OR Lighting in NHS Spotlight

Surgical Lighting may sound like one of those things we take for granted, along with many of the other accoutrements that adorn the operating environment. However a new initiative, funded by the European Commission, is targeting a radical improvement in  the performance of surgical lighting and medical video systems.


Ensuring adequacy of light in the operative field is a prerequisite for optimal surgical outcomes, one would have thought. And plenty of companies specialise in delivering lighting solutions that tick all the boxes, including control over light distribution, brightness and even colour temperature in order that specific structures can be identified. Two overlays on the subject of switching the lights on, are the way it interacts with the video camera technology that is now an intrinsic feature of OR set-ups, as well as ensuring that the system delivers on infection control too.

Established UK surgical lighting specialist, Brandon Medical, has been hard at work in collaboration with Estates Engineers and Infection Control Staff at UK Hospital, the Bradford Royal Infirmary together with scientists from TWI and Sagentia in a 2 year collaborative research programme to develop improved surgical lighting. The project has been funded by the European Commission as part of their programme of developing high technology solutions in the UK.

The result is called Quasar® eLite, designed and built in the UK by the consortium and featuring claimed enhanced light distribution, fully integrated HD-SDI video cameras and world-class hygienic design principles.

Video integration is at the heart of the design of the new light: Quasar® eLite is the first OR light which incorporates full SDI High Definition cameras and zoom controls, which are fully embedded within the slim lamp head. The new SDI system eliminates the expensive electronics and loss of signal quality normally associated with transmission through the rotating joints of an OR light to produce an outstanding picture quality on large monitors. Mounting the cameras inside the lamp head enclosure, obviates the need for excessively large handles and restricted rotations whilst retaining the camera position directly above the subject. This also reduced costs as additional mounting systems are no longer required and the smooth facia of the lamp is retained.

On the subject of infection control, Brandon claims its Quasar® eLite adheres to world-class hygienic design principles. Specifically, the smooth continuous surfaces are easy to clean with minimal split lines, an anti-microbial agent is integrated into the light head surfaces and are sealed to IP54 guarding against the ingress of dirt and liquids. Embedding the camera inside the light head removes one of the hardest cleanliness problems and protects and expensive component from accidental damage. Wireless remote controls are also available enabling the lighting intensity, focus and camera zoom to be controlled outside of the sterile field.

On the lighting itself, Quasar® eLite incorporates the next generation of HD-LED lighting technology. The technology provides the surgeon with accurate full colour representation of anatomical structures during procedures. The natural light makes all colours vivid and vibrant making it easy to distinguish small differences in tissue. Such accurate colour rendition makes the light do the work rather than the human eye. Brandon Medical has paid particular attention to the way that Quasar® eLite illuminates red tissue. The human eye has a natural weakness in distinguishing shades of red which is a problem for Surgeons dealing predominantly with red tissue. HD-LED provides the highest so-called R9 red colour rendition of any product to provide the optimum visualisation of red tissues.

Company comments

Graeme Hall, Brandon Medica;’s Managing Director comments; “We’ve a long history of delivering innovation at Brandon Medical but this project has meant working to a whole new level. Quasar eLite is the result of working closely with NHS engineers, surgeons and infection control specialists to deliver a new product that addresses their everyday issues and delivers real life user benefits. On the industry side, our partners include two of the UK’s top technology research agencies in Sagentia and TWI. The result is a revolutionary change in the quality of surgical light and the creation of a stunningly uniform illuminated area for the surgeon. This project shows what we can do in Britain, when we work together to innovate and make better products”

Source: Brandon Medical Ltd.

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