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University Develops Surgical Blood Capture Device

HemoSep device (University of Strathclyde)

HemoSep device (University of Strathclyde)

Biomedical engineers at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, U.K. built a device that salvages blood from surgery patients and prepares the blood for retransfusion back to the patient. The HemoSep device, designed for open-heart and major trauma surgery, can reduce the volume and problems connected with donated blood.

Current techniques for autotransfusion, as the process is called, require a complex centrifuge and pumping equipment staffed by specialists. The HemoSep uses a simpler approach, with a chemical sponge technology and agitator to concentrate blood drained from the surgical site or heart-lung machine after surgery. The useful blood cells prepared by HemoSep can then be returned to the patient by an intravenous transfusion.

The Strathclyde project team led by biomedical engineering professor Terry Gourlay tested the HemoSep in a clinical trial at University of Kirikkale in Turkey. The results of the trial, involving 100 open-heart surgeries, indicate the device reduced the need for blood transfusions. Strathclyde says HemoSep also helped preserve normal clotting mechanisms and reduced inflammatory reactions often encountered after open-heart surgery.

The university says HemoSep already received a CE mark — regulatory approval for the distribution of medical devices in Europe — as well as similar marketing clearances in Canada. Strathclyde has licensed the device to a medical device company for marketing in Europe and Canada.

Gourlay and Serdar Gunaydin, Head of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Kirikkale where the trial was conducted, will describe the clinical study at a meeting of the European Society for Artificial Organs in Rostock, Germany next month.

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