Significant Reduction in Time to Blood Gas Result Using Sphere Medical’s Proxima™

Critical care monitoring and diagnostics equipment company, Sphere Medical tells us a recent time and motion study by University Hospital Southampton demonstrated a 1.5 minute (>20%) reduction in time to blood gas results when using the Proxima™ bedside blood gas monitoring system.


During routine arterial blood gas (ABG) sampling in intensive care units (ICU), nurses have to leave their patient to use an ABG analyser for processing. This requires another care giver to step in to observe the critically ill patient to maintain safety. The process also carries the risk of blood splash when taking, transporting and processing the sample. As a point-of-care analyser that enables blood gas analysis directly at the patient’s bedside, Proxima overcomes all of these issues:  As a patient-dedicated closed system attached to an arterial line, there is no risk of blood splash during sampling. Blood is drawn directly from the patient and over the Proxima sensor; following analysis, all blood is safely returned to the patient with zero blood loss. The study noted that in ABG sampling systems without a captive syringe, blood loss could total >60 mLs over 24 hours..

Significant results from a comparative study have now been presented at both the British Association of Critical Care Nurses conference and Intensive Care Society State of the Art Meeting as a scientific poster entitled, “Time and motion study of Proxima arterial blood gas (ABG) sampling.”

The study, undertaken at Southampton University Hospital compared workload associated with using Proxima versus standard ABG sampling, including safety aspects. Independent data collectors continuously observed ICU nurses to ensure the accurate capture of all ABG sampling episodes of 20 cardiac ICU patients over 24 hours (10 connected to Proxima and 10 to a standard ABG sampling system). A significant difference in time to result using Proxima compared to a standard BGA system was observed, with Proxima saving an average 1.5 minutes. Proxima also required no time away from a patient’s bed-space, whereas a standard system was 3 minutes on average – long enough for a patient to self-extubate or develop an acute physiological disturbance. Time to result using a standard ABG system could also be prolonged for a number of reasons, for example if there was no one available to watch the patient or there was a queue to use it.

The study found that conventional blood gas measurement took critical care nurses away from their patient for nearly 30 minutes/day, whereas time away was zero when using Proxima, as it is a patient-dedicated in-line analyser. This eliminated the need for a nurse to find cover to monitor ICU patients at risk of adverse events, such as self-extubation or developing an acute physiological disturbance.

Investigator comments

Professor of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Mike Grocott, University of Southampton, commented, “The recent time and motion study we conducted at University Hospital Southampton clearly highlighted the workflow benefits of using Proxima on critically ill, unstable patients.”

Source: Sphere Medical

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