S.A. Doctor Invents New Filter to Trap Deadly Blood Clots
by Wendy Rigby / KENS 5
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Posted on May 26, 2010 at 12:23 PM
Updated Wednesday, May 26 at 12:28 PM
A San Antonio doctor has invented a new medical device with the potential to save thousands of lives. It’s a filter for deadly blood clots.
For critical care patients in the hospital, pulmonary embolisms are a serious threat. Blood clots that form in the legs can break off and travel to the lungs. It’s a medical problem that kills 300,000 Americans every year.
Pulmonologist Dr. Luis Angel is a San Antonio doctor who has built the proverbial better mouse trap. His brainchild is the Angel Vena Cava Filter Catheter. It includes a self-expanding, nickel titanium trap threaded through a central line catheter. No separate procedure is required, protecting patients from the beginning of their hospital stay.
“By combining the two, you simplify the procedure, and more importantly, you provide protection to the patient the moment they’re admitted,” said Paul Castella, president of BiO2 Medical, Inc.
Angel said he’s pleased with what engineers did with his original concept. “I think it’s going to work very well,” Angel commented. “They were able to make drawings on a piece of paper into an actual device and it’s looking very nice.”
Angel’s invention is being developed and marketed through a San Antonio biotech company called BiO2 Medical, Inc., which has managed to attract more than $7.5 million from local investors.
Combining the filter with an existing device is a simple and elegant solution which will help patients who cannot take blood thinning medications. When patients don’t need the filter anymore, it can be removed easily.
“They day that this goes into a patient and does what it’s supposed to do, that’s going to be the day that I’m extremely excited,” Angel commented.
“The device itself, I think, will have a very major impact on the treatment of pulmonary embolism in patients,” stated Castella. “It literally will save lives.”
BiO2 Medical, Inc. hopes to get European approval for the Angel Vena Cava Filter by early 2011. After rigorous testing, the company will try for F.D.A. approval here in the U.S., poised to make a lot of money for helping manage a serious health threat.