A Kirkby company has developed a ground-breaking machine which could be used by surgeons all over the world.
Experts at Brightwake, which is based at Lowmoor Business Park, have created a machine called Hemosep, which captures the blood spilt during heart surgery, cleans it and then returns it to the patient.
The device, which has been developed in partnership with the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, uses bags with special membranes to collect red blood cells which take oxygen around the body.
The portable machine also captures the blood-clotting platelets which lowers the risk of bleeding after an operation and bosses at the firm say that it could save the NHS £10million a year because it will reduce the reliance on blood banks.
Clinical trials on more than 50 patients in Turkey and an article about it has been published in the prestigious medical journal The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
Brightwake, which employs around 150 people, produces and exports medical dressings and now it has set up a new trading arm, Advancis Surgical, to market Hemosep.
Ben Williams, head of business development for Advancis Surgical, said: “We are very proud of Hemosep.
“The write-up of the trial in Turkey proves that it works.
“We believe it offers huge opportunities for surgical teams and their patients, all over the world.”
The Turkish trial involved returning blood to patients after their operations.
Since then Brightwake have already developed a new version of Hemosep which processes blood more quickly, so that it can be returned to the patient while surgery is still underway.
The updated Hemosep will soon be used on British patients for the first time. A number of leading British hospitals are set to begin trials with the machine in the coming months.