Media Release

QEH consultants part of team behind new anaesthetic innovation being launched across the USA

A new device invented by a team including two critical care consultants at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn to make regional anaesthetics safer has been launched in the USA.

SAFIRA (SAFer Injection for Regional Anaesthesia) has a unique safety feature that reduces the risk of nerve damage by preventing anaesthetic being injected at pressures which are too high.

Four NHS medics including QEH’s Critical Care Consultants Peter Young and John Gibson are behind the innovation, which is now licensed through QEH to medical device company Medovate.

In turn, Medovate has now agreed a distribution deal allowing the device, which has been cleared by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), to be used across the USA.

SAFIRA high resThe device has implications for COVID-19 patients with anaesthetists being urged to consider regional anaesthesia as this helps preserves respiratory function and is less likely to risk aerosolisation (potential viral transmission as a result of coughing when a tube is inserted into the throat).

It also allows regional anaesthesia to be carried out by a single anaesthetist, helping to further reduce costs.

QEH’s John Gibson said: This is such an important development for this project, which has been many years in the making. From building the first prototypes, to reaching the market in the US, this is a significant milestone.

“We hope to see this innovation provide safer regional anaesthesia, with a reduced need for further assistance, make a real impact on patient care.”

Dr Antonia Hardcastle, Research Lead at QEH said: “It is very exciting for The Queen Elizabeth Hospital to see that one of the Innovations developed in King’s Lynn will be launched in the United States. We are very proud of our Innovations and believe that they will provide safer care for patients”

Medovate is a medical device company dedicated to the development and commercialisation of innovative medical technologies created within the NHS and beyond. Medovate identifies and works with high potential innovations, providing the specialist management and technical resources, along with finance required to lead innovation development through clinical trials and regulatory approval.


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