Cambridge Consultants is touting its work with HemoSonics – they’ve designed a new clotting analyzer that could give doctors a new option to quickly assess the reason for patients’ excessive bleeding, and help identify the cause for the formation of thrombi.
Platelets, coagulation factors, fibrinogen and fibrinolytic proteins all contribute to clotting of blood, but knowing which mechanism is out of whack can take too much time during surgery if the clinical lab is to be involved. The Point-of-Care (POC) analyzer may look like an interface for Captain Picard to fire phase cannons at the Borg, but we’re looking forward to it helping to save human lives here on Earth in the 21st century.
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The new device is being developed for its first application in open-heart surgery, where up to 25% of patients suffer from excessive bleeding. Today, doctors have two unattractive treatment options. First, they can send blood to a lab to perform an array of tests and wait for results in the operating room – a process that is unacceptably slow and is therefore rarely used. Alternatively, they can make a best guess, without hard data, to guide treatment. This process has been shown to waste blood products, increase costs, and worsen patient outcomes. The HemoSonics POC analyzer is being designed to-be-easy to use, and to rapidly provide straightforward data to physicians.
“Holding up an operating room while waiting for lab results is both expensive and risky,” said David Chastain, program manager in the Medical Technology division of Cambridge Consultants. “We are pleased to work with HemoSonics on this device that is being designed to deliver fast and accurate information that is critical in surgery – when the longer a patient is under anesthesia, the greater the risk. This project is particularly exciting as it will use so many areas of our expertise and we believe, once it is fully commercialized, it could become the standard blood coagulation diagnostic tool for hospitals around the world.”
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