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Safe switching for surgical equipment
Herga Technology is supplying 6448 bellows footswitch and 6763 airswitches to Cipher Surgical Ltd for its OpClear laparoscope lens cleaning system. The innovative medical device delivers saline and CO2 via a disposable sheath procedure kit to maintain continuous and intraoperative clear vision for keyhole surgery.
Laparoscopy involves examination and surgical procedures within the abdominal and pelvic areas of the body. A form of keyhole surgery, the practise uses a hand held laparoscope, or endoscope, to allow the surgeon to macroscopically view the area to be treated, and given the correct conditions offers substantial benefits of time, safety and patient wellbeing over open surgery techniques. The laparoscope is a tubular instrument that integrates a powerful camera and lens system with lighting to provide a very high definition viewing area.
Inevitably during use, the instrument´s visibility is impaired by various debris and condensation gathering at the distal optical face and until now removal and external cleaning has been the usual method to combat this situation. It is reported that an average operation requires 13 removals as well as significant time spent with sub optimal vision, which prolong operation timescales and increased cost as well as potentially impairing patient comfort and safety.
However, the innovative OpClear system significantly mitigates the need for removal by dispensing saline to wash the lens face and CO2 to clear debris. This is achieved by Cipher Surgical’s advanced control system delivering the cleaning mediums through a special disposable sheath that clips on the laparoscope. The Herga bellows footswitch is simply tapped by the surgeon when cleaning is required.
Cipher Surgical are based at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Venture Centre and through investment funding began development of the OpClear in 2010 after proof of principle was established through its close links with the university. Now in its second generation to allow use with more types of laparoscopes, the patented system is cleared for sale in Europe and selected markets. ISO 13485 accredited manufacturing is outsourced within the UK.
Air actuation for such instruments is well proven in the medical equipment field, providing intrinsic safety and high durability in the operating theatre environment. Herga is well versed in medical applications with product technologies covering air, electrical and wireless switching - many with UL and IEC 60601 medical approvals. The Herga 6448 bellows footswitch is a robust design that finds applications across medical as well as demanding industrial markets.
The low profile footswitch includes a flexible polymer bellows with a rigid polymer baseplate and is supplied with an optional base for convenient mounting. The 6763 PCB mounting airswitch is aimed at low pressure momentary action switching and features a silicon diaphragm and a choice of back or side tube entry positions. For the OpClear version UL 508 approval is included to comply with North American and global standards for such equipment.
Herga has worked closely with Cipher Surgical through the various stages of development and is proud have supported the company to its present level of success and looks forward to many years of close cooperation in the future.
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