Authors: Sarah Hinds, student on the MSc in Bioengineering at UCD, School of Engineering and Materials Science; Derek Farrell, David Farrell and Frank Kelly, Department of Clinical Engineering, St Vincent’s University Hospital; Prof Aiden McCormack Hepatologists Liver Transplant Unit, St Vincent’s University Hospital
A project was carried out to address the need to find a safer and more efficient method of conducting an outpatient procedure called large volume paracentesis (LVP). This procedure involves the aspiration of five litres or more of fluid from the peritoneal cavity of patients suffering from ascites. The current procedure uses passive drainage (gravity only) and can take up to 10 hours. The project conducted a review of the current procedure and identified numerous areas for potential improvement.
An analysis of potential solutions was also carried out and a number of commercially available products were reviewed for the above purpose. An active drainage solution using wall suction was proposed and tested within the hospital. The revised procedure reduced drainage time by 75 per cent revealing the benefits of utilising wall suction for LVP.