New Equipment Improves Patient Care

The Friends of Eastbourne Hospital have donated an innovative device that helps accurately position special catheters and reduce a patient’s exposure to X-ray radiation, enhancing their therapy. The new piece of equipment called the Nautilus helps clinicians insert special catheters (PICC line) by providing accurate ECG readings for real time tip location to accurately position catheters.

A PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) is an intravenous access device inserted by a specially trained doctor or nurse into a patients upper arm vein and fed into the large blood vessels leading to the heart. Patients who require long term intravenous antibiotics, chemotherapy or specialist feeds can benefit from a PICC line. The line can last for up to a year if required and can be used for blood test taking as well. Insertion is usually done in the ward by the IV team. When the team has successfully placed the line, a Chest X-Ray is traditionally required to confirm the location of the PICC tip, before we are able to safely say that the line is okay and safe to use.

Friends IV presentation

Iggy Atillo Intravenous Team Lead pictured right, said: “We are very grateful to the Friends of Eastbourne Hospital for their generosity in purchasing the Nautilus machine.  This new device uses ECG monitoring to accurately map the tip position of a PICC line during placement into a patient’s chest. This means that the catheter is positioned accurately every time and also means patients no longer need to have an X-ray to check the catheters position – enabling the PICC line to be used straightaway thus reducing delays in treatment. Most patients who require a PICC line will benefit.

Peter Nash Chairman Friends of Eastbourne Hospital said: “We are pleased to be able to fund this new device for the intravenous team to accurately position special catheters called PICC lines. The good thing for patients is they will no longer need an X-ray to check their catheter is in the correct position.”

The benefits of the Nautilus machine was highlighted and supported by the Listening in Action staff initiative. They include:

  • No more waiting for Chest Xrays – as soon as a PICC is inserted, the PICC practitioner can then safely document in the patient notes that the PICC is ready and safe to use. This means that patients can receive their treatment more quickly.
  • Once the procedure is completed the IV practitioner can move to the next case without waiting for x-ray results, which means the waiting time for line insertion should be reduced.
  • Patients will not have to go to the radiology department to have an x-ray as the Nautilus can be used at the bedside.
  • A potential saving of £38,000 per year on x-ray costs.