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University of Pittsburgh researchers develop a urinary catheter to monitor oxygen delivery to organs

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 27 When treating trauma and critical care patients after severe hemorrhagic shock, hours and days count. That's why University of Pittsburgh researchers, working with an Israeli physiology professor, saw the need to develop a "smart" urinary catheter - which is typically used for bladder drainage that they modified in order to provide clinicians with immediate information about the amount of oxygen organs are receiving. Results of animal studies and preliminary results of the catheter's use in two patients indicate the device is also less invasive than current techniques.

Julio Clavijo, M.D., visiting research associate professor in the division of surgery and critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, presented these findings today at the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma's 2002 Annual Meeting at the Hilton at Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, Fla.

When a patient suffers from hemorrhagic shock, the massive loss of blood greatly reduces the amount of oxygen delivered to all organs, which can result in organ damage. Current monitoring techniques to assess oxygen delivery in trauma patients are often invasive and not always applicable in the clinical setting.

"By developing better ways to monitor trauma and critical care patients in the intensive care unit we can implement timely decisions regarding their care," said Juan Carlos Puyana, M.D., F.A.C.S., associate professor of surgery and critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and senior author of the study.

The investigators constructed a urinary catheter with a fluorescent-based fiber optic probe that directly measures blood flow and oxygen utilization. This fiber optic probe is of the same type used by neurosurgeons and anesthesiologists to measure oxygen utilization in the brain.

In animal studies of the catheter, the researchers found that during hemorrhage, ch
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Contact: Maureen McGaffin
412-647-3555
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
27-Sep-2002


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