May-Jun 2009

Right patient, right drug, right dose

To avoid adverse drug events it is essential that the patient is given the correct drug, with the correct dose at the correct time. But this is not always the case. In fact in the UK an alarming 12% of hospitalised patients experience one or other form of adverse drug event. Unfortunately most of these incidents arise from human error.

What is needed is a smart drug delivery device that automates drug delivery and cuts out human error and this is just what Chicago, US-based Hospira has recently introduced to the Middle East.

Speaking to Middle East Health earlier this year, Mark Harvie, Hospira’s director of marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa, explained that adverse medication incidents can vary from simply missing a drug administration at time of delivery, to the most serious incidents which can lead to the death of the patient, such as drug overdose or administration of the wrong drug.

“Our products are all designed to reduce these incidents,” he said.

Hospira’s key products launched in the Middle East include the Symbiq infusion system, the MedNet medication safety software, which is built into the infusion pump, and the Veriscan Rx system for bar coding medication at pointof- care.

“These systems can all be integrated to ensure you have the right patient, the right drug, at the right dose through the right point of administration and at the right time. Not only that, but you ensure that you are also automatically updating the patient records at the hospital as well, as the drug delivery system is integrated into the Hospital Information System,” Harvie explained.

In essence this system enhances workflow and patient safety.

The Symbiq infusion pump

The Symbiq infusion pump is Hospira’s second generation pump – the earlier model is the Plum-A infusion pump. The Symbiq infusion pump features a large, colour LCD touchscreen with large font and colour graphical prompts to provide an at-a-glance view of medication status from a distance of up to 4 metres.

Symbiq also uses simple layouts and touch-activated buttons to minimise the potential for programming errors. This well-designed device incorporates numerous clinician- friendly features, to help decrease medication errors and improve workflow.

The system has been tailored for up to 40 different clinical areas (or hospital departments) and can handle up to 400 drugs per department, said Harvie.


Hospira’s MedNet medication safety software has been built into the Symbiq infusion pump.

MedNet is programmable software designed to improve medication management at the point of care by protecting against medication errors and adverse drug events. It works by linking infusion devices with the hospital pharmacy and the hospital information system.

This integration helps clinicians reduce the likelihood of medication errors during administration, the phase associated with the most IV medication errors. It also enables hospital administrators to customise and track IV drug delivery, such as detailed reporting on averted medication errors. These reports help to optimise clinician workflow and the development of medication safety initiatives.

Through the system, pharmacists can work with a team of physicians and clinical staff to develop customised drug libraries and dose recommendations, which are then programmed into a database and transferred to the infusion pump.

If a clinician accidentally programmes an IV medication incorrectly, the pump provides an instant alert to prevent the dosing error before it occurs.

The software allows hospitals to set both “soft” and “hard” dose limits. Soft limits allow clinicians to manually override dose limit alerts if medication outside hospital best practices is required. Hard limits are those the caregiver cannot manually override and prevent clinicians from activating the pump for dose changes with certain medications.

MedNet captures and logs all alarms and alerts, enabling hospitals to track trends in compliance with physician orders, hospital dosing standards, clinical guidelines and safety standards.

Dräger wins two product design awards

Two Dräger products received the iF product design award in 2009: The Ponta beam system and the Infinity C700 for IT workstation. A total of 2,808 products from 39 countries were submitted. The international selection committee awarded 802 labels for superior product design. These two medical devices were among the first Dräger products developed according to the company’s current design guidelines.

The iF Industrie Forum Design e.V. in Hannover recognised the Dräger products and Infinity C700 for IT for their innovative product design in the category “Medicine/Health + Care”. The ceiling-mounted supply unit Ponta integrates not only extraction points for gas, electricity and IT connections, but also dimmable light sources. Based upon different requirements; monitors, infusion pumps and consoles at intensive care workstations can be attached in various ways and moved around on trolleys. The Infinity C700, the cornerstone of Dräger's Omega widescreen solution, is a medical-grade workstation that combines an industry-standard CPU with a 20” wide touchscreen colour display that makes information easy to see, even from a distance. The fan-free design lowers noise and dust levels, and the optional rotary knob provides navigation in addition to the touchscreen.

The committee’s criteria include: quality of composition, workmanship, material selection, degree of innovation, environmental sustainability, functionality, ergonomics and safety. Features such as these reflect the fundamental requirements of today's hospital sector for medical devices such as the Ponta beam system or the Infinity C700 for IT workstation.

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Downs Surgical launches new website with secure zone for distributors

Downs Surgical, one of the UK’s leading surgical instrument manufacturers, which has strong links in the Middle East, has launched a new stateof- the-art website to make it easier for surgeons, distributors and customers in the Middle East to keep up-to-date with the latest product news and global news from the company.

Downs Surgical’s new website – - has been designed to be user friendly and enhance the customer’s experience, as well as have a fresh and modern feel which reflects the company’s global reputation for quality, excellence and outstanding service.

There is also a new area dedicated to distributors. This secure zone for registered distributors offers secure online access to areas of interest, such as promotional giveaways, supplies of literature and sample requests.

Steve Spurgin, International Business Manager at Downs Surgical, said: “This is a very exciting year for Downs Surgical and we are delighted to launch a new website that reflects the modern and dynamic ethos of our business. We have collected feedback from our current website users, as well as customers and distributors across the Middle East and have used this information to produce a website that is accessible and easy to use. We hope people enjoy using it as much as we have enjoyed designing it.”

Downs Surgical are much more than a supplier of high precision surgical instruments; they are a trusted and fully committed partner for the whole surgical process in hospitals around the world specialising in Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) surgery, cardiovascular, obstetrics and gynaecology.

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New LeFlap wound dressing developed for maggot therapy

California-based Monarch Labs, has launched its new, proprietary wound dressing specifically designed to make maggot therapy more easy, quick and simple to administer. It has US FDA approval for marketing under the trade name LeFlap.

Maggot therapy is used to clean or ‘debride’ non-healing wounds such as many types of pressure ulcers (‘bed sores’), foot and leg ulcers, and traumatic or post-surgical wounds. This method of treating chronic wounds has seen a steady rise in use ever since the US FDA granted marketing clearance to the Medical Maggots brand of medicinal maggots in 2004.

Medicinal maggots are usually kept on the wound within cage-like dressings that are placed over the wound. Up to this point, maggot therapy dressings have been constructed by doctors, nurses, podiatrists and wound care technicians at the bedside – taping or gluing together conventional medical dressings to make the cage.

Specifically designed for maggot therapy, LeFlap is a premanufactured cage dressing. The single-piece LeFlap maggot confinement dressing is intended to prevent medicinal maggots from leaving the wound before the treatment is scheduled to end and reduce the time and cost necessary to confine them to the wound.

The LeFlap dressing consists of a bottom hydrocolloid pad that can be cut to fit the patient’s wound dimensions. This foundation layer is hinged to a polyester monofilament netted fabric coated with an adhesive. When the adhesive liner is removed, the netting will directly adhere to the hydrocolloid base, containing the maggots within. Unless the patient is active or the wound area is subject to a lot of movement or soiling, no additional dressing materials or adhesives should be required.

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Codonics in OEM deal for MammoViewer

Three Palm Software, a developer of innovative solutions for the breast imaging market, and Codonics, a global leader in image documentation solutions for the medical imaging industry, have announced that they will provide a Codonics Branded Viewer for Mammography for its international markets. The Codonics MammoViewer by Three Palm Software will be configured as an option with Codonics’ Virtua Medical Disc Publisher product. The Virtua line of high performance medical disc recording systems is capable of recording up to 60 CDs or 30 DVDs an hour.

The MammoViewerTM, a mammography DICOM viewer, provides referring physicians and patients the ability to view and/or manipulate a mammography study. The viewer includes specific tools used for viewing mammography such as true size, one to one pixel size image ratios and all standard mammography viewing hanging protocols. MammoViewer is a great tool for mammography imaging centres because they don’t have to print and ship films, or set up and maintain a service for referring physicians to get the images digitally. Now, imaging centres that purchase the Codonics Virtua with the MammoViewer can automatically include it on the disc with the patient study. By the time the patient is finished with the exam, Virtua has recorded the study, burned the viewer, and included a custom, full-colour label on the disc, ready for the patient to take with them.

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 Date of upload: 16th May 2009

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