Ebola and the medical device industry

In the past, the Ebola virus has proven to be incurable. No single treatment has proven itself effective against the virus, it has been known to claim the lives of half of those who are infected. The person-to-person transmitted virus has previously touched remote villages or tropical rainforest regions, but the most recent outbreak in Sierra Leone, Giunea and Liberia has grabbed hold of more densely populated cities. With this close proximity to more people, the virus has spread rapidly and claimed over 6,000 lives in those three West African nations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Previously, the only supportive care available has been to rehydrate. While this does improve survival rates, there still aren’t any licensed treatments or vaccinations; great strides have been made, however, in understanding the virus and controlling it. A Ugandan Ebola patient being cared for in Germany was treated with a new device that may have helped the patient. He underwent therapy from an Aethlon Hemopurifier, a device that filters virus particles and other detrimental cell products from the infected individual’s blood.

The company, Aethlon, claims that the Hemopurifier targets the rapid elimination of viruses and immunosuppressive proteins from the circulatory system of infected individuals. There may be something to this method, too, because the patient in Germany was suffering from multiple organ failures and started on the road to recovery only after receiving treatment with this device.

While this device is still working its way through trials, it shows how amazing innovative devices can be. There are other medical devices that have helped to monitor patients vitals such as their temperature with no-touch devices that keep medical workers safe, such as the non-contact thermometer. There may be even more innovations on the horizon.

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