Radiofrequency Identification of the ER-REBOA: Confirmation of Placement Without Fluoroscopy

Mil Med. 2019 Mar 1;184(3-4):e285-e289. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usy187.


Introduction: Non-compressible torso hemorrhage accounts for 70% of battlefield deaths. Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) is an emerging technology used to mitigate massive truncal hemorrhage. Use of REBOA on the battlefield is limited by the need for radiographic guided balloon placement. Radiofrequency identification (RFID) is a simple, portable, real-time technology utilized to detect retained sponges during surgery. We investigated the feasibility of RFID to confirm the placement of ER-REBOA.

Materials and methods: This was a single-arm prospective proof-of-concept experimental study approved by the institutional review board at Naval Medical Center San Diego. The ER-REBOA (Prytime Medical Devices, Inc, Boerne, TX, USA) was modified by placement of a RFID tag. The tagged ER-REBOA was placed in zone I or zone III of the aorta in a previously perfused cadaver. Exact location was documented with X-ray. Five blinded individuals used the RF Assure Detection System (Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN, USA) handheld detection wand to predict catheter tip location from the xiphoid process (zone I) or pubic tubercle (zone III).

Results: In zone I, actual distance (Da) of the catheter tip was 11 cm from the xiphoid process. Mean predicted distance (Dp) from Da was 1.52 cm (95% CI 1.19-1.85). In zone III, Da was 14 cm from the pubic tubercle. Mean Dp from Da was 4.11 cm (95% CI 3.68-4.54). Sensitivity of detection was 100% in both zones. Specificity (Defined as Dp within 2 cm of Da) was 86% in zone I and 16% in zone III.

Conclusions: Using RFID to confirm the placement of ER-REBOA is feasible with specificity highest in zone I. Future work should focus on refining this technology for the forward-deployed setting.

Keywords: REBOA; fluoroscopy-free; placement; radiofrequency identification.

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aorta / diagnostic imaging
  • Aorta / physiopathology
  • Balloon Occlusion / instrumentation
  • Balloon Occlusion / methods
  • Balloon Occlusion / standards*
  • Cadaver
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy / methods
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radio Frequency Identification Device / methods
  • Resuscitation / instrumentation
  • Resuscitation / methods