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Sphere Medical Highlight Proxima at Intensivmedizin + Intensivpflege 2016

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Sphere Medical announces that at the Symposium Intensivmedizin + Intensivpflege 2016, it will be discussing the potential application of its newly introduced Proxima patient-dedicated blood gas analyser with isolation beds during outbreaks of infections, such as winter influenza, MRSA and VRE. To be held in the Messe und Congress Centrum Bremen from 24-26th February, the Symposium will provide an ideal opportunity for Intensive Care Unit (ICU) personnel to discuss this application with Sphere Medical on Stand Number S17.

Influenza is a common cause of admission to the ICU during the influenza season, consequently, epidemics are a great burden to ICUs in Germany. For example, last year in Lower Saxony, some clinics had to accommodate their patients in hallways due to pressures caused by an influenza outbreak [1]. According to a recent report from the AGI (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Influenza), 32% of the 2,888 laboratory-confirmed influenza infections reported between Week 40 of 2015 to Week 3 of 2016 resulted in hospitalisation. Notably, the AGI, based on data from the NRZ (Nationalen Referenzzentrum für Influenza), has confirmed that this year’s influenza outbreak in Germany started in Week 2, with a subsequent increase in hospital admissions [2].

Infection control precautions are essential to minimise the burden of infection outbreaks on ICUs that are already strained due to personnel shortages in Germany. Therefore, single-room isolation can play an important role in preventing contact and droplet-spread between vulnerable ICU patients. Opportunities for enhancing workflow could also be considered to support stretched nursing staff.

Efficient ICU blood gas analysis

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 is the stringent management of their blood samples, particularly during collection and transportation for analysis. 

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. Blood is withdrawn from the patient directly into the Proxima Sensor for analysis, minimising the number of openings of the arterial line for sampling.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 can help to reduce nursing dependency of the patient and enhance workflows during blood gas analysis. Measuring blood gas actually in the patient’s bed space, as opposed to taking a sample and then walking away from the patient for analysis at a central analyser, can significantly save time. Furthermore, there is no need for an additional nurse to be found to monitor a critically ill patient while central blood gas measurements are made.

Since it avoids the transfer of blood to a central blood gas analyser, Proxima also reduces blood handling and therefore cuts risk of infection transmission. Blood samples from isolation patients are kept within the isolated area and the caregiver by the patient’s bedside 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.

“Proxima enables efficient, near real-time blood gas monitoring of critical care patients, meaning the caregiver need not walk away for analysis in an ICU which is already pressurised with personnel shortages,” said Gerhard Riechers, Sales Manager Germany, Sphere Medical. “Moreover, Proxima can offer real infection prevention and control benefits for the blood gas analysis of critically ill patients in isolation beds. Such benefits could be particularly important during outbreaks of infections, such as winter influenza, and we look forward to also discussing these with critical care personnel at our stand in Bremen.”

First sale in Germany

Sphere Medical has recently sold the first Proxima system in Germany to the University Medical Centre Göttingen, a major teaching hospital with over 1,400 beds, in Lower Saxony.

Professor Michael Quintel, Director of the Department of Anaesthesiology, Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine at the University of Göttingen, commented, “Proxima addresses some important issues in the management of unstable critically ill patients.  We look forward to using Proxima in the University Medical Centre, improving our patient treatments and increasing efficiency.”


1) http://www.sueddeutsche.de/gesundheit/influenza-schniefend-auf-dem-flur-1.2362322

2) https://influenza.rki.de/Wochenberichte/2015_2016/2016-03.pdf