Fiber Optics Aiding in Finding Blood Clots During Surgery

Fiber optics are great for networking and transferring information. They’re fast, powerful, useful and efficient. But, did you know that fiber optics are not always used for broadband purposes? In some cases, fiber optic technology is used in industries you may not expect. Did you know that medical professionals are now using fiber optics to help save lives during surgery? Learn more about how fiber optics are changing the way we live–and how we survive.

Why is it Needed?

During surgery, doctors must use a blood thinner to keep the blood flowing properly. When the heart or lungs are being worked on, they rely on something called a cardiopulmonary bypass pump. This is a machine that does the function of these organs while surgery commences. Blood clots can clog this machine and cause deadly consequences. In order to prevent blood clots, doctors conduct blood tests to determine if they must thin the blood further. This needs to be done every half hour, and takes about ten minutes each time. As you can imagine, this takes away precious time. But with fiber optics, this entire process changes into something far more efficient.

How it Works

By using fiber optics, doctors can be continually aware of how the patient’s blood is doing. It shines light through veins, and the rate the light bounces back at can show the density of the blood. If a clot is forming, the fiber optic technology will detect it immediately. So far, this has been tested on 10 patients and shows success. With fiber optic technology at work, this could change the way we conduct heart and lung surgery. And this technology can expand within the medical industry, allowing us to form even more interesting, life-saving devices. There’s no limit to what fiber optics can do!

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