In March, we reached out to a number of hospitals to ask for their problems.

Our question was: “What is irritating you in surgery for women’s health that you wished you had a solution for?”

Mr Bruce Ramsay and his team at Peterborough City Hospital responded to tell us about their problem with gas cylinders during their laparoscopy procedures. A few weeks later, they could test out a solution, and have now proceeded to purchase six SplitFit Connectors for their gas bottles in theatres.

Here is what happened:

JUNE: What was the problem you had in theatre?

Mr Bruce Ramsay: During laparoscopic surgery the CO2 cylinder will sometimes run out of gas to keep the patients’ abdomen inflated.

JUNE: What does that mean? How does it impact surgery?

Mr Bruce Ramsay: When we have to switch bottles, it takes a little while for the swap over. During that time the abdomen deflates, and then we have to wait for it to distend again when the new gas bottle is connected.

JUNE: What is the associated risk?

Mr Bruce Ramsay: There is always a risk in not having visibility during surgery, and ideally as a surgeon, you want to be in control of your surgical field during the entire operation.

1 minute waiting time = £15

Installed at Peterborough City Hospital as part of a Patient Safety initiative 2018

JUNE: How long does it take to change over the gas tubes and to reinflate the abdomen?

Mr Bruce Ramsay: A couple of minutes usually. Sometimes longer if there is a connection problem or when we have inexperienced staff.

JUNE: What if there is a bleed just when this happens?

Mr Bruce Ramsay: That’s our concern. If we don’t have visibility we can’t identify it and we can’t fix it. As we strive to make all aspects of surgery safer and more efficient and to eliminate all possible risks, this is a step we can influence, now that we have a solution.