When a person has open-heart surgery, the heart is actually stopped for several hours so the surgeon can perform the procedure. In order to avoid heart tissue damage, the body is cooled from it's normal 98.5° F to a chilly 82.4-89.6 °F, thereby reducing the body's need for oxygen.
Making Ice in the Operating Room
Cooler-heater devices provide temperature-controlled water to the heart-lung machine while the patient is undergoing surgery to keep the body at that regulated temperature.
CardioQuip, a company out of Bryan, Texas is revolutionizing the way these cooler-heater machines work in the operating room and how they help the perfusionist - the medical personnel operating the cooler-heater device and the heart-lung machine.
Whereas, other cooler-heater machines required operating room staff to go get ice to keep them working, CardioQuip dreamed of a system that would continually produce ice on it's own, keeping the perfusionist focused on their work instead of worrying about whether there was enough ice to keep the patient's blood cold.
“When we first started designing the machines we did an internet search to find ways to build ice. That’s what heat exchangers do” said Doug Platt, Co-Owner of CardioQuip. “We found Paul Mueller Company.”
Small, Customizable Heat Exchange Panels for Portability
Doug's company came up with the CardioQuip MCH 1000. It provides that constant, temperature-controlled water that cools the blood that’s running through the patient’s body.
The unit has a large 9-gallon ice tank and can take room temperature water to an ice block in 5-6 hours. You can see it happening here in timelapse. The way it does this is with Paul Mueller Company heat exchange panels called Temp-Plate®.
“When CardioQuip first contacted us, we knew the unique need they had meant heat exchange panels that were small and customizable” said David Cummings with Paul Mueller Company “That’s why our Temp-Plate panels were perfect for this function”
Adds Doug, “The Temp-Plate panels allow us to have much more mobility. They are light and they work. It’s allowed our MCH1000 to be portable and controllable with the touch of a button. Our system provides that refrigeration while plugged into the wall because of the heat exchange technology and the stainless steel panels are clean and light, so that means less risk, ease of use, and consistency."
Innovating Success and Helping People
CardioQuip is starting to see the benefits of this innovative use-case. More and more healthcare facilities are coming to them for their cooler-heater technology. Doug says CardioQuip continues to work with perfusionists to make sure the technology they are creating means a better experience for medical personnel and for the patient.