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EUSA launches new anaesthetic plaster in UK

RAPYDAN® FROM EUSA PHARMA is the first topical anaesthetic plaster to become available in the UK.

Indicated for the relief of pain caused by injections and superficial surgical procedures, Rapydan combines a warming system with two potent anaesthetics (lidocaine and tetracaine).

The plaster eliminates pain in 95% of patients within 30 minutes, and is expected to be important in reducing distress for children in hospital.

“The arrival of a new easy-to-use plaster for procedural pain management is exciting news for the medical community,” said Dr Neil Morton, Paediatric Anaesthetist, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow. “The benefits offered by Rapydan will give medical teams treating patients, especially sick children, a quick and reliable anaesthetic effect.”

Dr Andy Jones, Medical Director, EUSA Pharma UK, commented: “The arrival of Rapydan will help raise awareness within the medical and patient community that convenient and effective pain relief associated with injections is available. EUSA is pleased to offer this breakthrough option for pain relief to patients throughout the UK.”

For further information, visit www.eusapharma.com.


Wii technology assists stroke patients

  A NEW DEVICE WITH TECHNOLOGY USED IN THE NINTENDO Wii games console can help stroke sufferers to regain the use of their hands.

The STIMuGRIP, designed by UK company FineTech Medical with the support of the pan-European Healthy Aims project, assists patients with upper motor nerve disability to extend the wrist and open the hand.

Healthy Aims is a 23m project funded under the EU Information Society Technologies programme, with the goal of developing intelligent medical implants and diagnostic systems.

Sensing the user’s movements, the STIMuGRIP responds by stimulating nerves that have been left ineffective by a stroke. The system has two main parts: a two-channel implanted stimulator and an external controller worn on the arm. The controller ‘talks to’ the implant, so that lifting the arm triggers the opening of the hand.

Pilot clinical trials of the STIMuGRIP are under way with five subjects at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. Researcher Dr Paul Taylor commented: “The volunteers have reported that they are more aware of their affected arm and now spontaneously use it in daily life, whereas before they would ignore it… the device has become ‘part of them’ and they use it at work, in social situations and even for shopping.”

For more details, visit www.finetech-medical.co.uk.

Fighting seasonal viruses

  UK AIR TREATMENT SPECIALIST SIGNATURE AROMAS has developed the Purazone unit to combat Norovirus and other airborne infections.

Signature’s Purazone unit draws in the air and exposes it to UVC light, which kills the DNA of airborne bacteria. No artificial elements or chemicals are used in this process. Natural oil-impregnated discs can also be used to improve the atmosphere.

The portable unit has been tested by Microsearch Labs, a specialist independent company. It found that in one hour, the Purazone unit processed three air passes from a room measuring 13 by 10 by 8 feet, killing in excess of 99% of all airborne bacteria.

Also known as ‘winter vomiting disease’, Norovirus is commonly found in contained environments such as hospitals and nursing homes, where it threatens those with low resistance. Up to 1 million people in the UK are affected by Norovirus each year.

Brian Chappell, MD of Signature Aromas, said: “Noroviruses are especially prevalent at this time of year, but using a Purazone unit can help combat the rapid spread of these seasonal viruses, which can quickly sweep through a nursing home affecting both residents and staff.”

For more details, visit www.signaturearomas.co.uk.

Pain relief at the touch of a buttonn

  JANSSEN-CILAG has launched an innovative device for needle-free pain management that is no larger than a credit card.

The Ionsys® system for post-operative patient-controlled analgesia is now available in the UK. It is indicated for use by adult patients recovering from major surgery, including lower abdominal and hip or knee replacement.

Ionsys is a pre-programmed, battery-operated system that releases a measured dose of fentanyl at two presses of a button, allowing patients to manage their own pain relief in the hospital setting.

Pain management following surgery is a crucial component of patient care and recovery, but is often ineffective. Poor management of post-operative pain may lengthen time to recovery and extend hospital stays.

Professor Richard Langford, Consultant Anaesthetist, Barts and the London NHS Trust, said: “I believe that Ionsys could make a real impact on how healthcare providers manage patients’ postoperative pain. Being less cumbersome than the conventional pumps, another advantage is reduced interference with mobilising patients after surgery.”

In clinical trials, Ionsys has met with high levels of satisfaction among patients, who found it convenient and easy to use.

For more details, visit www.janssen-cilag.co.uk.

First high-field MRI for NHS hospital

CHARING CROSS HOSPITAL IN WEST LONDON, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, is the first NHS purchaser of a high-field MRI scanner.

The order for Siemens’ Magnetom® Verio 3T MRI is also the first MRI purchase made via NHS Supply Chain.

The Magnetom Verio represents a new class of MRI technology that makes high-field imaging, previously limited to research establishments, affordable for routine clinical use.

“The Magnetom Verio is an exciting addition to our MR product range,” said Julie Shepherd, MR Product Manager at Siemens Healthcare. “Siemens Healthcare has now pushed the boundaries of innovation to offer the very latest equipment for mainstream clinical procedures.”

The Charing Cross Hospital order was placed through the new NHS Supply Chain initiative. Jason Lavery, NHS Supply Chain’s Clinical Markets Business Manager, said: “This is a fine example of how the new NHS procurement process can alleviate lengthy tenders and offer enhanced support to NHS Trusts in the selection of imaging systems.”

 The Magnetom Verio offers several advantages to hospitals and diagnostic centres. With the strongest magnet field strength used clinically, it can be used for many applications. The new system improves visualisation, accelerates scan time and increases patient throughput.

For more details, visit www.siemens.com/medical.

The heart of the matter

BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORPORATION has gained CE Mark approval for two devices that represent new platforms for treating heart failure and sudden cardiac death.

The CognisTM cardiac resynchronisation therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) and the TeligenTM implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) combine small size, battery longevity and specialist features. At 32.5cc and 31.5cc respectively and less than 10mm thick, they are among the smallest and thinnest high-energy medical devices.

Both devices offer extended battery longevity, self-correcting software and improved programming technology. In addition, both have the SafetyCoreTM feature, which provides shock therapy and basic pacing functionality in the event of a system error.

“Our CRM team is refocused on delivering therapy systems that meet clinician needs for safety, reliability and better patient outcomes,” said Jim Tobin, President and CEO of Boston Scientific. “The Cognis CRT-D and the Teligen ICD are testaments to the revitalisation of our CRM business, and are just two of the many new products we plan to launch in 2008.”

The first Cognis and Teligen implants take place this month. Boston Scientific plans to build to a full European launch in the second quarter.

For further information, visit www.bostonscientific.com.


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