There’s a lot going on at California based company BeneChill. It’s RhinoChill® device is gaining plaudits and coverage wherever you look. First it won the Medtec EMDT Critical Care and Emergency Medicine Product of the Year award, then it received great coverage in an article published in UK publication Ambulance Today, talking about early delivery of cooling therapy to heart patients.
Today the story’s been picked up by the BBC here.
And in the next few weeks the company will be showing its wares in Europe at the EuroPCR course, taking place in Paris between 15th and 18th May and the European Stroke Conference in Lisbon between 22nd and 25th May.
So what’s the fuss about?
The concept of brain cooling in heart attack patients is well understood, but until recently cooling therapy only took place once the patient had reached hospital. RhinoChill is a potential game-changer, being a portable device which can be carried by the emergency services and used while CPR is being carried out. The device induces what is known as a mild therapeutic hypothermia, the consequences of which are thought to be a reduction in the brain’s demand for oxygen with an associated reduction in the incidence of neurological impairment often seen in recovering heart attack patients.
Following what is known as return of spontaneous circulation, the only intervention shown in improving human survival and neurological outcome is this mild therapeutic hypothermia, which suggests that the earlier it can be induced the better.
RhinoChill is an intra-nasal cooling system which works by directing an inert cooling vapour to the posterior nasal cavity and in so doing cooling the brain more effectively than for example ice packs.
The BBC’s news item relates to a study now being undertaken by London’s Air Ambulance service into the efficacy of the system. It reports that so far, the team has used the machine five times, with funding for 20 patients over the next year. The money for the trial has been awarded by the College of Emergency Medicine.
“We know quite well that if you’re cooled after your heart attack, it can not only mean that your chances of surviving are greatly increased, but your chances of surviving without brain damage are too,” Dr Richard Lyon, a registrar with London’s Air Ambulance, told BBC News.
RhinoChill is CE marked but does not have FDA approval at this time.