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Patient-dedicated Blood Gas Analyzer for Use in Winter Flu Isolation Beds

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Sphere Medical has announced that at the Intensive Care Society State of the Art Meeting 2015, it will be discussing the potential application of its Proxima patient-dedicated blood gas analyzer with isolation beds during winter flu outbreaks. This ICS annual meeting, 7–9th December, ExCeL, London, is the flagship conference for UK critical care, providing an ideal opportunity for ICU linked infection prevention and control personnel to discuss this application with Sphere Medical.

Flu is a key factor in NHS winter pressures annually. Since flu impacts so greatly, not only on direct health care services, but the wider social care system, it is crucial that standard infection control precautions are used. Therefore, if assessment shows possible flu requiring hospital admission, then to prevent contact and droplet spread, use of single room isolation is recommended.

Blood gas measurements are important parameters when monitoring critical care patients with respiratory complications. Since frequent arterial blood sampling is necessary, a key aspect of infection prevention and control with such patients will therefore be the management of their blood samples, including collection and transportation for analysis.

Furthermore, any draw of arterial blood requires stringent infection control techniques to avoid the possible introduction of a blood stream infection, which is associated with high mortality rates and costs of care, as well as avoiding blood-splash injury to care givers.

Operating as a closed system with an in-line design, the patient-dedicated Proxima arterial blood gas monitoring system keeps infection control simple and effective. By minimizing the number of openings of the arterial line for sampling, this protects both the patient’s blood from exposure to bloodstream infections, and also the caregiver by limiting exposure to blood borne pathogens during the course of routine patient care.

Proxima also reduces blood handling since it avoids the transfer of blood to a central blood gas analyzer and therefore cuts risk of infection transmission. Blood samples from isolation patients are kept within the isolated area as an additional infection control measure. Additionally, the Proxima closed sampler returns all blood safely to the patient which avoids the need for waste management of potentially infected blood specimens and syringes.

When infected patients are kept in an isolation room, guidelines recommend that doors remain closed and movement in and out of the room is limited, as well as the wearing of masks and gloves. Using Proxima keeps the care giver by the patient’s bedside. When a blood gas measurement is required, blood is withdrawn from the patient directly into the Proxima Sensor without the need to take a sample and walk away for analysis.

“We believe that Proxima can offer real infection prevention and control benefits for the blood gas analysis of patients in isolation beds. Such benefits could be particularly important during a winter flu epidemic, and look forward to discussing these with critical care personnel at the ICS State of the Art meeting,” said Dr Gavin Troughton, Sphere Medical. “Not only can Proxima enable near real-time monitoring of critical care patients without the care giver leaving the patient, but as a closed system which returns all blood to the patient this can further minimize infection risk.”