The use of PRIME to collect physiological data for use in a research project at UHSM
Researchers at the University Hospital of South Manchester are currently conducting a research project which will study the pre-operative physiological data of patients undergoing cardiac surgery.Ten percent of patients undergoing open heart surgery develop life threatening complications such as bleeding, abnormal heart rhythms or kidney failure. These complications cause 1000 deaths per year in the UK alone. Unfortunately, warning signs of future complications are often missed due to the fact that the human brain cannot process all the available data.
The project requires collection of pre-operative data of quality similar to that recorded post-operatively on the Intensive Care Unit. This data includes continuous ECG and pulse oximetry waveforms as well as blood pressure and temperature readings.
Similar data is routinely recorded post-operatively using the monitoring infrastructure built into the Intensive Care Unit. On the Intensive Care Unit, wired patient monitoring equipment is installed and connected to dedicated computers at each bed space. These computers are wired into a local area network allowing the data to be seen from other locations in the intensive care unit.
However, recording such data on a traditional hospital ward requires a novel approach to patient monitoring. There is less space, fewer power points and no Ethernet connections at the bedside. In addition, whereas post-operative patients are bedbound for the period immediately following their surgery, preoperative patients are fully mobile. Wired connections between sensors attached to patients and monitors which are fixed at the bedside would be inappropriately restrictive on patients’ movements. The PRIME system was chosen for the project as it provides ideal solutions to these challenges.
The lightweight wireless monitors allow patient to move freely and in an unrestricted manner around the hospital from the time of admission to the hospital until they are transferred to theatre. The wireless connection between the PRIME tablet and a central server allows the monitoring to be performed on any ward regardless of the traditional monitoring facilities and electronic communications infrastructure available on the ward. Monitoring setup typically takes less than 2 minutes and the systems provide hours of continuous monitoring data for each patient.
The PRIME systems are used to capture physiological data from patients on the pre-operative cardiothoracic surgery ward. Data is displayed on the PRIME tablet computer in real time and when the period of monitoring finishes all data is exported to a .csv spreadsheet format for analysis by the research team. The pre-operative data recorded using the PRIME systems will be analysed alongside post-operative data collected using existing monitoring Intensive Care Unit. Researchers will seek to identify trends within the continuous monitoring data which identify those at increased risk of complications after open heart surgery.
The data will be used in conjunction with the post-operative data recorded by Dreagerfor a direct comparison to what is considered ‘Gold Standard’. At present, the trials have provided a positive response from patients, particularly regarding the freedom the system provides in enabling staff to be more mobile during their stay in hospital.