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With a little help from the US

A US government body has announced it is to fund the use of innovative British equipment which improves outcomes for patients undergoing surgery – and dramatically cuts the cost of care. However, patients in this country are routinely being denied this technology, which has the potential to save lives and save the NHS money.

The US Centre for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) this week announced the decision to endorse the equipment, called CardioQ. It will now be possible for doctors across the USA to receive reimbursement for using the CardioQ. 

One doctor who assessed the CardioQ for the CMS described it as “an excellent guide for patient management, invaluable because it provides real time, rapidly obtained, accurate and reliable information”. The CMS said it came to its decision after scrutinising the best available medical evidence, and reflected its commitment to using innovative technologies.

The clinically proven CardioQ blood monitor helps anaesthetists better maintain fluid balance and blood circulation in patients during and after surgery. Imperfect fluid balance can cause significant clinical complications, including organ failure, and slows patient recovery. CardioQ has been shown to improve patient outcomes and significantly reduce length of hospital stay in numerous surgical specialities including orthopaedic, colorectal, cardiac and general surgery.

This decision by the CMS to introduce the CardioQ is in contrast to uptake in the NHS where it is currently used in less than 5% of possible procedures. It is estimated that CardioQ could benefit one million NHS patients a year.