We have since become aware of the fact that hypothermia affects the functioning of all organ systems. This has also been demonstrated by many studies, which started in the 1980’s and resulted in many publications in the 1990’s. Patient temperature management has since become an integral part of the peri-operative anaesthesia plan and is an important consideration for the entire surgical team.
Prevention of peri-operative hypothermia
In the late 1990s, the industry incorporated these new insights regarding patient temperature management. This topic was placed on the agenda by conducting research into and developing products for the prevention of peri-operative hypothermia. Products that were developed included: forced air- warming, devices for the administration of heated fluids, conductive heating mattresses and thermal clothing for patients.
Patient temperature management rapidly developed into a substantial part of curative medicine and thus became an interesting, global market. This was also evident to Luc van Schil and Teun van Liebergen, from the companies Granulab and The Surgical Company PTM, which merged in 2000. The new business, called The Surgical Company, focused on the development – together with end users – of equipment and devices for patient temperature management. The acquisition of a French distributor in 2001 resulted in significant scaling up.
The Surgical Company PTM became a success and now sells its products for patient temperature management in more than 50 countries. It is the number 2 company in the world for heated blankets and has a 25% market share in the United States. Well-known product names in the field of patient temperature management include Mistral-Air® MA1200, Fluido® AirGuard System, Fluido® Compact and Fluido® Irrigation. The company employs aroun 50 people at its own patient temperature management production facility in Almelo and another 40 employees at its office in Amersfoort. In addition, The Surgical Company has offices in Oxford (UK) and Tours (France).