180102 microin 0During the ongoing military conflict in eastern Ukraine, not only did we learn to fight, but also how to save human lives. Here is just one fact: up to 70 percent of metal fragments can remain lodged in the body of victims of gunshot injuries.



This military surgical statistics has changed dramatically with innovative technology solutions developed by Private-Sector firm Microin, Kharkiv, succeeding with sponsorship by Progress Specialized Export-Import Firm. The new products enable the removal of up to 70% of ferromagnetic foreign bodies by a magnet. With this innovative technology in place, surgeries become less invasive and promote faster recovery for victims of shrapnel and bullet injuries. This is our key accomplishment on the medical front. Now let’s proceed to details.


... A silver-colored briefcase and a wooden box were seen at the Arms & Security’2017 show displayed in the front most row of the Progress’ display stand. The contents of the open briefcase and the box did not attract much interest from the uninitiated. Rods of different lengths, thicknesses and shapes fitted with bizarre inserts seemed to be strangers among the other exhibits like new radar technologies and armored personnel carriers that gathered crowds of visitors. But actually these are things of the same order. While effectiveness, accuracy and reliability are what a soldier needs most from his weapon, a military surgeon's weapon is a good surgical instrument.


 In a speech introducing the new products, Medical Lieutenant-Colonel Volodymyr Nehoduiko, Surgical Department Head at the Military Medical Center, Northern Region, said: “I am a military medic. Where I work we create and introduce new technologies into warfighting practice. Regarding the company "Microin", it was founded by a physicist at Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology (KIPT), and the team of technology authors includes two doctors and two physicists of KIPT. The physicists are dealing with the development and production of instruments, while we employ these all for surgeries and introduce into practice the benefits the new technology generates.


The physicists approached us in 2014 to ask if we needed any help. We did not even imagine then that this collaboration would produce such results".


The effect of new solutions


180102 microin 12"A surgeon needs five-fold less time to remove a foreign body with this new instrument than with a conventional counterpart. This is first. Second is the proportion between the number of foreign bodies removed from and retained in the wound. This proportion is 30 per cent and 70 percent with conventional technologies, while with magnetic instruments it reverses to 70 percent and 30 percent respectively. Is this 40-percent difference much or not? With the help of these instruments, it is possible to successfully remove ferromagnetic fragments of mines, grenades, shells and bullets. Ferromagnetic fragments usually amount to some 80 percent of all the fragments in the wound. The other, non-magnetic fragments are removed using the main instrument, which [like its magnet-based counterpart] has been produced and registered as invention, and already proved its suitability.


Our methods/techniques and this instrument help surgeries become less invasive as they involve much smaller incisions, in full conformity to the minimally invasive surgery concept that means less operative trauma, other complications and adverse effects than a traditional open surgery. These have additional benefits in terms of sooner wound healing, shorter hospital stay, and a faster recovery time, allowing soldiers to quickly return to service.


Using our methods/techniques and the new instruments results in the number of post-surgery complications reduced by an order of magnitude compared to conventional surgery. This is true and proven by our statistics. We have registered 26 inventions and published about 80 scientific reports on these new methods and techniques over the past three years”, Mr Nehoduiko said.


Marvel instruments


Microin has developed two sets of magnetic surgical instruments.


The smaller set is intended for expert surgical use in hospitals, especially mobile field hospitals.180102 microin 11 Deliveries to forces in the field began in 2015. All military hospitals in Ukraine (including inter alia the Kyiv Central Military Hospital and military hospitals in Kharkiv, Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia and Odesa) are now fully provided with smaller sets of Microin’s magnetic surgical instruments.


The expanded set of instruments, named “Magnetic Surgical Instruments Set (Large)", is tailored for specialized surgical procedures. A single pre-prototype set of instruments has been produced so far and delivered to the Northern Region’s Military Medical Center, Kharkiv. This pre-prototype unit was displayed at Arms & Security’2017 show in Kyiv.


Volodymyr Nehoduiko elaborates: "The small and expanded sets of instruments are both designed to identify and remove ferromagnetic metal foreign bodies from soft tissue wounds. Multifunctional instruments from the sets later began to be used for the removal of foreign bodies also from the chest/heart, and abdomen wounds. The smaller set would be useful in 80% of cases. We use the expanded set if foreign bodies cannot be removed with instruments from the smaller set.


The expanded set is comprised of a magnet-based instrument, an instrument for the removal of non-magnetic foreign bodies, and titanium clips allowing simultaneous use of magnetic and nonmagnetic instruments. Titanium doesn’t "stick" to magnetic instruments, allowing easy manipulations in the affected region. It is as important as it is expensive. One titanium clip, for example, carries a price tag of USD300.


The instruments were modified and redesigned to suit our needs. We even have an instrument tailored for one single patient. An engineer was allowed only one week to develop and make an instrument that we used to quickly remove a foreign body from the man’s foot joint.


Development work on new instruments is continuing. So in the future, the expanded set might have a changed composition”.


UDR note:

Typical types of injuries suffered by Ukrainian soldiers deployed in the Donbas conflict area are changing with the changing nature of the operations being conducted. While shrapnel injuries prevailed at the initial stage of the conflict, amounting to 60-70 percent of all the injuries suffered, mine blast injuries tend to dominate the statistics in the past 12-month period. The rate of bullet injuries has remained almost unchanged at 15 percent.


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