NICE recommends Thopaz+ portable, digital system for managing chest drains

Impact assessment reveals Medela's chest drain management system could save £8.5m a year and lead to shorter hospital stays

  • NICE is recommending Thopaz+ portable, digital system for managing chest drains
  • In multiple clinical trials patients with the Thopaz+ chest drainage system have had shorter chest tube placements and shorter hospital stays than patients with conventional chest drains
  • Chest surgery typically requires the insertion of a thin plastic tube into the space between the organs and the chest wall. Chest tubes are painful as the tissues in that area are very sensitive
  • The NICE resource impact assessment shows that, at a national level, adopting Thopaz+ is expected to save around £8.5m a year in England

Thopaz+ is being recommended for use by regulator, NICE

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued a medical technology guidance document recommending the use of Thopaz+ for managing chest drains.

In a resource impact assessment, the device, manufactured by Medela AG, was found to lead to shorter hospital stays for patients and could save the NHS a potential £8.5m-a-year.

The positive conclusion is testament to the value, cost-effectiveness and innovation Thopaz+ brings to the chest drainage paradigm

The report concluded: "The case for adopting Thopaz+ for managing chest drains is supported by the evidence.

“Thopaz+ can reduce drainage time and length of stay in hospital, and improves safety for people with chest drains.

“Its use may also improve clinical decision-making through continuous, objective monitoring of air leaks and fluid loss."

Chest surgery typically requires the insertion of a thin plastic tube into the space between the organs and the chest wall.

Chest tubes are painful as the pleural space and mediastinum are very-sensitive sites. As a result, patients require regular pain relief for comfort and to allow them to complete physiotherapy or mobilisation.

“We are delighted that NICE and the appraisal committee has reached this decision”, said Paul Furlong, managing director for Medela in the UK.

“The positive conclusion is testament to the value, cost-effectiveness and innovation Thopaz+ brings to the chest drainage paradigm.”

Thopaz+ is a portable chest drain and digital monitoring system that applies negative pressure as needed and continuously monitors air leakage and fluid drainage.

NICE states that it should especially be considered for people who need chest drainage after pulmonary resection or due to a pneumothorax.

The main benefits behind the use of Thopaz+, as confirmed by NICE’s guidance, are a shorter drainage time and a shorter length of stay in hospitals following pulmonary resection.

By case, a reduced length of stay in hospital of up to 1.5 days - average 0.4 days - and estimated cost savings of £111 per patient per hospital stay were calculated.

“We anticipate that where Thopaz+ is used to manage chest drains there will be a reduced length of stay in hospital. This will allow providers to better utilise beds”, concludes the external assessment centre (EAC).

Click here to read the guidance in full.

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