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BWard: An Optical Approach for Reliable in-situ Early Blood Leakage Detection at Catheter Extraction Points

Technology Overview

BWard is a cost and power efficient stand-alone biomedical sensing, monitoring and alerting device that is capable of detecting and differentiating active re-bleeding from other fluids at the central venous catheter extraction site. The monitoring system is able to trigger an alarm and alert the medical staff in the event of bleeding. This will in turn improve healthcare productivity as the laborious manual monitoring process is augmented by an automated monitoring system. The sensor comprises of 2 parts – a sensor fusion technique that exploit the unique light absorption spectra of hemoglobin, and a moisture sensitive electric circuit that work with the electrical conductive properties of liquid. This combination of sensors allows differentiation of blood from other bodily fluid that may come into contact with the wound site.

Technology Features & Specifications

BWard is a real-time monitoring system that triggers an alert after blood leakage is detected. When the central venous catheter is removed, BWard will be placed between the dressing and the compressive bandage that holds the medical gauze in place. There are two conditions and systems in the technology: 1) detection of fluid i.e. water, urine, blood; 2) differentiation of blood from otherfluid. The first system is based on the light absorption characteristics of different fluids. Two wavelengths are used in BWard: 950 nm to expose the presence of fluid, and 528 nm to indicate the presence of hemoglobin (red blood cells). A parallel method to reveal fluid presence based on electric resistive pattern of different fluids is another system in BWard. Blood, urine, and water have different electrical conductivity. Therefore, a simple threshold mechanism will be sufficient to manifest the presence of water. In the event where blood leakage is detected, BWard will trigger an alarm via a remote warning system through a Low Energy Bluetooth (BLE) module, and medical attention will be provided.

Potential Applications

The BWard technology will be applicable to medical needs where differentiation between blood and other bodily fluids is necessary. Besides monitoring central venous catheter removal site as described, this technology will also be useful for monitoring wounds of patients who have undergone surgery in any other parts of the body.

Customer Benefits

Close monitoring of central venous catheter extraction site may not be available and severe bleeding may led to catastrophic consequences. A real time monitoring device that detects blood leakage from wounds and is capable of differentiating blood from other bodily fluid will be advantageous. BWard can potentially provide better patient care where intervention is administered in a timely manner.

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