Mar-Apr 2012

The 3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 series opens up new assessment possibilities

In the world of auscultation, where the language is sound, it all comes down to the performance of the diagnostic instrument and the skill of the professional interpreting those sounds. Add technology to the equation and what you get is a far superior auscultation experience that opens up new assessment possibilities and improved diagnostic capabilities. The 3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 series with cutting-edge Bluetooth and Ambient Noise Reduction (ANR) technology delivers exceptional auscultation capabilities that are proven to enhance the detection of difficult-to-hear heart, lung and abdominal sounds.

In clinical studies compared against non-electronic stethoscopes, 83% of cardiologists indicated that it was easier to detect/hear aS3 gallop, 82% of cardiologists indicated it was easier to detect a grade 1 or 2 aortic regurgitation murmur and 90% of critical care nurses indicated it was easier to detect abnormal lung sounds with the 3M Littmann stethoscope 3000 series. When using a non-electronic, cardiology- type stethoscope versus this electronic range, cardiologists missed an S3 gallop 40% more often, a Grade 2 aortic regurgitation murmur five times more often and critical care nurses misidentified whether a sound was normal or abnormal two times more often.

Practitioners in paediatrics have also attested to the superior auscultation performance of 3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope range in listening to the sounds of the heart and lungs in children, which in turn helps them to diagnose conditions more efficiently.

Its state-of-the-art technological features also enhance and simplify the management of auscultation data. Equipped with Bluetooth technology, the 3200 model allows medical professionals to wirelessly transmit sounds in real-time to a PC for further analysis, as attachments to electronic medical records or for reviewing online with colleagues. This advanced model includes Zargis StethAssit sound analysis software which visualizes heart, lung and other body sounds, playback in bell, diaphragm or extended range, display and print as phonocardiogram, and has the capability to save patient information.

The 3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope range is now available across the GCC and Middle East through authorized 3M distributors.

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Intersurgical launches pressure valves for Anaesthetic Gas Scavenging System

Intersurgical has introduced two safety valves for anaesthetic workstations – that are required ISO regulations.

The ISO standard 80601-2-13 Anaesthetic Workstation, in section ‘Pressure’, states “under single fault conditions, the pressure at the inlet to the Anaesthetic Gas Scavenging System (AGSS) shall not exceed 20hPa (20 cmH2O) with an exhaust flow rate of 75 lpm”.

This means that there must be some form of pressure relief in the transfer tube from the APL valve to the AGSS collection equipment, known as the ‘air-brake’.

This is a safety requirement as the transfer tube may become occluded, which will allow the pressure to build up in the breathing system, preventing the patient exhaling. With a valve fitted, the pressure will be released into the atmosphere reducing the pressure in the breathing system.

Intersurgical have responded to this requirement and have launched two AGSS single use safety valves, one for use with 30mm scavenging tube – (code 1972000) and the other for use with 22mm scavenging tube – (code 1972001).

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Philips launches HeartStart XL+ defibrillator/monitor

Philips has launched worldwide its new HeartStart XL+, a crash cart defibrillator/ monitor for use in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Philips says the HeartStart XL+ is the company’s only defibrillator that, in AED mode, can defibrillate any patient – adult or child – with no special pads required, which can save valuable time when responding to a cardiac emergency.

The HeartStart XL+ is designed to be reliable and user-friendly. Philips incorporated innovations to its latest defibrillator/ monitor based on extensive user feedback and testing to ensure it meets the needs of a variety of users. Features that enhance the XL+’s readiness for clinicians include an indicator on the front panel of the device that signals power status, an active “ready for use” indicator and an easy-touse interface and cabling that is consistent with other Philips defibrillators and monitors to make hand-offs easier.

The HeartStart XL+ easily switches between adult AED mode and infant/child AED mode with the push of a button, making it possible for all levels of trained responders to use the defibrillator quickly and effectively on any patient.

Utilising Philips’ SMART biphasic therapy for defibrillation and synchronized cardioversion, the HeartStart XL+ delivers one of the fastest shocks (three seconds) to standard adult dose (150 Joules) in manual and AED mode, enabling fast delivery of therapy and allowing clinicians to quickly resume CPR
Other features offered on the HeartStart XL+ include non-invasive blood pressure, pulse oximetry, synchronized cardioversion, pacing and trending.

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Microvisk develops new tech for monitoring anti-coagulation meds

Microvisk Technologies has developed the ‘CoagMax’ device as a point of care test for clinicians and a ‘CoagLite’ device as a home use test for patients, which can both be used to establish the correct dosage of anti-coagulation medication such as Warfarin and to monitor treatment.

Seven million people in the western world use Warfarin and the US FDA estimates that over one million new patients start taking the drug every year. Patients must have regular blood tests at their doctor’s surgery or hospital clinic to ensure they receive the correct dose. Warfarin is affected by food and exercise and if the dose is too low there is a risk of blood clots forming which can result in a stroke or heart attack, while too high a dose can lead to a life threatening bleed.

The Microvisk devices enable patients to test their blood clotting ability at home, in the same way that people with diabetes test for glucose.

Last year, the company won the Healthcare Project of the Year Award at the prestigious BioNoW Biomedical Awards in the UK for this technology.

Microvisk introduced these handheld devices, which monitor the blood clotting status of patients, at Medica in November last year. The company says the devices attracted unprecedented attention from distributors at the show.

The devices incorporate a unique ‘SmartStrip’ that uses embedded sensors to measure blood clotting speed from a drop of patient’s blood taken by finger prick, and a handheld reader displays the results. SmartStrip is the world’s first medical diagnostic strip based on a Micro-Electro- Mechanical System (MEMS), incorporating a cantilever to measure fluid viscosity with an on-board memory chip, and was created as a movement system for nano-robots. MEMS technology is used in technology based applications such as projectors, the iPhone and Nintendo Wii.

Existing devices for measuring blood coagulation use optical analysis or measure chemical reactions, requiring patients to provide more blood which is more painful and producing less accurate results.

The company notes that European clinical trials of CoagMax and CoagLite are progressing in the UK and Germany with product launches in both countries scheduled for early this year. Clinical trials are also ongoing in major medical centres in Florida with US product launches scheduled for mid-2012. During the pilot trials, nine out of ten patients have expressed a preference for the Microvisk devices.

Berchtold introduces new hi-tech surgical light system

Berchtold has developed a new surgical lighting system called F Generation. During development they looked at three key areas: : a composite material of high-performance plastic and metal for the light cover, a simple and cost-effective lock system that ensures the IP53 protection level requirement, and an innovative reflector that is lightweight and stiff and optimally steers the LED light onto the surgical field.

Berchtold worked closely with a university and a plastics specialist to develop the F Generation which resulted in a method for hybrid thermoforming. With this method, large-scale plastic-metal composite parts can be manufactured efficiently, which have mechanical and optical advantages in addition to high connecting performance: The light hood has sufficiently high thermal conductivity, is resistant to scratches and impacts, and looks high quality.

The blue domed disc is made of aluminium. The surrounding plastic ring interlocks securely with the metal part.

“No fluid can penetrate here, the connection is absolutely watertight,” explains Nicolas Gaffron, Project Leader for Development.

It is also certified for cleaning products. With the new lock system, the light cover is also screwless. With safety class IP53, the F Generation meets strict requirements for hygiene in the operating room.

Berchtold developed the innovative reflector together with another supplier. For this purpose, the boron-nitrogen compound, boron nitride, was added to plastic specially to prepare it for deep-drawing thermoforming methods. After diamond, boron nitride is the hardest known material and modifies the properties of the plastic. The high requirements for the reflector could be met: low thermal expansion, high stability and thermal conductivity. For this material, BERCHTOLD gained a materials patent with the supplier. The optimum reflection surface is then created by vapour coating the reflector with aluminium in a vacuum. "In the new F Generation we have combined this reflector with LEDs and so benefit from the advantages of both versions," explains Gaffron. The LEDs are arranged circumferentially on the outer edge and shine into the reflector, where they are reflected off the facets. The result is a mixing of light within the reflector.

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Sonosite begins shipping new EDGE ultrasound system

Sonisite, a specialist in hand-carried ultrasound for point-of-care, has received CE Marking (Conformité Européenne) in the European Union to market its next generation point-of-care product: ‘EDGE’ ultrasound system. In November last year the company received 510 (k) FDA Clearance in the United States for the EDGE system. The company is now commencing international customer deliveries.

The EDGE ultrasound system is SonoSite’s fifth generation product engineered to take point-of-care ultrasound to a whole new level of clinical performance. With new state-of-the-art features, physicians are able to deliver the highest standard of patient care by driving greater efficiencies and improved outcomes in the hospital and office.

The EDGE ultrasound was formally introduced last Autumn at medical meetings and congresses in Europe and Australia; physicians positively responded to the system and features:

“With the new EDGE system, SonoSite once more demonstrates its outstanding performance in image quality,” said Med Wolf Armbruster, MD, Chief Physician, Clinic of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Management, Unna, Germany.

“While using a linear probe on other ultrasound products, deeper tissue structures can hardly be seen, but the EDGE system produces images of high contrast at depth. Fascias are visible, clear, and detailed and difficult imaging areas are virtually eliminated, which is especially helpful for neurosonography. With SonoSite’s well-known reliability and robustness, the new system design and outstanding image quality makes the EDGE product the best hand-carried ultrasound system available for anesthesiology.”

“As a faithful SonoSite user, I want the company’s products to remain true to its core elements, namely user friendliness, simplicity of use and rapid acquisition of a great image,” said Amit Pawa, MD, Anesthesiologist Consultant, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK. “The EDGE system clearly accomplishes this while looking futuristic, sleek and sophisticated. Physicians will also benefit from the back-lit screen and wipe-able keypad. Overall, the image quality is superior and I can’t wait to use it in clinical practice.”

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 Date of upload: 24th Mar 2012

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