Monday, December 15, 2014

News: Inditherm hoping for another NICE boost

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AIM-listed Rotherham company, Inditherm, will be hoping for a boost in interest for its innovative medical products after receiving further backing from the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE).

Manvers-based Inditherm has developed products using low voltage carbon polymer technology to provide heat. Its systems are used for patients undergoing operations which carry risk of inadvertent hypothermia and in neonatal wards.

NICE is recognised as being a world leader in setting standards for high quality healthcare and are the most prolific producer of clinical guidelines in the world. It has previously published guidance advising that the Inditherm patient warming mattress should be considered for use in patients at risk of inadvertent hypothermia.

The support from NICE, and the cost savings from replacing forced-air systems with Inditherm products, has attracted attention from the NHS and around the world.

Now NICE has updated its evidence-based advice on the care of women and their babies during labour and immediately after the birth which backs the use of another innovative system, the "LifeStart" system. Launched by Inditherm at the 2013 Arab Health exhibition, LifeStart facilitates the delaying of the clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord following childbirth by providing resuscitation at a newborn baby's bedside.

A significant amount of clinical research has highlighted the benefits of delayed cord clamping (DCC) for a newborn baby but traditional resuscitation units are not suitable for use at the delivery bedside, thus requiring the umbilical cord to be cut to allow the baby to be treated.

Designed with guidance from a team of obstetricians and paediatricians, Inditherm's system has a compact design enabling it to deliver all the required functions close enough to the mother to permit the umbilical cord to be left intact for the critical first few minutes.

NICE's latest guideline indicates not to "clamp the cord earlier than one minute from the birth of the baby unless there is concern about the integrity of the cord or the baby has a heartbeat below 60 beats/minute that is not getting faster." The World Health Organisation sets a minimum one minute delay but a target of at least three minutes.

Inditherm points to a significant and growing body of evidence that immediate clamping of the cord is associated with complications for the new-born baby including anaemia, hypovolaemia, cardio-respiratory complications and late onset sepsis amongst others. There is also some evidence of longer term effects including an increase in cognitive and behavioural problems such as autism and ADHD.

A large multi-centre UK trial is underway to further strengthen the evidence base surrounding the clinical findings to date.

Nick Bettles, chief executive at Inditherm (pictured, right showing The Duke of Gloucester the system in production), said: "Delayed cord clamping is widely held to be of significant benefit to the new baby, even more so if the baby is premature. However there has been a perceived dilemma between letting nature sustain the baby during the transition period and administering advanced resuscitation techniques which require removal of the baby from the mother to the medical equipment used.

"Inditherm's LifeStart system supports the implementation of these new NICE Guidelines as it allows the baby to receive urgent care with the cord still intact and within the first few minutes of life. We are completely convinced of the clinical benefits shown by the existing research and hope that the new NICE guidance will drive wider uptake of the practice in the NHS.

"Inditherm was delighted to have been chosen as the commercial partner by the UK clinical teams who developed the concept of bedside resuscitation. We are proud to be innovating yet again and having a product designed and manufactured in Britain leading the way."

Inditherm website

Images: Inditherm

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