Europlaz Technologies Ltd, a UK medical device manufacturer, today announced that they are working with Quanta Dialysis Technologies Ltd to manufacture consumables for their next-generation haemodialysis system, SC+. To support the ongoing NHS COVID-19 response for emergency dialysis provision, the systems are now being supplied to select NHS Trusts in the United Kingdom.
NHS Intensive Care Units
Much Government discussion and media focus has been around the shortage of ventilators, which are desperately needed for patients being treated for severe symptoms of COVID-19 in Intensive Care Units (ICU). At the start of the pandemic, this was one of the main concerns for hospitals – whether or not there would be a sufficient supply of ventilators available to treat patients during the peak of the virus.
Less discussion, however, has centred around the demand for kidney dialysis machines, which are equally vital in successfully treating COVID-19 patients in ICUs. Unfortunately, much like the ventilators, there is a country-wide shortage of renal replacement capacity and the COVID-19 outbreak has led to a significant increase in NHS demand. The latest figures from the BBC suggest that over 2,000 patients admitted to intensive care for COVID-19 suffered from kidney failure – highlighting the critical importance of dialysis during the pandemic.
Kidney dialysis machines
In response to this shortage, Europlaz has been working with Quanta to manufacture proprietary consumables necessary for the supply of SC+ to the NHS. The outbreak of COVID-19 has highlighted an unmet demand for dialysis provision within ICUs where patients regularly present with kidney failure following diagnosis of COVID-19. As a small, simple-to-use dialysis system, SC+ is well suited for this demanding application.
The first dialysis machines were distributed to the NHS several weeks ago and the feedback from the ICU teams is that they are remarkably intuitive and easy to use. The machines have already treated many patients successfully in hospitals across the UK.
Thoughts from the frontline at NHS hospitals
Emma Vaux, Consultant Nephrologist at Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We are delighted to be the first hospital in the UK to use the new SC+ device. At a time when there is an unprecedented national shortage of dialysis machines, and an increased need to treat more patients with renal problems associated with COVID-19, the SC+ devices were provided in a matter of days. SC+ has been safely installed and due to its ease of use, training was delivered in under six hours enabling our ICU nurses to quickly, effectively and efficiently treat those people that need it most. In the long term, we are looking forward to seeing these devices used in our patient’s home settings.”
Sandip Mitra, Consultant Nephrologist at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The introduction of the new SC+ device during the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact in supporting critically ill patients developing kidney failure. As a versatile and compact dialysis machine, the SC+ system provides a wide range of renal replacement therapy options for ICUs, dialysis clinics and patients’ own homes. In the near term, rapidly increasing the use of home haemodialysis will also be crucial to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in dialysis patients.”
Partnership between Quanta Dialysis and Europlaz
Eddie O’Keeffe, Chairman of Europlaz, said: “The manufacturing development of proprietary consumables for the SC+ dialysis system has been a true partnership. Whilst our partner owns the machine, designed it and is responsible for the technology, our role has been to manufacture the high-quality consumables required to connect the dialysis machine to the patient. I am delighted to see that the machines are now being used by the NHS in the fight against the dreadful COVID- 19 pandemic.”
John E. Milad, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Everybody at Quanta is pulling out all the stops to support the NHS and kidney failure patients during this critical time. I would like to thank our team and our partners, and especially Europlaz, for enabling us to support the NHS during this critical time. I’m proud to see the difference we’re able to make with our small, simple and versatile haemodialysis system, SC+, by providing flexible treatment options for patients in urgent need.”