U.K.-based Fallouh Healthcare is developing a device to monitor cardiac patients after surgery, which is when a condition, called cardiac tamponade, can strike.
The company says patients recovering from heart surgery can be at risk from the life-threatening condition that sees fluid build-up around the heart, strangling its ability to beat properly. Fallouh Healthcare, formed by Birmingham cardiothoracic surgeon Hazem Fallouh, has received a £500,000 (€582,000) grant from Innovate UK to develop the new device for early diagnosis of the life-threatening condition.
Fallouh said: “Typically, this happens late at night when the patient is in intensive care, and as blood clots accumulate, they compress the heart, reducing its ability to pump blood around the body.”
Fallouh: £500k grant
He said around 45,000 patients in the U.K. undergo cardiac surgery each year, and it is usually safe. However, he added that cardiac tamponade can come on quickly, and diagnosis is difficult as it can be confused with other causes of heart failure.
He said: “As high as 3 in 10 of all deaths that immediately follow post-cardiac surgery are thought to be due to cardiac tamponade.
“If missed, cardiac tamponade can lead to cardiac arrest, which is resistant to CPR and requires immediate opening of the patient’s chest in the uncontrolled environment of the intensive care unit – a procedure that has a mortality rate (30-70%), and poor outcomes for those patients who survive.”
Consultant surgeon Fallouh has worked in many centres of excellence in the U.K. and invented the device to provide early diagnosis of tamponade, allowing a planned return to surgery to drain fluid and clots around the heart.
Called PerDeCT (Pericardial Device to monitor Cardiac output and diagnose Tamponade), it is the only device to diagnose cardiac tamponade, and provide cardiac monitoring at no extra cost.
Fallouh – startup with a mission
The device consists of a probe and a balloon, which is placed in the pericardium (the sac around the heart) during initial surgery, and measures cardiac efficiency – cardiac output – as well as predicting the development of tamponade, by looking at the trend in the relationship between balloon inflation and cardiac efficiency. It can be withdrawn through the skin after the patient is recovered.
The intellectual property in the form of a patent is assigned to Fallouh Healthcare Limited.
Fallouh Healthcare is a startup with a mission to deliver smart solutions to unmet needs in order to deliver safer and more effective cardiothoracic surgery.