Blood Filtration Foams
AQF Medical design and manufacture custom engineered reticulated polyurethane foam filters for Autotransfusion systems and Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) devices. Autotransfusion of autologous blood avoids most of the complications associated with transfusion of homologous blood during invasive surgery, including transmission of disease, haemolytic transfusion reactions and other immune complications. In cardiopulmonary bypass surgery the ECMO machine pumps blood from the patient’s body to an artificial lung (oxygenator) that adds oxygen to it and removes carbon dioxide.
Autotransfusion systems are widely used to collect and reinfuse a patient’s blood during cardiovascular, orthopaedic, gynaecological and neurological invasive surgeries. Autotransfusion devices collect and process a patient’s own blood during surgery, thus helping the patient avoid transfusions with donor or banked blood. These devices play a significant role in cell salvage.
Because the patient receives his or her own blood back during the autotransfusion process, there is no risk of infection or immune response, no need for compatibility testing, and no need to wait on units from a blood bank. The patient’s red blood cells remain fresh for up to eight hours after processing, and they experience no loss in functionality.
The risk of transmission of infectious disease is eliminated and there is no danger of isosensitisation. Autologous blood ensures a better oxygen transfer and higher activity of coagulation factors.
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
The Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine replaces the function of the heart and lungs. People who need support from an ECMO machine are cared for in a hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU). Typically, people are supported by an ECMO machine for only a few hours to days, but may require it for a few weeks, depending on how their condition progresses. In open heart surgery a heart-lung-machine is used for temporary replacement of the functions of both the heart and the lungs. Blood oxygenators play a critical role in cardiopulmonary bypass allowing clinicians to provide safe and effective perfusion.
ECMO is used to help people whose:
• Lungs cannot provide enough oxygen to the body even when given extra oxygen
• Lungs cannot get rid of carbon dioxide even with help from a mechanical ventilator
• Heart cannot pump enough blood to the body
Filters can be manufactured using reticulated foams with porosity ranging from 10ppi to 100 ppi (pores per inch). Filters can be single wall or double wall design and different porosity foams can be combined to achieve specific filtration characteristics. Reticulated foams are entirely open cell and do not contain any closed cells, making them ideal for in-depth filtration. The consistent open structure ensures reproducible filtration efficiency.