Inventor(s): Dr Peter Young, Dr Emad Fawzy, Dr Joseph Carter and Dr John Gibson
Member Trust: Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust

Key Benefits to Technology:

  • SAFIRA provides a simpler, quicker and cheaper method to inject regional anaesthetics.
  • Allows the anaesthetist to control the entire delivery of anaesthetic as a single operator.
  • Eliminates the risks associated with the standard procedure such as irreversible nerve fascicle damage caused by excessive injection pressures.

Technology Summary:

Regional anaesthesia is directed at a specific region of the body to allow a surgical operation or provide post-operative pain relief. In 2012, there were over 6 million a year regional anaesthetic blocks performed across Europe and the US. Current regional anaesthesia practice requires two operators: an anaesthetist who holds an ultrasound scanner and uses this to guide the needle tip placement and a second operator to inject the anaesthetic solution at a required pressure. High pressure can cause damage to nerve fascicles, with serious nerve damage in up to 1% of procedures and transient nerve damage in up to 8-10% of cases.

SAFIRA replaces the need for a second operator allowing the anaesthetist to control the entire delivery of anaesthetic with user-friendly actuator controls, for use with the needle or ultrasound probe, as well as mitigating the risk of irreversible nerve damage by limiting the pressure upon injection. The SAFIRA system also has the potential to unlock markets in developing countries where clinical resources are scarce.

SAFIRA is protected by a pending patent portfolio and a prototype device has been used to generate ex-vivo proof of concept data which has been supported by investment from HEE. SAFIRA is currently seeking private investment to continue its development towards attaining CE approval and market launch in Europe.