WVU neurosurgeon first in the world to treat patient with next-generation IRRAflow system

MORGANTOWN — Nicholas Brandmeir, M.D., neurosurgeon at the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, is the first neurosurgeon to successfully treat a hemorrhagic stroke patient using the next-generation IRRAflow® system.

IRRAflow is the world’s first irrigating intracranial drain that provides a therapeutic approach to relieve intracranial bleeding. Dr. Brandmeir successfully performed the procedure on March 3.

“Over the last year, our team has been utilizing IRRAflow’s active fluid exchange technology to therapeutically treat our hemorrhagic stroke patients,” Dr. Brandmeir said. “We are excited to have the opportunity to be the first in the world to be able to utilize the next-gen IRRAflow system. The new IRRAflow control unit has welcomed improvements from a procedural workflow standpoint, which will benefit our team and patients.”

IRRAS, a global medical care company focused on delivering innovative medical solutions to improve the lives of critically ill patients, launched its next-generation IRRAflow system in the United States on Feb. 22.

Hemorrhagic strokes occur when blood spills into or around the brain and creates swelling and pressure that damages cells in the brain tissue. These strokes usually are caused by traumatic injury or a weakened blood vessel that ruptures or leaks. Research shows that each year, hemorrhagic strokes account for only 15 percent of all strokes, but they are typically more deadly and are responsible for approximately 40 percent of all stroke deaths.

For decades, a typical treatment to clear blood and reduce the pressure that builds up during a hemorrhagic stroke is an external ventricular drain. This treatment is a passive and manual approach that relies on gravity alone to remove the collected fluids. These drains are commonly associated with blockages that can form and impact the needed drainage ability and other complications.

IRRAflow, on the other hand, provides a therapeutic option known as active fluid exchange. Active fluid exchange combines the needed drainage with automated, controlled irrigation that prevents drainage blockages from forming. The concept may also enhance drainage by exchanging the collected toxic material with neutral fluids during the irrigation cycle. IRRAflow also continuously monitors the patient’s intracranial pressure and automatically controls treatment based on the patient’s situation.

For more information on the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, visit WVUMedicine.org/RNI.