Medovate, a company which develops medical technologies, has partnered with Vygon Vet to launch Safira, an anaesthetic device which makes regional anaesthesia a one-person procedure. 

In current regional anaesthesia procedures two operators are often needed, with an assistant using 'feel' to inject the anaesthetic solution at the required pressure. This, says the company, means anaesthetic solutions can be injected at unsafe pressures. The new device incorporates a safety system that limits injection pressure, to reduce the risk of nerve injury. 

Dr. Federico Corletto, Consultant Anaesthetist from Dick White Referrals said: “By turning regional anaesthesia into a one-person procedure, the technology also removes the challenges of communicating with an assistant regarding subjective injective pressure feel, thus removing the unpredictability of an untrained hand.” 

Medovate says the use of ultrasound guided regional anaesthesia is becoming more common practice today, with the technique – which can help provide a higher level of visualisation for the practitioner – increasingly seen as a ‘gold standard’.  

However, there are limitations and challenges that are not always present in the practice of adult human medicine. Nerve parathesia, for instance, is harder to ascertain in animals. Small animals such as cats also have increased sensitivity to local anaesthetics when compared with other species, necessitating much lower maximum doses be used.1

Brett Hughes, Homecare & Veterinary Business Manager at Vygon UK, said: "The device infuses at 0.5ml/second, and to vets the technology offers a valuable tool that can control injection small intervals at a time. This allows the veterinary practitioner to titrate appropriately to see the anaesthesia spread around a nerve bundle.  

"There are a significant number of regional anaesthesia blocks completed in veterinary practice per annum globally, so potentially this NHS developed device could play a major role in the future of veterinary practice."

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