Aug 11, 2020

Gas recapture tech brings green anaesthesia to hospitals

green anaesthesia
gas recapture
gas recycling
Leila Hawkins
2 min
Gas recapture tech brings green anaesthesia to hospitals
New partnership will make recaptured gas available globally...

A manufacturer of sterile medical products and a medical research company have signed an agreement to enable eco-friendly anaesthetic gases to become widely available around the world. 

Baxter International Inc will have global distribution rights to the technology that recycles anaesthetic gases, which is produced by ZeoSys Medical. The agreement will give Baxter the licence to sell the technology outside of Europe, and the exclusion option to purchase ZeoSys. 

Like other greenhouse gases, gases used in general anaesthesia are significant contributors to climate change. Nitrous oxide and in particular desflurane have an even higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide emissions. Research has found that the US healthcare sector is responsible for 10 per cent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions

As a result healthcare providers are starting to take action. US hospitals are switching to alternative gases that are less damaging to the environment. The UK Government’s NHS Long Term Plan states that carbon emissions from anaesthesia must be reduced by 2 per cent. This is in line with the Climate Change Act target of a 51 per cent overall reduction in emissions by 2025. 

Anaesthetic gas recapture is a relatively new process. So just how does it work? The ZeoSys Medical recapture technology has two main components. Firstly a canister separates anaesthetic gas from expired air for storage. 

After this a monitoring device signals when it’s time to exchange the canister. They have been designed to work with anaesthesia machines and are easy to install in operating theatres and other clinical settings.  

Once the canisters are full Baxter ships them to a specialist site, where the used anaesthetic gas is removed. Baxter and ZeoSys are in the process of getting approval to recycle this gas, producing a fully licensed medical product. 

The technology is expected to be available in autumn 2020 as part of a phased launch in selected European countries. It will be available outside of Europe at a later date. 

“Baxter is proud to work with hospitals to help them increase efficiency, reduce waste and minimise environmental impact,” said Andrew Goldney, vice president of Baxter’s Medication Delivery and Pharmaceuticals businesses in Europe in a company statement.  

“Through specialised training in low-flow administration of anaesthesia, and now introducing gas recapture technology, hospitals can choose an inhaled anaesthetic based on clinical benefits that best meet both patient needs and more sustainable health care goals.”

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Jun 15, 2021

 NHS trials test that predicts sepsis 3 days in advance 

2 min
Queen Alexandra Hospital is trialling a new sepsis test by Presymptom Health that uses machine learning to detect the onset of the disease

A new test that can predict sepsis before the patient develops symptoms is being trialled at a National Health Service (NHS) hospital in the south of England. 

Clinicians at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital are leading medical trials of the blood test, which they hope will help them save thousands of lives a year. 

The test is being developed by government spin-out company Presymptom Health, but the research began over 10 years ago at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). This included a study of 4,385 patients and more than 70,000 samples, the largest study of its kind at the time. 

From the samples taken, a clinical biobank and database were generated and then mined using machine learning to identify biomarker signatures that could predict the onset of sepsis. The researchers found they were able to provide an early warning of sepsis up to three days ahead of illness with an accuracy of up to 90%.

Unlike most other tests, Presymptom Health identifies the patient’s response to the disease as opposed to detecting the pathogen. This is an important differentiator, as sepsis occurs as a result of the patient's immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury, which can then cause life-threatening organ dysfunction. 

Worldwide, an estimated 49 million people a year contract sepsis, while in the UK almost two million patients admitted to hospital each year are thought to be at risk of developing the condition. If Presymptom's test is effective, it could save billions of pounds globally and improve clinical outcomes for millions of sepsis patients.

The initial trials at Queen Alexandra Hospital will last 12 months, with two other sites planned to go live this summer. Up to 600 patients admitted to hospital with respiratory tract infections will be given the option to participate in the trial. The data collected will be independently assessed and used to refine and validate the test, which could be available for broader NHS use within two years. 

If successful, this test could also identify sepsis arising from other infections before symptoms appear, which could potentially include future waves of COVID-19 and other pandemics.

Dr Roman Lukaszewski, the lead Dstl scientist behind the innovation, said: “It is incredible to see this test, which we had originally begun to develop to help service personnel survive injury and infection on the front line, is now being used for the wider UK population, including those fighting COVID-19.”

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