Cardio Gift Could Save Troops’ Lives

The David Grant Medical Center at Travis AFB, Calif., recently received a portable heart and lung machine for testing that could transform the US military’s ability to evacuate severely wounded patients by air, according to researchers with Travis’ 60th Medical Group. The CARDIOHELP life support system provides the body’s vital organs with oxygen while allowing the heart and lungs to rest—and heal, they said. “This process, known as extracorporeal life support, or ECLS, is the same technology used to circulate blood during open heart surgeries,” said Maj. David Watson, director of clinical investigation at DGMC. “The difference is that the CARDIOHELP machine has been reduced from the size of a small couch to that of a toaster oven.” Maquet Cardiovascular of Wayne, N.J., donated the $250,000 device to DGMC. It is one of the few such machines in use in the United States and the first one that the Defense Department will evaluate, according to a Travis release.