No pain gain after surgery

October 4, 1996

Patients undergoing surgery may have faster recovery rates in future thanks to an advance in anaesthetics pioneered at Glasgow University.

Target Controlled Infusion is seen as a major advance towards nausea-free surgery. The anaesthetic is administered intravenously by a pump, controlled by two different microprocessors which constantly monitor one another's performance to ensure safety.

A research team led by Gavin Kenny, Glasgow's professor of anaesthesia, has created the system over eight years, developing software which dispenses anaesthetic to the patient in finely calibrated doses dependent on age and body weight.

Glasgow has licensed the production and distribution of the pump equipment to the British-based multinational Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, which has recently launched it on the market.

"There is no nausea, no vomiting, no nasty taste in the mouth and there is generally a fast, smooth recovery," said Professor Kenny.

Prototypes tested in a number of hospitals were developed by the university team working with Anaesthesia Technology Limited, a small British company, and a Watford firm is among those contracted by Zeneca to produce the pumps.

Glasgow's intellectual property manager, Richard Blackmore, said: "This is an exemplary instance of scientific expertise in a British university being developed and manufactured in collaboration with British companies."

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