Making hospitals safer one innovation at the time

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DESPITE the fact, and probably because of the fact that hospitals are places where the highest concentration of sick and weak people can be found, there are certain health risks inherent to hospitalization.  That’s why even doctors will only recommend hospitalization when they feel it is absolutely necessary.  The numbers are compelling: in the US, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 10 percent of all hospital patients contract Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs), that is 1.7 million people a year.    These in turn account for 99,000 deaths a year in the United States alone.  Strictly speaking, an HAI is an infection that is contracted as a result of hospitalization, and patients who contract these would likely not have been infected otherwise.

HAIs are not the only thing that can go wrong in hospitals, IV lines, which are mandatory for most patients confined in hospitals expose patients to risk as well.  Faulty IV lines can lead to embolisms. Embolism occurs when an air bubble enters the IV system and the patient’s bloodstream.  A large enough embolism can actually cause cardiac arrest and death.  The risk for embolism is always there for patients hooked up to IV lines, and it increases exponentially when IV fluid bottles run out of fluid, and are not replaced on time.  As anyone who has been hospitalized or who has spent a lot of time caring for someone in a hospital knows, this can and does happen.

There is a good reason that surgery is a last resort for most ailments and most patients, apart from the fact that surgery involves cutting with an ultra sharp, surgical steel scalpel, surgery also increases the risk of infection.  The CDC places the number of HAI contracted while in surgery at 20 percent of all incidences of HAI, this is one in five incidences, all the more alarming when you consider that a much smaller percentage of those hospitalized actually require surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery is all the rage these days, it requires much smaller incisions thus minimizing the risk to patients and the recovery time, but even this state of the art technology has its own inherent risks.  Because laparoscopic procedures rely on cameras, doctors performing them have no depth perception, as a result miscalculations do occur and this can lead to internal injuries that are often life threatening.


Since its establishment 174 years ago, one company has certainly done more to make hospitalization and the medical practice safer than any other company in existence, B. Braun.  Not too long ago, IV lines required a needle to be anchored in a patient’s vein for the duration of the IV therapy.  Now most hospitals use pliable IV catheters that are softer, safer and more comfortable, B. Braun invented them.

B. Braun recently rolled out still more safety innovations with the ingenious Introcan Safety.  The Introcan Safety is the first and only IV cannula that comes with its own safety clip that after insertion, the safety clip deploys thus preventing the needle from “sticking” anyone or anything else.  Needle stick injury has always been a real problem in hospitals, difficult patients or weary medical practitioners have been regularly, unintentionally pierced with contaminated needles resulting in injuries and consequently in infection.  This was a problem that was previously dealt with only through the establishment of safety measures, most of which were only as good as the people who were made to adhere to them.  With the introduction of Introcan Safety, the margin of safety increases exponentially, without relying on people to alter their behavior.

Remember when IV bottles were heavy, made of glass, and very difficult and cumbersome to install?  B. Braun is responsible for making the bottles we see today: more lightweight, unbreakable, and easy to install and replace, this in turn minimizes risks to both patients and medical practitioners.  B. Braun IV lines also have safety features that prevent embolisms even when IV bottles run dry.    It is hardly surprising that B. Braun is the first choice for IV systems of most top hospitals globally.

Even alcohol or hand rub solutions has been improved by B. Braun.  B. Braun recently introduced Softa-Man, the gold standard in surgical grade alcohol.  It contains a unique combination of n-propanol and ethanol that together make it the most potent hand rub for bacteria and viruses commonly found in the hospital setting.  B. Braun has also incorporated three cosmetic grade moisturizers into the formula to ensure that medical practitioners don’t suffer from excessive dryness, skin irritation, or flaking skin, typical to prolonged use of regular hand rubs.

B. Braun’s expertise is by no means limited to everyday medical supplies, they are also the largest manufacturer of surgical instruments in the world. B. Braun sterile instrument containers have become mandatory in Europe, while here in the Philippines, top hospitals such as Makati Medical Center and The Philippine Heart Center, are currently in the middle of overhauling their entire surgical instruments in consultation with B. Braun, to ensure that these comply to the highest global standards.

B. Braun also recently pushed the boundaries in high technology innovation with the first ever full HD 3D laparoscopic imaging system, a vast improvement over previous conventional laparoscopic imaging devices. The full HD visualization combined with the latest in 3D technology allows for better hand-eye coordination, thus, improving the surgeon’s level of concentration. The increased precision enables surgeons to work continuously, to position suture needles more precisely and to separate even extremely fine tissue structures. The 3D imaging resolves depth perception issues even for the most complicated cases, thus, preventing unnecessary injuries reducing operating time and ultimately saving lives.

More and more institutions are turning to B. Braun for state-of-the-art equipment and medical supplies.  The visibility of the B. Braun brand in hospitals means the commitment for safety to their patients. After all, this is why B. Braun has remained at the forefront of the evolution of safety.

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