Surgery: Thopaz offers improved patient care and reduced costs in thoracic drainage

Medela’s Thopaz is the world’s smallest hand-held thoracic drainage system and is revolutionising patients’ post-operative care.

It is unique in combining a digital display that tracks a patient’s air leak, with a portable, regulated suction device. By providing improved mobility and accurate, objective data on the patient’s air leak, Thopaz provides a new level of quality of care.

In contrast to traditional technologies, Thopaz’s compact size integrated suction and battery means that patients can get back on their feet quickly after surgery and leave hospital within days – improving the quality of care for the patient, freeing up beds and creating dramatic cost savings.

As a result of this, doctors estimated in a recent trial of 250 patients that they saved £18,005 when using Thopaz as compared to the old-fashioned technologies. In fact, Thopaz compared to existing chest drainage is akin to the difference between squinting to read an old-fashioned mercury thermometer and taking an instant, precise digital reading.

For added safety Thopaz has alarms which alert the clinical staff to a range of problems. The real-time objective data about the condition of a patient’s air leak, allows hospital staff to accurately manage chest tubes and make informed decisions about when to remove them. This helps deal with post-operative care and allowed clinicians to demonstrate that the use of Thopaz reduces a patient’s length of stay in hospital.

Studies performed in a range of countries demonstrate this – data from Hong Kong shows a reduction of 3.3 days, 4.0 days in the Netherlands, 0.7 days in the USA, and 2.1 days in Spain on average.

Thopaz has an important role to play in the future of post-operative thoracic care by providing accurate, detailed information that is already feeding into important scientific research.

Mr Kostas Papagiannopoulos, cardiothoracic consultant at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, said: “Thopaz offers overall financial benefit to the hospital by aiding patient mobility, reducing their hospital stay and simplifying hospital practice.”

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