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New biliary stent for cancer patients

BOSTON SCIENTIFIC’S new WallFlex Biliary RX Stent for palliative treatment of malignant common bile duct strictures has been launched in Europe.

Malignant common bile duct strictures are most commonly caused by cancers of the pancreas (the second biggest cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide), bile duct, liver and gall bladder. Approximately 70% of patients with a malignant bile duct obstruction are poor candidates for surgery. Palliative treatment can improve quality of life by controlling the symptoms and complications of this disease.

Studies have shown that metal stent placement is most effective for palliative treatment of inoperable malignant common bile duct strictures. The WallFlex Biliary RX Stent is designed to provide luminal patency through improved stent flexibility and control, allowing more precise stent placement.

The WallFlex Stent has been developed with a proprietary platinum-cored Nitinol construction, the Platinol™ wire, providing greater flexibility to aid stent placement within tortuous anatomies.

“The WallFlex Biliary RX Stents appear to overcome key limitations of traditional biliary stent offerings,” said Professor Guido Costamagna, M.D., Head of Digestive Endoscopy at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Policlinico A. Gemelli in Rome and Primary Investigator for the WallFlex Stent study.

WallFlex Biliary RX Stent“We are encouraged that these new devices will allow increased precision in stent placement while potentially reducing the problem of stent migration.”

To find out more, visit www.bostonscientific.com.

CNAP advances blood pressure monitoring

APC CARDIOVASCULAR has launched the first ever device that allows anaesthetists to take complete non-invasive control over blood pressure.

The CNAP Monitor 500i, a continuous blood pressure monitoring system, is designed to help the management of perioperative hypotension – one of the most common surgical complications to cause post-operative fatality.

CNAP Monitor 500iStudies show that 56% of cardiac arrests are preceded by pronounced hypotension, and every minute of perioperative hypotension raises the 1-year post-surgical mortality risk by 3%.

Current blood pressure monitoring is widely perceived to be inadequate, with around 44% of hypotensive episodes being either missed or detected late. Invasive measurements, though continuous, are not used in 82% of procedures, and intra-arterial measurements are only indicated in high-risk patients.

CNAP makes a rapid response to changes in blood pressure possible, giving clinicians more options to manage patients during hypotensive events. The accuracy and fidelity of the monitored blood pressure waveform means it is equivalent to invasive measurements.

CNAP also gives information on beat-to-beat and real time systolic, diastolic and mean blood pressure and pulse rate. It can also be interfaced into existing monitoring systems, and has a quick set-up ensuring its suitability for everyday use.

For more information, visit www.apc-cardiovascular.co.uk.

Metha Total Hip poised for major UK growth

AN INNOVATIVE PROSTHETIC HIP JOINT targeted at the growing number of younger patients requiring hip replacement surgery is set to take a substantial market share in the UK.

B. Braun Medical anticipates a 50% growth in UK sales of its Metha Total Hip Replacement (THR) prosthesis in 2008, mirroring the strong performance it has achieved in Europe.

Metha uses ceramic contact surfaces and offers long-term benefits relative to the metal-on-metal resurfacing procedures often used in the UK for early hip replacement operations. Its small size enables surgeons to remove a nominal amount of bone and tissue to fit the joint, as younger patients generally suffer less widespread bone deterioration. The joint can also be implanted using minimally invasive surgery, resulting in fast postoperative recovery.

Phil Housden, Orthopaedic Consultant at Kent and Canterbury Hospital, said: “There is an increasing demand for hip replacements which offer younger patients the minimal amount of surgery, offering a long-term solution and providing the maximum amount of mobility. B. Braun Medical’s Metha system fulfils these criteria admirably and provides a high degree of adjustment through its modular nature. This basically means that the surgeon can fi ne-tune the implant to provide the best possible result.” To find out more, visit www.bbraun.co.uk.

Covidien launches tissue repair products

COVIDIEN has introduced two tissue repair products to the European market: the SprayShield™ Adhesion Barrier System and the Permacol™ Biologic Implant.

The SprayShield Adhesion Barrier System offers surgeons a synthetic, sprayable hydrogel that provides a strong barrier between tissue and organ planes, helping to reduce the development of post-surgical adhesions. The system has gained CE Mark approval, and is indicated for use in both open and laparoscopic abdominopelvic surgical procedures.

Permacol Biologic             ImplantThe European launch of Permacol, a biologic mesh for hernia repair, follows Covidien’s recent acquisition of UK bioscience company Tissue Science Laboratories. The implant contains enhanced porcine collagen for complex hernias and abdominal wall repairs.

It combines the clinical advantages of a biologic with the strength, size and intraoperative efficiency of a synthetic.

The Permacol dermal implant is hydrated and ready to use, can be cut or shaped to size as needed, and provides a stable, durable soft tissue repair.

“As a leader in soft tissue repair, Covidien now offers the optimal hernia repair product for individual patient needs, including biologic implants, synthetic mesh, fixation and dissection devices,” said Scott Flora, President, Surgical Devices, Covidien.

For more information, visit www.covidien.com.

Baxa launches pre-filled syringes in UK

BAXA LTD has launched a new line of pre-filled saline IV syringes in the UK as the battle to curb hospital-acquired infections intensifies. The Baxa ZR sterile, pre-filled saline IV syringe for catheter care provides a safer alternative to flushes drawn from multi-dose vials or filled manually.

A study by the Infection Control Journal has shown that 8% of saline solutions manually prepared by nursing staff are contaminated. By contrast, ZR syringes are prepared within a sterile environment, reducing the number of procedures and the risk associated with manual saline solution preparation. Adopting pre-filled flush syringes reduces the number of stages for dose preparation and leads to greater compliance with the ANTT (Aseptic Non- Touch Technique) recommended by NICE.

The UK has been slow to adopt pre-filled syringes, which are widely used elsewhere in Europe. However, with reducing hospital-acquired infections now a major priority, it is expected that pre-filled syringes will become an everyday method for flushing IV lines.

Baxa ZR syringeTerry Aston, Managing Director of Baxa Ltd, said: “The time is right for prefills in the UK. Research and industry best practice widely acknowledges that the greater the number of procedures in preparation of medication, the greater the risk of cross-contamination. ZR pre-filled syringes reduce risk and are far more convenient to use.” For further information, visit www.baxa.com/zr.

Ark expands wound care portfolio

UK WOUND CARE SPECIALIST ARK THERAPEUTICS has launched its KerraMax® dressing for the management of leg ulcers, following reimbursement approval from the NHS Business Services Authority.

KerraMax is a super-absorbent primary dressing for use in the management of moderate to heavy exudate in chronic leg ulcer wounds of venous origin, with particular application for use under mild to moderate compression bandaging.

The product is based on the proprietary super-absorbent used in Ark’s dressing product Kerraboot®, which demonstrates up to 70% more absorptive capacity than conventional foam dressings. KerraMax will be marketed by Ark’s existing wound care sales force.

Venous leg ulcers present some of the most difficult treatment challenges, due to the high levels of wound exudate they can produce. Managing and treating venous leg ulcers is estimated to cost the NHS up to £300m per year.

“Chronic leg ulcer wounds are a major problem affecting many thousands of patients and they are both difficult and costly to manage,” said Cécile Miles, Ark’s Commercial Director. “KerraMax is an excellent product offering significant absorbency benefits in dealing with exudate, and we believe that it will bring significant benefits to patients suffering from leg ulcers and to the nurses who treat them.”

For further details, visit www.arkwoundcaresolutions.com.

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