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Smooth operators - Mobile suction would be a boon in major surgery

点击量:   时间:2017-05-24 01:02:04

By Jonathan Beard Las Cruces ACCIDENTS in the operating theatre can be cut by using a cordless portable vacuum cleaner to remove fluids. The suction device has been developed at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. At present, surgeons use suction tubes from central vacuum systems mounted on the wall to remove blood, saline solution and other fluids from wounds as they operate. But the tubes often get in the way. “Doctors we talked to said that the cause of the most cursing in the operating room is from stepping on or tripping over the tube for suction,” said Richard Lueptow, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Northwestern. “For most operations with large volumes of fluid, they work pretty well, but for some procedures, the long tube is a nuisance,” says Lueptow. “So we thought it would be worth developing a device similar to a Dustbuster, but for sucking up fluid from a surgical site.” Lueptow and his students built a small vacuum pump with a rechargeable battery which provides power for up to six hours, and a container that holds 500 millilitres. All the parts of the suction device that come into contact with fluids are disposable. Lueptow says he would like a medical equipment company to develop the prototype. “Since it is the size of an electric drill and completely portable, it should be very useful in outpatient clinics and in ambulances as well as in regular operating rooms,