Easy handling & cleaning, durability, space saving: the optimal connectivity for Getinge‘s Cardiohelp heart-lung support system

Getinge's mobile heart-lung support system, Cardiohelp, uses Fischer Connectors' Fischer Core Series connectors to guarantee optimal connectivity. In many rescue operations, every second counts when it comes to saving a patient's life. To ensure the system can be activated quickly and easily, the technology has to be reliable and straightforward. Moreover, the components need to be easy to clean and robust enough to prevent aggressive medical cleaning agents from causing any damage. Getinge found exactly the right solution for its Cardiohelp with the Fischer Core Series connectors.

Fischer Connectors and Getinge, a leading manufacturer of medical devices, work closely together to find connectors that are perfectly suited to the demands of everyday medical applications. It is particularly important that the connectors be easy yet safe to mate, in order to prevent misuse, that they meet the exacting standards of medical components and are easy to clean. The equipment, its quality and user-friendliness are crucial to ensuring that the mobile machines run smoothly and that the best possible care is taken of the patient during transport. In the field of connectivity, Getinge has therefore been working closely with Fischer Connectors GmbH experts since the mobile Cardiohelp heart-lung support system’s earliest stages of development, in order to optimally integrate the necessary connectors into the device. The Fischer Core Series connectors, which are particularly suited to use in medical devices, have been designed to be mounted on a single panel on the front of the device. In order to prevent errors even in stressful situations, the connectors are mechanically coded. Each connector on the panel is made in a specific size that is only compatible with its matching part. This makes it impossible for medical personnel to connect external devices to the Cardiohelp incorrectly in hectic situations. The connectors are made of brass with a chromed surface. In tests, they have undergone up to 1,000 cleaning cycles, without the surface being affected or damaged. This helps ensure that the connectors last as long as the device itself. If used properly, they do not need replacing.

Getinge's Cardiohelp with Fischer Core Series

 

Maquet’s Cardiohelp System with the Cardiohelp-i device, the red HLS Module Advanced and Getinge’s venous and arterial HLS Cannulae

 

CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES 

When every second counts: reliable technology for life-saving devices

In Germany alone, around 280,000 people suffer a heart attack each year. When emergency doctors are called out, every second counts. Mobile devices like Getinge's Cardiohelp System are often used in such cases. They can stabilize patients on their way to hospital and save valuable time. But reliable care is also needed when patients are transported within a hospital or transferred from clinic to clinic. Getinge’s Cardiohelp is a portable heart-lung support system that is mobile and fast to use in a wide range of indications in cardiac surgery, cardiology, intensive care and emergency medicine. It is suitable for all clinical cases involving severe heart and lung failure. It replaces patients’ blood circulation outside the body and ensures a sufficient oxygen supply to all vital organs. This prevents the multi-organ failure often diagnosed due to a lack of oxygen. The heart-lung machine weighs only 11.5 kg. Due to its low weight and compact dimensions, the device can be carried by a single person. It fits easily into rescue helicopters and ambulances. The system is also a very good option for small hospitals, especially in rural areas, to improve emergency patient care.

Reliability is essential in emergencies

To make sure that the mobile machines run smoothly and the best possible patient care is guaranteed even during transport, the equipment, its quality and user-friendliness are crucial. When it comes to connectivity, Getinge has therefore been working closely with the experts at Fischer Connectors from the earliest development stages to ensure that the necessary connectors are optimally integrated into the equipment. Since the Cardiohelp system was intended to be the smallest mobile device of its kind in the world at the time of its market launch, the connectors also needed to be designed to save space. The Fischer Core Series connectors, which are particularly suited to use in medical devices, were designed so that they could be mounted on a single panel on the front of the device. In order to prevent errors even in stressful situations, the connectors are mechanically coded. Each connector on the panel is made in a specific size that is only compatible with its corresponding matching part. This prevents medical personnel from connecting external devices to the Cardiohelp incorrectly in hectic situations. Moreover, the connectors offer particularly good and simple mating, thereby enabling high-quality signal transmission.

Connectors last throughout the device’s life cycle

The Fischer Core Series connectors are of such high quality that they have exceptional durability. Since medical components have to be cleaned frequently, it is essential that they be particularly robust. Medical cleaning agents are quite aggressive and can attack coatings that are not fit for purpose. The Fischer Core Series has a special coating to prevent this from affecting the mating capability, signal quality and thus the longevity of the components. The connectors are made of brass and have a chrome-plated surface. In tests, they have undergone up to 1,000 cleaning cycles without the surface being affected or damaged. This helps to ensure that the connectors last as long as the device itself. When used properly, they no longer require replacing. The panel with the Fischer Core connectors on the front of the Cardiohelp has been approved as a unit by the American FDA. This means that it can easily be integrated into other systems without requiring re-approval by the authorities. This also facilitates the future development of other devices of a similar kind.

Disposable one-way plug to regulate blood flow

Some connectors must, nevertheless, be replaced after each use on hygiene grounds. In the Cardiohelp System, this is the case for the connections in the HLS Set Advanced. The set is operated via the Cardiohelp and is connected to it via a Fischer Core Series connector. Since blood flow is regulated there, the components must be replaced after each patient for hygiene reasons. Getinge therefore opted for the Fischer Core Disposable Series connectors. These push-pull circular connectors are particularly suitable for medical devices whose components have to be disposed of after a single use. 

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"Our customers’ quality requirements are very high due to critical operating conditions; our products are seen as system-critical. We’re glad that with Fischer Connectors we’ve found a partner whose products we can count on for their quality and reliability. We appreciate the trustworthy, partnership-based cooperation with Fischer Connectors that safeguards our production, especially in the current situation, and helps us develop new products".

Olaf Geigerhilk, Senior Director Purchasing at Getinge

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THE PROJECT IN BRIEF 

Project overview

Getinge has been working with Fischer Connectors' connectivity experts from the Cardiohelp portable heart-lung support system’s earliest stages of development. Since the Cardiohelp system was intended to be the smallest mobile device of its kind in the world at the time of its market launch, the connectors had to be designed to save space. The Fischer Core Series connectors, which are particularly suited to use in medical devices, were designed to be mounted on a single panel on the front of the device. The panel with the Fischer Core connectors on the front of the Cardiohelp has been approved as a unit by the American FDA. The connectors are characterized by their high-quality mating capability, particularly reliable signal transmission and high durability. To prevent misuse in stressful situations, the connectors are mechanically coded. Each connector on the panel is made in a specific size that is compatible only with its matching part. This prevents medical personnel from connecting external devices to the Cardiohelp incorrectly in hectic situations. Getinge uses the Fischer Core Disposable Series to regulate blood flow. These push-pull circular connectors are particularly suitable for medical devices whose components must be disposed of after a single use on hygiene grounds.  

Key challenges

  • Easy to clean
  • Resistant to medical cleaning agents
  • Exceptionally space-saving
  • Easy mating, preventing misuse

Main technical requirements

Space-saving, robust, reliable, durable, no misuse possible 

 

THE SOLUTION 

Selected connectivity solution

Fischer Core Series Brass and Fischer Core Series Disposable

Customer benefits

  • Easy handling of the connectors while preventing misuse
  • Durability
  • Easy cleaning
  • Space saving

Fischer Core Series BrassFischer Core Series Disposable