Innovative tools of the trade
Fast and clean
Trauma is a fast-paced, every-second-counts arena where a leading cause of preventable death is massive hemorrhaging. Stopping the bleeding requires detailed medical training and a controlled environment. After 20 years as a combat trauma surgeon for the Canadian Navy, Dr. Dennis Filips knew that those conditions weren’t always available.
Filips’ new ITClamp device addresses massive hemorrhaging through creating an air- and liquid-tight seal that can withstand high arterial pressures. The ITClamp creates the seal by replicating the precise movements of a surgical closure. Resembling a simple hairclip, the ITClamp can be applied almost anywhere on the body. Sealing the wound closed to create a temporary pool of blood under pressure, the ITClamp forms a stable clot until the gash can be surgically repaired.
Filips said the ITClamp’s simple functionality will allow it to be used by almost anyone. The device can be securely in place within five seconds. The ITClamp is “orders of magnitude” faster than any predecessor and causes the patient virtually no pain.
While the device can be a boon for traditional civilian and military emergency applications, the audience can extend to adventurers and travelers of all kinds. Canada gave Innovative Trauma Care (ITC) approval for commercial sale of the ITClamp in September and the European Union and United States are expected to follow suit.
Another tool for the healthcare setting is Xenex’s UV Disinfection robot, which manages cleanliness.
Knowledge of ultraviolet (UV) light’s effects on microorganisms dates back to the 19th century, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that researchers discovered UV light’s sterilization properties, as applying UV light prevents cell replication and repair, killing the organisms.
Xenex’s robot generates pulses of UV at such high energies that only brief exposure is necessary, reducing total disinfection time and power consumption of the device.
Across the United States, almost one in 20 patients will contract a healthcare-associated infection (HAI), the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. This prompted MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to adopt Xenex’s robot. A study conducted at MD Anderson incorporated the device in the bed turnover process. The entire process took less than 10 minutes to clean the immediate bed area, the adjoining bathroom and the guest sitting area, resulting in significantly lower heterotrophic plate counts and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). VREs are highly resistant to antibiotics, making these infections difficult to treat and extremely dangerous to patients with compromised immune systems.
Another study conducted at Cone Health System in Greensboro, N.C., indicated that the total number of HAIs decreased by 42 percent from using the devices. When Cone combined the disinfecting robot with a new initiative focusing on hand hygiene, the efforts reduced “MRSA infections to zero in [its] ICUs and saved more than $2 million.”
Emily Forcke is a management engineer for Universal Health Services Inc. She received her B.S in industrial engineering from the University of South Florida. She currently serves as regional outreach director for IIE’s Young Professionals group.