Dr. Robert Perry, a resident at OU Medical Center, has invented a medical device so practical that federal regulators approved it in just 17 days.
“It was kind of a surprise,” Perry said. “I wasn't anticipating getting anything back until January, and I got it in October.”
The Food and Drug Administration quickly approved his EZ Vein device, which is designed to ease the sometimes tricky job of inserting an intravenous catheter. The noninvasive device includes an inflation cuff that goes over the arm to redirect blood from deep tissue to the target vein near the skin's surface to make more visible and accessible to a needle, he said.
“It works even if you don't have a pulse,” Perry said. Traditional tourniquets aren't effective if the patient has no pulse, he said.
Perry has discussed his creation with health care providers and emergency responders.
“Everyone's been very positive about the device,” he said.
The EZ Vein device is not Perry's first creation. It's just the first to get to the production stage.
Perry, 33, graduated from OU College of Medicine in 2007, and his work with patients generates his inventions. In fact, his focus on creating and engineering new devices delayed his entry into the family medicine residency program.
“I have a machine shop at house,” Perry said. “I would see a need and think about, build a prototype and test it and then talk to people in the field, file a patent and come up with a business plan.”
But he plans to continue his medical career, while continuing to craft devices that help patients, doctors and emergency responders.
“You need the practice in order to see what the needs are,” he said. “You can't just sit in a lab and think about what problems of the world are.
“I got into this to do the whole medicine side,” he said. “I enjoy solving problems, but it's really the patient care that drew me to medicine.”