The federal government has cleared for marketing in the United States a ventilator that Buffalo doctors recently used to treat a cystic fibrosis patient whose condition had dangerously declined, hospital officials reported Thursday.
In September, Tyler Blake, 26, of Celeron, became the first patient in the nation to receive treatment from Medivent International's Hayek RTX ventilator after his physician, Dr. Joseph Cronin, received permission to use the device under the Food and Drug Administration "compassionate use" exception for products still in review.
Cronin, director of the adult cystic fibrosis program at Women and Children's Hospital, said he hopes clearance by the FDA will expand availability of the ventilator in Buffalo and elsewhere.
"There are many patients here that can use this treatment, including several who are now waiting for lung transplants," he said.
Unlike a typical ventilator that pushes air into the lungs through a tube, the RTX fits like cushioned body armor around a patient's chest and externally supports natural inhalation and exhalation.
The device is considered an alternative or complement to standard ventilators for a number of conditions, including asthma, pneumonia and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
For cystic fibrosis patients like Blake, it also can serve as a bridge to a lung transplant.