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BOC launches cylinder to aid asthma sufferers

BOC Gases : 12 June, 2003  (Company News)
BOC has today announced the launch of a new Heliox cylinder in the UK to aid the treatment of patients with airway obstructions, such as acute asthma.
BOC has today announced the launch of a new Heliox cylinder in the UK to aid the treatment of patients with airway obstructions, such as acute asthma.

The Heliox 21, which contains 33 per cent more gas than the existing F cylinder, is an addition to the companyís existing HX cylinder range. Heliox 21, which is a mixture of 21 per cent oxygen and 79 per cent helium, has proved to be effective in treating symptoms associated with upper and lower airway obstruction.

The new cylinder incorporates an integral valve with a Heliox BS 6582 Schraeder outlet connector and a six to 15 litre flow clickstop, which eliminates the need for an external regulator. It also features a permanently live gauge that allows the user to check the cylinder contents.

The result of a number of diseases and therapeutic interventions is the partial obstruction of the upper and lower respiratory airways. This obstruction will lead to an increased resistance to airflow which may give rise to wheezing, shortness of breath and other symptoms of respiratory distress.

David Owers, marketing manager, BOC Medical, said: 'Heliox is effective in treating symptoms associated with these airway obstructions for a number of reasons. Heliox gas mixtures are typically three times less dense than air. This lower density reduces the amount of turbulent flow around the obstruction and increases the volume of gas that can be taken into the lungs with each breath effort. This reduction in the work of breathing, can be seen by a rapid reduction in the patient's respiratory distress.

'Due to its lower density, gas molecules diffuse more readily through Heliox than through oxygen or air. Removal of carbon dioxide, for example, is improved.'

An additional benefit of Heliox is that it may also increase the duration of the 'therapeutic window', allowing extra time for other medications to take effect. As a result the need for invasive interventions, such as mechanical ventilation, and the inherent risks, side effects and costs of such treatments are reduced.

BOC is the leading provider of medical gases to the UK health care industry and has been supplying the NHS for nearly 50 years.
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