A Vancouver company has a new way to keep patients safe after surgery and prevent infections.
- Airborne pathogens traveling through the nasal cavities are frequent causes of post-op infections, but Ondine Biomedical’s new laser process could cut back poor outcomes.
- Once an infection takes hold, a patient’s reaction can range from a mild setback in recovery to sepsis or even death.
- Ondine’s new process, called photodisinfection, works by covering the nose with a blue solution that attaches itself to germs. Next, a laser-generating device activates the solution and destroys the potentially deadly pathogens.
- The device, called Steriwave, requires little new training for staff and is already successful in several hospitals. Infections were reduced by 47% in a study of 6,000 patients, Ondine shared.
- Vancouver General reported that using Steriwave reduced the hospital’s annual infection costs by $3 million, Bloomberg reports.
Why it’s news
While a relatively small number of patients will contract an infection in a hospital, the results of an infection can range from minimal to severe. Typically, infection is treated with a round of antibiotics, however, bacteria are growing more resistant to available antibiotics—a situation the World Health Organization (WHO) calls a global threat.
Steriwave offers an antibiotic-free way of reducing the number of bacteria present to create an infection. The laser system can also attack pathogens not easily fought off with antibiotics.
The laser device isn’t available in the U.S. yet, but it has received approval in Canada and Mexico. Ondine is currently working on a clinical study as part of its effort to receive FDA approval.
In a recent study at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia, Odine released a mid-stage report that found 86% of carriers had reduced presence of S. aureus, a particularly common cause of infection. The surgical site infection rate was 0.6%. The historical average in the U.S. is 3%.