Thousands of patients who rely on oxygen to alleviate the symptoms of respiratory diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are killed or injured every year in fires that could have been extinguished by a simple firebreak. The Firesafe cannula valve, an inexpensive device that lasts for up to four years, is placed in the oxygen tubing or cannula. A built-in thermal valve stops the flow of oxygen in the event of fire spreading down the oxygen tubing.
Marketing authorisation for the bidirectional Firesafe™ cannula valve as a Class II device in Japan was achieved through a partnership with BPR Medical’s distributor in Japan, Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation.
Richard Radford, Managing Director, BPR Medical, said, “It’s an unfortunate fact that up to half of home oxygen patients continue to smoke despite warnings and advice about the inherent dangers. Everyday household items, such as birthday candles, gas ovens and electrical devices, can also pose a risk to patients on oxygen therapy.
“The United Kingdom led the way by making the use of firebreaks mandatory in oxygen concentrator installations in 2006, and since then there has been an increasing recognition of the potential life-saving benefits of these devices in other parts of the world.
“The licence to market the Firesafe™ cannula valve in Japan is an important step forward in ensuring oxygen patients across the globe are afforded the same protection from fire as those in the UK and Germany where they are fitted as standard.”
Firebreaks are mandatory in the European Union and are a standard requirement on certain devices elsewhere in the world. The new European Medical Device Regulations, enacted on 26th May 2017, clarified that a firebreak device is required on all oxygen modalities, including oxygen concentrators, gaseous cylinders, and liquid oxygen Dewars and devices. Despite this, provision of firebreaks in Europe remains inconsistent.
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