Washington (AP) -- A device that could save the lives of wounded American soldiers is getting a green light from federal regulators in record time.
After consulting with the Air Force, the Food and Drug Administration is approving the use of a plastic shunt. The device can temporarily rejoin severed blood vessels, providing a bridge around a wound to restore blood flow.
Backers say the shunt could save a limb from being amputated, because it keeps blood moving until a soldier can get to an operating room. That's crucial in a place like Iraq, where some 500 troops have lost limbs, mostly to injuries from roadside bombings.
The FDA signed off on the device in under a week.
Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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