Medical Device Protects Doctors, Nurses from Pathogens in Patient Fluids

The Streamway device safely suctions fluids from a patient

(NewsUSA) - Every time a patient has surgery or any other procedures at a hospital, the hospital faces the challenge of disposing of all the blood, urine, and other fluids that result. These fluids can contain pathogens such as HIV or hepatitis, so they may be dangerous.

The traditional method for taking care of these fluids is suctioning them up into canisters. Once each canister is full, hospital workers cart them out of the operating room, open them up, and dump the fluid down the drain. The problem is that the workers can be exposed to the infectious agents in the fluid.

That's what happened to Fran Hahn, now a nurse at Huntingdon Valley Surgery Center in Pennsylvania. When she was working at a different hospital, "I was changing a full suction canister-and contaminated fluid splashed in my eye," she recalls. "The patient was HIV-positive, so I had to be tested for the next 18 months." She wasn't infected, but the ordeal was agonizing. "No one should have to go through that," she says.

Now no one has to -- ever again. Skyline Medical (NASDAQ:SKLN) has developed an automated system that suctions fluids from the patient directly to a unit mounted on the wall that's hooked up to the sewer system. The fluids are put directly down the drain right in the operating or procedure room.

Huntingdon Valley Surgery Center found that the FDA-cleared STREAMWAY® System not only virtually eliminates the possibility that doctors, nurses, and other medical staffers will be exposed to pathogens; it also improves suction, helping doctors do better operations. "For facilities like ours, that take pride in providing the best patient care and keeping staff safe, STREAMWAY is such a logical choice," says Hahn.

Moreover, hospitals such as the Tucson Medical Center (TMC) have learned that the system saves time and money as well. "We're not spilling fluid or accidentally pulling the patient's catheter out, because we aren't having to stop and exchange bottles," says Moravia Costanza, TMC Ultrasound Department Supervisor. "One of our radiologists said the STREAMWAY System is worth its weight in gold."

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