, seven legs and a hand from being amputated.
Worldwide, 1000 legs are amputated each day - and 40 per cent of those amputees die within a year of surgery. Smoking and diabetes are the primary causes.
But those statistics could change dramatically due to the peripheral access device made by Australian Surgical Design and Manufacture in collaboration with North Shore vascular surgeon Professor Rodney Lane.
The device, implanted into an artery and connected to a high pressure pump, has been shown to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels.
ASDM chief executive Greg Roger said the product, approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for an unassociated use - isolated organ chemotherapy - was being trialled on vascular patients as part of a pilot study.
Its success rate had been about 50 per cent on 15 patients who all had serious health issues. “We know it works and once we have done thousands, patterns will appear to produce an even higher success rate,” Dr Roger said on a tour of his plant. The company also makes orthopaedic devices such as artificial knees.
The device is availabe only for those with no other options outside amputation.
Professor Lane, who invented the hypertensive extracorporeal limb perfusion procedure, said he developed it because he was “sick and tired of amputating legs” and that he was pleased with the trial results.