For people with suspected cases of sepsis, timing is everything. The overwhelming bacterial infection causes the body’s blood pressure to drop rapidly, leading to organ damage and even death. Care teams can slow down this process by introducing fluids into a person as quickly as possible.
The Surviving Sepsis Campaign recommends that patients receive fluids within one hour of diagnosis. However, traditional methods of getting fluids into the body can be time consuming. They require constant attention. And it can be difficult to determine the liquid supply volume. 410 Medical LifeFlow is cutting fluid replacement time by more than half.
The FDA approved rapid liquid infuser was successfully tested at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in 2018. In October 2019, OSF Ventures became an investor in 410 Medical. LifeFlow is now used in all Ministry hospitals for pediatric and adult patients. However, it is not used alone for the treatment of sepsis. It is also used to care for people in other critical situations.
The importance of rapid fluid supply
It doesn’t take long for young children to lose fluids when they are sick. That was the case when a young child presented to the Pediatric Emergency Department at OSF Saint Francis. The child lost a lot of fluids from vomiting and diarrhea and was extremely drowsy. Not knowing if the child was suffering from dehydration, a metabolic problem, or sepsis, the emergency care team had to act quickly.
“We use LifeFlow to immediately restore fluids to the child,” he said. Dr. Teresa Olor, Medical Director of the Pediatric Emergency Service at OSF Saint Francis. “In a matter of minutes, this kid perked up and looked so much better. Without this device, it would have taken much longer to infuse the correct amount of fluids. “
Before using LifeFlow, hospitals had a variety of ways to quickly deliver fluids to patients. This includes gravity infusion, IV pumps, and pressure bags. There is also the “push and pull method” in which doctors repeatedly fill and empty syringes into an IV.
“These methods are not as fast as LifeFlow. They can be inconsistent. And the ‘push-pull’ technique can cause contamination of the IV line, “said Dr. Oler.” This newer medical device gives physicians greater control over the delivery of fluids and reduces the risk of contamination. “
Dr. Riech says that rapid fluid infusion also allows care teams to quickly reevaluate their patients and determine if additional advanced therapies are needed.
Invest in medical devices
Many healthcare-sponsored venture programs restrict their investments to digital solutions. That is not the case with OSF Ventures, the corporate investment arm of OSF HealthCare.
“We are a bit unique in our support of medical technology, meaning medical devices and diagnostics,” said Stan Lynall, vice president of Venture Investments. “We believe this gives OSF an advantage to connect to emerging products that our doctors and patients can benefit from.”
As one of the few hospital systems to test LifeFlow, 410 Medical will soon also be testing another device within OSF HealthCare. LifeFlow PLUS is a tool for the rapid supply of blood and blood components, as well as other fluids for patients with excessive blood loss.