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B. Braun Medical opens four dialysis units

Access to life-saving treatments has been greatly improved for kidney patients in South-West England and South Wales, thanks to a Sheffield medtech company.

Four state-of-the-art dialysis units have opened at Frome, Yeovil, Taunton and Cardiff, to be run in partnership by B. Braun Avitum UK and the NHS.

Taunton Dialysis Unit The new units offer patients improved access to individual facilities and modern dialysis equipment without their having to travel long distances.

One patient making use of the new 12-station unit at Frome Community Hospital had previously travelled to Bath’s Royal United Hospital for kidney dialysis three times a week, and said: “The new dialysis unit at Frome Hospital is amazing, and being so close to where I live it has changed my life.”

The Cardiff North Renal Dialysis Unit now provides care and services to more than 80 service users in the locality. The unit will enable patients from Cardiff and the Vale to receive regular treatments in the community rather than going to a hospital.

B. Braun Avitum’s Managing Director, Chris Clark, said: “We are delighted to have formed such successful partnerships with local Trusts. These relationships have enabled us to improve the quality of life for hundreds of kidney patients across the UK.”

B. Braun Avitum now operates 11 units in the UK. Its parent company, B. Braun Avitum group, is the world’s fastest-growing dialysis company with more than 6000 patients.

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

Siemens brings Life and Motion to the hard of hearing

Siemens Hearing Instruments has launched two new hearing instruments for individuals who want discreet and fashionable devices.

The instruments, Life and Motion, include innovations such as automatic adjustment and ability to identify the direction of a sound.

Life is a hearing device for mild to moderate hearing loss, and uses an open-fi t concept to allow an element of natural hearing. It is smaller and lighter than conventional behind-the-ear devices, and is available in discreet skin or hair matching shades, twotone fresh colours or fashionable patterns.

Motion is a behind-the-ear or in-the-ear instrument for moderate to severe hearing loss. It can be charged overnight (so no battery replacement is necessary), is water-repellent and features automatic adjustment, suppression of wind noise and feedback noise, and excellent sound quality.

Motion also includes Siemens’ innovative TruEar and e2e wireless technologies, which enable users to distinguish whether sounds are coming from front, back, left or right.

Siemens Life (l) and Motion (r) “Life and Motion utilise advanced technology to provide a more natural and intuitive hearing experience, yet at the same time can be personalised to lifestyles,” said Darren Ransley, UK Marketing and Product Manager at Siemens Hearing Instruments.

To find out more, visit www.siemens.co.uk/hearing.

New ultrasound system for women’s health

Royal Philips Electronics has launched a new ultrasound system that delivers highquality care for a wide range of women’s health needs.

The HD9 system, introduced at Arab Health 2009, combines advanced imaging technology in an easy-to-use and reliable system for obstetrics, gynaecology and breast imaging.

HD9 ultrasound image The system delivers a set of workflow features that help to make imaging and processing as efficient as possible, saving time in busy clinics. It includes advanced features such as intuitive 3D and 4D imaging.

As well as women’s health, the HD9 is able to cater for general adult and paediatric imaging, including cardiology and urology.

“Whether they are evaluating the foetal heart in real time or analysing foetal biometry to assess growth and wellbeing, it’s essential for the clinician to be able to view high-quality, clear ultrasound images,” said Anne LeGrand, senior vice president, Ultrasound, of Philips Healthcare. “With the HD9 we’ve designed a system that is particularly suited to the needs of the Obstetrics & Gynecology practice while also meeting the day-to-day needs of a busy ultrasound laboratory.”

For more information, go to www.philips.com/HD9

dDR revolutionises A&E in Scotland

buckyStar dDR at Royal Alexandra Hospital The A&E facility at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley has become the fi rst in Scotland that can be used solely with Direct Digital radiography (dDR), following the installation of a buckyStar dDR general radiography system.

The system, from Xograph Healthcare, will significantly reduce the time taken to complete trauma cases, while its portable detectors are extremely versatile and can provide high-quality images in an instant.

The Royal Alexandra is one of the largest hospitals in the West of Scotland, and its A&E department has a high throughput of patients with major trauma. The versatility of the buckyStar dDR will be highly beneficial for managing patients who are immobile and critically ill.

Superintendent Radiographer Kate Donald said: “We were looking for fl exibility, which this system more than meets. We can now complete a trauma case in half the time that we could before, thoroughly streamlining our workload. We find the system user-friendly and easy to train staff on, and therefore they enjoy using it.”

Xograph Healthcare’s range of medical imaging systems include general, surgical, mobile, mammography, dental and ultrasound imaging equipment, as well as healthcare IT and direct digital imaging solutions.

For more information, visit www.xograph.com

Cook launches laser for stone removal

Cook Medical has expanded its endourology device portfolio with the launch of a new laser system to treat stones in the bladder, ureter and kidney, as well as tumours and ureteral strictures.

The Odyssey 30 Holmium Laser system uses patented, variable pulse width technology that gives surgeons the ability to minimise stone migration, as well as the flexibility to switch from disintegration of stones to ablation and coagulation of soft tissue.

The system is equipped with enough power to treat any renal stone regardless of size, position or composition – and a green aiming beam to enhance the visibility of the treatment site.

New research has predicted an increase in the number of people affected by kidney stones. Although many treatments and surgical options are available, fragmentation with a laser causes minimal damage and is typically much more effective in immediately removing the obstruction.

Mr. Adrian Joyce of the Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust said: “The addition of the Odyssey to Cook’s extensive endourology product line will benefit surgeons. The product line will help ensure our patients have a speedier and more comfortable procedure experience and help prevent them from developing stones in the future.”

Odyssey 30 Holmium            Laser system

For more details, visit http://www.cookmedical.com/home.do

NEWS IN BRIEF

Cambridge Temperature Concepts (CTC) has received medical approval for its non-invasive fertility monitor DuoFertility. CTC is now shipping DuoFertility monitors to 100 couples across Europe, selected by the company to trial the device and give feedback on its usability and design before product launch. See www.duofertility.com.


Hologic Inc has received CE Mark approval for its Adiana permanent contraception system. The Adiana system is designed to provide a minimally-invasive, non-incisional alternative to traditional surgical means of female sterilisation. See www.hologic.com


Mgate has integrated video conferencing and wireless vital signs monitoring into JAOtech patient terminals to create a platform for delivery of telemedicine services in the home or remote locations. JAOtech terminals can now be interfaced to a wide range of Bluetooth-based monitors. See www.mgate.tv


Covidien has launched the Kendall AMD antimicrobial foam dressing, which is engineered to prevent infection by achieving the right moisture balance and bacteria levels for wound healing. The foam dressing is effective for up to seven days, and has no known resistance. See www.kendallamdfoam.com.


Invatec has launched IN.PACT, a paclitaxel-eluting PTA balloon catheter. This is the first drugeluting catheter designed to treat atherosclerosis in arteries below the knee. It features FreePac, a coating that separates paclitaxel molecules and facilitates their absorption into the artery wall. See www.invatec.com.

Nine new ways to beat hospital bugs

Nine products have been selected as winners in a competition to find new ways to help the NHS combat healthcare associated infections (HCAIs).

The winners were chosen from around 250 applications submitted to the Smart Solutions for HCAI programme, a national project that aims to identify innovative technologies from various industry sectors with the potential to fight hospital bugs.

Smart Solutions for HCAI is run by TrusTECH, the North West of England NHS Innovation Hub, on behalf of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency and supported by the NHS National Innovation Centre. It is part of a wider HCAI Technology Innovation Programme.

Applications were received from across the UK and from Europe, Canada and the USA. They were reviewed by a panel of academics, nurses and other infection control specialists.

The winning products will be evaluated in an NHS setting, with a view to gathering evidence to aid further development and potential uptake by the NHS. Around 30 hospitals have applied to host evaluations.

Coming clean

Tackling HCAIs is high on the Government agenda. The NHS Operating Framework for 2008/9 gives improving cleanliness and reducing HCAIs as a top priority for NHS organisations, setting targets for reduction in the levels of MRSA bloodstream infections and C. difficile infections.

Bryan Griffiths, Smart Solutions for HCAI project director, said: “Response to the project has been overwhelming and judges have been extremely impressed by the high standard of entries. They have had to make some difficult decisions in choosing the winners.

“In our mission to find new solutions to help prevent and control HCAIs, we have looked at a wide array of industry sectors. The final list includes some of the most innovative products in their field and will hopefully provide us with new weapons in the fight against HCAIs in the future.”

Smart Solutions

The successful products are:
AirManager from Quest International (UK). This uses Close Coupled Field Technology (CCFT) to destroy microbes and other particles in the air.
Formula 429 and Formula 429 plus from Chemspec Europe. This cleaning product contains a patented formulation of biocides that enables it to counter a wide range of microbes when used sparingly. It is harmless to humans.
Liquid glass layering technology from Nanopool. This coating system makes surfaces (including fl oorings, glass, metal and stone) easy to clean using water alone, and provides longterm anti-bacterial protection.
Medixair from GE Healthcare. This portable ultraviolet air sterilisation device can kill airborne micro-organisms. It is designed for use in hospitals to complement hand hygiene and deep cleaning procedures.
MedMat from Ergomedica. This twolayer mat system provides a clean, aseptic environment for a range of clinical procedures. It separates the clean from the dirty elements of the procedure and captures waste in a sealable bag.
Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) from TwistDx. Current tests for HCAIs are laboratorybased and require hours or days. RPA technology can screen patients within 15 minutes at the point of care.
The AD (air disinfection unit) from Inov8 Science. The AD emits hydroxyl radicals that destroy pathogens. The process is self-perpetuating, as the destruction of pathogens releases more hydroxyl radicals.
UV lighting equipment from UV Light Technology. These inspection lamps can reveal contamination invisible to the naked eye. They can be used to check cleaning procedures, identify problem areas and train staff.
V-Link with VitalShield protective coating from Baxter Healthcare. This is the first antimicrobial needle-free IV connector in the UK. It kills 99.99% of the six most common pathogens that cause catheter-related bloodstream infections, including MRSA.

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