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World first: researchers develop completely automated anesthesia system
Date:5/1/2008

This release is available in French.

Researchers at McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) have performed the worlds first totally automated administration of an anesthetic. Nicknamed McSleepy, the new system developed by the researchers administers drugs for general anesthesia and monitors their separate effects completely automatically, with no manual intervention.

"We have been working on closed-loop systems, where drugs are administered, their effects continuously monitored, and the doses are adjusted accordingly, for the last 5 years, said Dr. Thomas M. Hemmerling of McGills Department of Anesthesia and the Montreal General Hospital, who heads ITAG (Intelligent Technology in Anesthesia research group), a team of anesthesiologists, biomedical scientists and engineers. Think of McSleepy as a sort of humanoid anesthesiologist that thinks like an anesthesiologist, analyses biological information and constantly adapts its own behavior, even recognizing monitoring malfunction."

The anesthetic technique was used on a patient who underwent a partial nephrectomy, a procedure that removes a kidney tumor while leaving the non-cancerous part of the kidney intact, over a period of 3 hours and 30 minutes. To manipulate the various components of general anesthesia, the automated system measures three separate parameters displayed on a new Integrated monitor of anesthesia (IMATM): depth of hypnosis via EEG analysis, pain via a new pain score, called AnalgoscoreTM, and muscle relaxation via phonomyographyTM, all developed by ITAG. The system then administers the appropriate drugs using conventional infusion pumps, controlled by a laptop computer on which McSleepy is installed. Using these three separate parameters and complex algorithms, the automated system calculates faster and more precisely than a human can the appropriate d
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Contact: Pascal Zamprelli
pascal.zamprelli@mcgill.ca
514-398-1385
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

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