Israeli researchers design device to improve survival chances after stabbing

Students designed the ThoraXS device--Courtesy of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

In response to a wave of stabbings by Palestinian assailants against Israeli civilians, Hebrew University of Jerusalem students and researchers have developed an interventional device to increase a victim's chance of survival.

Chest trauma results in pneumothorax, or a collapsed lungs. The Hebrew University team has developed the ThoraXS device to accelerate the cut the time needed for chest tube insertion from 10 minutes to 30 seconds, according to a university news release.

Performed after a quick needle decompression of the thorax, the tissue separation and tube insertion procedure is currently quite laborious and technically challenging, "leading caregivers to neglect the second step in favor of rapid evacuation from the scene to the hospital," according to Dr. Ariel Drori, an internal medicine expert at Hadassah Medical Center.

Hebrew University says the ThoraXS' closed-knife shape and mechanical opening mechanism enable fast penetration of the pleural space, located between the chest wall and lungs.

"Our students responded to terror attacks by developing life-saving medical devices, an approach that is the very essence of our BioDesign: Medical Innovation program. ThoraXS is a life-saving innovation that exemplifies our commitment to helping the local and global communities through practical research and development projects," professor Yaakov Nahmias, director of the Hebrew University's Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering, said in a release.

The device is up for commercialization by the technology transfer programs of Hebrew University and the Hadassah Medical Center. Professor Nahmias estimated that the addressable market is worth $300 million per year.

- read the university press release