The Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation

The Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation

Giorgio Giatsidis, MD, presents his Stepping Strong Innovator Awards project to members of the advisory board

2017 Winner: Giorgio Giatsidis, MD

Plastic Surgeon, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Instructor, Harvard Medical School

Mitigating Damage to Injured Limbs After Tourniquet Application

When faced with a traumatic injury, tourniquets can control bleeding and save lives. But because they restrict blood flow to tissues, sometimes these life-saving pieces of equipment can also cause ischemic damage to limbs. To solve for this, Giorgio Giatsidis, MD, seeks to develop a device that uses a therapeutic method of controlled, localized cooling to minimize the ischemic damage in injured limbs to which a tourniquet is applied. The goal is to apply the device to injured limbs immediately after application of a tourniquet, and then remove the device at the same time as the tourniquet, when blood flow to the limb is restored. A tool like this utilized in civilian and military trauma settings would reduce the amount of ischemic injuries and amputations that can follow tourniquet application.

Giorgio Giatsidis, MD, completed his training in plastic surgery with honors at the University of Padova (Italy), with a strong interest in trauma care and reconstructive microsurgery. He joined the Plastic Surgery Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2013 as a research fellow and, since 2016, has served as an instructor in surgery, focusing his research on the development of novel therapeutic approaches for soft tissue repair and regeneration. Prior to receiving a Stepping Strong Innovator Awards grant, Giatsidis served as a Stepping Strong Plastic Surgery Trauma Fellow.