Canica Design Inc.

Canica Design Inc.

May 13, 2008 13:45 ET

Canadian Surgical Device Saves Lives and Limbs on Iraq's Front Lines

Canica's ABRA® Dynamic Wound Closure System earns high marks from combat surgeons

BAGHDAD, IRAQ and ALMONTE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 13, 2008) - Results of an independent clinical study conducted by U.S. Army combat-support surgeons in Baghdad show that a new medical device used to close a type of surgical wound more quickly is saving lives and limbs of soldiers and civilians. The device was designed by Canica Design Inc., the surgical tool company in Almonte, Ontario, started by Lee Valley Tool Chairman, Leonard Lee.

A team of battle zone surgeons led by Maj. Niten Singh, M.D. working in the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq used Canica's ABRA® Surgical Skin Closure System to successfully implement a new surgical regimen called dynamic wound closure. Described in a paper just published in The American Surgeon, the procedure applies gentle but continuing tension uniformly across a wound for a period of a few days to gradually but completely close it. Skin grafting is eliminated.

Faster healing minimizes complications; patients leave the hospital sooner and require less home care. This results in considerable cost savings. "Dynamic wound closure using our devices can reduce total costs from surgeries like these by more than 40%," noted Alden Rattew, Canica's Executive Vice-President. "It has highlighted the fact that increased patient benefit and reduced health care costs can be realized simultaneously if wounds can just be closed quickly."

"Military surgeons are reporting substantial improvements in care by using Canica's wound closure systems," Rattew says. "As more civilian surgeons learn about dynamic wound closure and our easy-to-use devices, millions of patients everywhere will benefit."

A surgeon sometimes must make a long incision to perform a fasciotomy - usually on a badly injured arm or leg - to relieve dangerous swelling and pressure due to fluid build up. Fasciotomies must be performed quickly following trauma and can mean the difference between loss of life or limb, but they result in long, gaping wounds which can be difficult to close. More than 16,000 are performed in U.S. hospitals annually.

"Because of the swelling that occurs with the muscles, these wounds cannot typically be closed with sutures," Dr. Singh explained. "Traditionally, surgeons have left these wounds open and covered them with skin grafts. This results in an additional wound from harvesting the graft; potential failure of the skin graft, and unsightly scars. Using Canica's system, we were able to close fasciotomies in an average 2.6 days - several times faster than other techniques," said Dr. Singh, who is based at Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington. "Canica's system is designed for early placement and our findings indicate early placement is key to success, allowing skin approximation to occur faster. Overall, we do believe this is a superior technique."

Dynamic Wound Closure: beginnings of a new standard of care

Dynamic wound closure can be used on many types of wounds, not just fasciotomies. In addition to closing other extremity wounds, Canica makes dynamic wound closure systems for a wide range or wounds, from skin lacerations to large abdominal eviscerations. Its patented dynamic technology is also used in devices that protect wounds from re-opening, and in those used for babies born with a cleft lip - gradually pulling the cleft lip segments together in preparation for repair surgery.

Another recent study supports Dr. Singh's belief that beginning dynamic wound closure as early as possible saves more lives and limbs. The research, published in The Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection, and Critical Care concludes that performing fasciotomies in forward combat hospitals - rather than waiting to perform them hours or days later at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany - resulted in 1/3 the number of deaths and cut the rate of amputations in half. Using dynamic wound closure, these early fasciotomies can now be rapidly and reliably closed, completely avoiding secondary surgical procedures.

About Canica Design, Inc.

Founded in 1999, Canica is a design-focused medical company specializing in devices for rapid healing of soft tissue trauma using its proprietary dynamic technology. Canica grew from a surgical instrument company to one which develops a complete range of wound stabilization and closure devices that improve patient outcome by significantly reducing disfigurement, scarring, pain and the need for skin grafts and mesh repair - all while reducing costs.

All Canica devices are subjected to exhaustive review for marketability, patentability, regulatory compliance and clinical efficacy; then the company's patented designs are taken to market via strategic alliances.

Visit to see how Canica closes wounds or call 800-705-8312.

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