From the Stars and Stripes:
The 22-year-old from Alhambra, Calif., had survived the massive roadside blast that mangled his lower legs and destroyed the tank he was riding in, but the residual effects of the blast quickly overtook him.
The bomb sent a shockwave through his body so violent that within a day or two, his lungs began to wilt from the trauma.
In order to save him, doctors in Iraq hooked him up to a new device called an interventional lung assist: a simple, slender box about the size of a portable CD player that performs the work of a lung without the drawbacks of a traditional ventilator.
Plugged into the femoral blood vessels and powered by the patient’s own heartbeat, the box provides oxygen to a patient by passing blood through a special membrane, passively doing the work of the damaged organs…
“It really worked,” Wong’s father, David, said Monday at the hospital, where his son was still in critical care. “It’s a miracle for him.”
But, technically, it was an illegal one…
The Novalung, developed at the Regensburg hospital and now available around Europe and in Canada, is so recent an invention that even the top experts on the device (Bein and his colleagues) have only used it on about 100 patients, Bein said.
That makes it too new for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve it for use, doctors said. But according to the manufacturer’s director of regulatory affairs, Heiko Frerichs, consumers can still buy the product, making it available for use but, technically, unusable for American doctors.
Novalung website (in German)…