For Immediate Release
Febraury 26, 2013
LONDON, Ontario –London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) continues its tradition of innovation as it is the first in North America to use a new blood circulation device and first in the world to use the device in cardiac surgery.
Since December, Dr. Bob Kiaii, cardiac surgeon, and the cardiac team at LHSC, has been treating patients recovering from heart surgery with the new blood circulation device, named geko™, to help manage swelling resulting from excess fluids following cardiac surgery, a condition known as post-operative edema.
“The device offers patients a drug-free treatment option for a common condition following cardiac surgery and simplifies current strategies to eliminate excess fluids,” says Dr. Kiaii. “This is important because excess fluids impede oxygen delivery and wound healing, compromise pulmonary function, and delay resumption of bowel function.”
The size of a wrist-watch and worn behind the knee, the self-contained geko™ device is designed to increase blood flow by activating the muscle pumps in the lower leg that return blood to the heart, emulating the blood flow rate normally achieved by walking (up to 70 per cent), without the patient having to move or exert energy. Patients can apply the battery powered device themselves and have the control to turn it off or on.
“Dr. Kiaii and his team continue to build upon London Health Sciences Centre’s legacy of innovation,” says Bonnie Adamson, President and CEO, LHSC. “This is another example of LHSC utilizing advanced technologies to improve outcomes for the patients we serve.”
Dennis Findlay of London, Ontario was the first patient offered the new treatment by Dr. Kiaii immediately after his triple-bypass surgery in December. “I wore it every day while I was in hospital. It was painless and barely noticeable and I’m grateful it helped my recovery,” describes Findlay.
Approximately 60 patients at LHSC have benefited from the device as part of their treatment plan. “Early observational use of the geko™ device has shown promise and we are planning to conduct a controlled trial to further investigate its health benefits,” continues Dr. Kiaii.
Bernard Ross, CEO Firstkind Ltd, device manufacturer, said “Precise management of fluids and electrolytes is a fundamental part of a patient's overall surgical treatment. Through the unique differential of superior blood flow, we believe the geko™ device is well placed to deliver simplicity of patient care, enhanced patient mobility, better patient outcomes and substantial cost savings for health services globally through a reduced length of patient stay.”
About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 138 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca
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