Improved Care for Trauma Patients

New trauma concept by Siemens provides for faster diagnostics and is both time and cost-effective

Siemens Medical Solutions introduces a new concept for improving the workflows for treating trauma patients in the hospital. The objective of the solution developed together with physicians is to stabilize, diagnose and prepare seriously injured emergency patients for additional treatment as quickly and as effectively as possible.

Essentially, the trauma equipment consists of five components: a patient transport system developed especially for this purpose, a life support trolley (LST) that is coupled to a transport system, a treatment table named Koordinat ORT, a flexible X-ray system Vertix MD Trauma and a mobile Computed Tomography system.

Today a number of hospitals in Holland (Amsterdam), Austria (Linz, Wels) and Germany (Wolfsburg, W├╝rzburg, Ingolstadt) already work with this new trauma solution that ensures better and faster patient care, optimizes workflow and reduces costs considerably.

After the initial diagnosis at the scene of the accident, the patient is first brought to the shock room and from there to intensive care via radiology or the OR. It is of special and frequently life-saving importance to keep patient repositioning to an absolute minimum during those first, highly critical hours in the hospital.

These requirements are fully met by the patient transporter which moves the injured from the ambulance to the shock room and from there to the OR or intensive care. Without repositioning the patient, he can be examined on any of the treatment tables.

To continuously monitor the patient during the diagnostic and therapeutic process, the patient transporter is coupled to a life support trolley (LST). The trolley includes a full set of anaesthesiological equipment including i.e. artificial respiration, and monitoring. The patient is connected to the LST via catheters, respiratory tubing and monitoring cable - whether he is on the examination table or on the patient transporter.

To optimally apply the interconnecting workflows, ideally two rooms are required that are separated by a motor-driven radiation protection door. Both rooms can be used as a shock room or as an alternative, one room can be used as a shock room while the other handles routine and/or interventional examinations.

But also one-room solutions are possible. A treatment table named Koordinat ORT is used where radiologists, anaesthesiologists, and surgeons can work on the patient simultaneously. The table as well as the ceiling-suspended mobile X-ray system Vertix MD Trauma are part of the trauma concept by Siemens.

The X-ray system provides for a fast first diagnosis and supports anaesthesiological stabilization and monitoring measures. The U-bracket of the system is highly flexible, can be rotated and tilted and is equipped with a flat detector.

The "instant image" generated with digital FD technology provides the physician with a fast overview of the injuries sustained by the patient. It is also possible to use imaging plate cassettes.

For complete organ diagnostics, a mobile computed tomograph (CT) is installed. The system moves along rails and its scan range covers the patient's entire body. When required, the system moves out of its park position to the patient and scans the patient in either head first or feet first position.

The most optimal CT to be used is a system providing for high-speed volume scans, preferably the Somatom Sensation 16 or Somatom Emotion by Siemens. The new Somatom Sensation Open provides for an optimal solution since the larger opening allows for improved access to the patient.

This technically completely new trauma concept by Siemens allows for complete diagnosis and anaesthesiological stabilization in the shortest time possible. This allows for optimally planned and performed operations. Patients are cared for in the best possible way and consequential damages can be reduced as much as possible. The diagnostic equipment for the shock room can be adjusted to the specific requests of customers, including individual components adapted to existing systems.

"We have introduced the new trauma concept as the first Trauma Center in 2004. During the first year, our time savings per trauma patient was an average of 30 minutes. By now it has increased to 45 minutes per patient," expained Dr. Jan S.K. Luitse, medical director of the emergency department and trauma coordinator at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands."Currently, 95 per cent of the trauma patients undergo their complete diagnostic workup in the shock room.

Beginning in August 2005, we will start a prospective randomized trial that will measure the clinical effect of the Trauma Concept on trauma patients, in order to supply an evidence-based foundation."

HIFU Sonablate(R) 500 for Prostate Cancer Debuts at the National Prostate Cancer Conference in Melbourne, Australia

THS International, Inc., announces that the advanced HIFU Sonablate(R) 500 system, designed for the minimally invasive treatment of prostate cancer, was introduced to the leading urologists in Australia at the National Prostate Cancer Conference last week.

The Sonablate(R) 500 uses advanced High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) energy which is sharply focused and destroys targeted prostate tissue without affecting the intervening tissue. The advanced Sonablate(R) technology has been used to treat over 4,000 men for prostate cancer and benign prostate hyperplasia around the world.

Michael Fehrmann, Managing Director of Meditron Pty., Ltd. said, "This was a key urology meeting to introduce this revolutionary new prostate cancer therapy to the luminary urologists in Australia -- and the response was extremely positive." Meditron Pty., Ltd. is based in Melbourne, Australia, and is a leading provider of minimally invasive, therapeutic urology products, including Dornier lithotriptors and surgical lasers.

"We are looking for the urology community and the prostate cancer patients in Australia to understand the benefits of the HIFU Sonablate(R) 500 for prostate cancer. With over 11,000 total HIFU prostate treatments performed worldwide, we can now offer the Australian urologists a tool to provide less invasive prostate cancer procedures with minimal side effects," said David Quigley, President of THS International, Inc.

Handy Mini-lab' Can Test for Multiple Disease

A Singapore company has developed a portable 'mini -laboratory' that can test for any new disease within a couple of months of it emerging.

The tests can be done 'out in the field', for example, in a general practitioner's clinic, and the results are available within hours. Tan Tock Seng Hospital, which tried the kit on the dengue virus, found it to be 100 per cent accurate and much faster than existing tests, which are only 64 per cent accurate.

Its senior consultant in pathology, Dr Timothy Barkham, said the kit can be used to test patients as early as a day after infection, unlike the current tests which are accurate only after five or six days of infection.

Attogenix is an offshoot of DSO National Laboratories, Singapore's foremost defence research and development organisation. Its 'mini-lab', called Attochip, went on sale on Wednesday.

Associate Professor Lionel Lee, Director of the Defence, Medical and Environmental Research Institute and chairman of Attogenix, explained how the government linked DSO came to produce Attochip.

'DSO is responsible for providing assistance in research and development in bio defence protection of the country against bio terrorism.'

The chip can be used to quickly check for bio agents, such as anthrax or plague, which terrorists may use. But it also has real benefits in today's health-care setting.

Said Prof Lee:

'Our vision is to bring down what is usually a high cost, complex, skilled labour-dependent, laboratory based process, to be replaced by affordable and portable equipment like Attochip.'

All hospitals here were given the kit recently. The $50 cost of checking for dengue with Attochip is about half that of tests now used, said Dr Ting Dor Ngi, Attogenix's general manager. She hopes to bring the cost down further, to about one-third of the price.

Dr Barkham said he is particularly excited that the Attochip can test for five to 10 different viruses or bacteria at the same time. What the chip does is allow a drop of blood to be channelled into different wells on a plastic sheet to test for different diseases.

The patent taken out on the discovery deals with how the blood is channelled into separate wells while ensuring no cross contamination between wells. Each well, the width of a thick pencil line, is used to test for a different bug.

In laboratories today, each test is done separately. With Attochip, up to 100 different tests can be done on the same chip, so there are considerable savings in skilled labour.

It can be used for a whole range of bugs, including avian flu. All that needs to be done is a genetic sequence of the virus or bacterium, allowing scientists to come Lip with a test to identify the virus or bacterium. The test can be mass produced on Attochips. Prof Lee said the company expects to recover all costs within a year. He added that the chip can also be used to check for particular genetic material that some people may have, or may lack, at a much cheaper price than is currently possible.

This may be useful to determine if certain drugs will work on certain patients. Prof Lee said the Attochip may lead to a paradigm shift in the way health care is provided, with faster and cheaper diagnosis.

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