Innovative Trauma Care, Edmonton Research Park, Edmonton, Alberta
Innovative Trauma Care A simple looking device is sitting on the precipice of a medical revolution. The inventor behind the device, Dr. Dennis Filips, Chief Executive Officer of Innovative Trauma Care, has spent the last two years designing this invention because he knew there had to be a better way. His fortitude in following his instinct will provide a solution to one of the most common causes of preventable death: Bleeding. As a Combat Trauma Surgeon with the Canadian Navy, including five tours of duty in Afghanistan, Dr. Filips saw first-hand how much difficulty physicians experience trying to control bleeding in the field at the moment of injury. The best solution is to temporize the situation by a trained physician sewing the wound closed. But that is difficult, often impossible, to do at the moment or place of injury.
Dr. Filips explains, “In the field, you are faced with a choice. Suturing a wound takes time, experience and a trained doctor. Faced with a choice between doing things in the field or getting to a hospital, time wins out. In a combat zone or mass disaster scenario, things are even more complex. Physicians assess the injured using a triage approach, seeing everyone first before even deciding on treatments.” More often, one of three treatments is used to stabilize a wound until the person can be transported to a medical facility. The stabilizing treatments include using tourniquets, applying direct pressure or packing the wound with blood clotting agents. Depending on the severity of the wound, treatments are stopgaps that may provide only a few precious extra minutes to get people the help they need. Incredibly, these in-field treatments have not changed since World War 2, which begs the question - why? Dr. Filips admits that typically, “When people try to envision a better way of doing things, they usually see this as an improvement of what already exists versus doing it a different way. We get used to doing things a particular way, and we assume these treatments are the best we can do.” 8