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Dr. Miller, Founder of Vidacare and Medical Device Inventor, to Receive Palmaz Award
September 6, 2012

By Jim Forsyth, 1200 WOAI news

Dr. Larry Miller, a former Emergency Room physician in Chicago and San Antonio, whose repeated frustrations at trying to find a vein for introducing fluids into the body led him to invent the EZ-IO Infusion System and to found Vidacare Corporation, is the recipient of the 2012 Palmaz Award, presented by BioMed SA for innovation in healthcare and the biosciences, 1200 WOAI news has learned.

"This device has made it possible for doctors, when an IV is tough or impossible, for them to get into the vascular system," Miller told 1200 WOAI news after being told he was the recipient of the prestigious award, which is named for Julio Palmaz, the San Antonio physician whose Palmaz Stent has revolutionized cardiac surgery.

"Dr. Miller exemplifies the kind of innovation, drive, and heart that is needed to develop groundbreaking solutions for unmet medical needs," said Ann Stevens, president of BioMed SA, which presents the prestigious award.

Dr. Miller says when he was working in emergency rooms, he frequently found finding a vein in which to insert an IV to deliver emergency fluids and medications was one of the most frustrating parts of his job. Some patients have collapsed veins, others have artery hardening which makes inserting an IV impossible, and babies have veins which are frequently too tiny to accept an IV.

So Dr. Miller invented the intraosseous, or into the bone, method of introducing fluids into the body, on the theory that the space inside the bones never collapses and always is able to accept fluids. Hence the "IO" in Easy IO.

"It revolutionized the way we treat patients with difficult vascular access," Miller said. "Now any patient who needs an IV for the introduction of fluids is able to get it."

The EZ IO technology is now part of standard equipment on ambulances and among emergency room doctors.

Vidacare is not the first company Dr. Miller has started. He also founded LifeQuest Medical, which acquired worldwide rights to the Osteoport, an I.O. vascular access port for treating cancer and AIDS. He says San Antonio is rapidly becoming a solid place for start up bio-tech firms to grow.

"The intellectual stimulation and ideas that come from the scientists and inventors now has a basis that inventors can turn to for help to get going, because it is not easy in the early stages," he said.

In addition to founding two successful companies, Dr. Miller is also a humanitarian, who delivered badly needed medical supplies to Haiti during a deadly cholera outbreak two years ago.

The Palmaz Award will be presented to Dr. Miller on September 20th.


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