Trust doctors lead the way in Xenon anaesthesia research
An anaesthesia research team from the Trust is midway through an
international study which is exploring the benefits of using a
revolutionary new anaesthetic. Central Manchester Foundation Trust
is the only centre in the UK where this research is being carried
The new method of anaesthesia uses the naturally-occurring gas
'Xenon' and a may provide a whole raft of benefits for the patient
and healthcare professional when compared with alternative methods.
Early studies have shown impressive protection of the heart
and brain during surgery.
The research team consists of Dr Nigel Harper Consultant
Anaesthetist (principal investigator), Dr Steve Gold, Consultant
Anaesthetist, Dr Alice Arch, senior anaesthetic trainee, and Mr
Phil Thomas, Chief Technical Officer. The trial is sponsored by Air
Potential benefits to patients:
- Protection of heart muscle from ischemia (damage to cells
caused by low oxygen levels) - particularly important in heart
- Protection of the brain from ischemia
- Xenon works quickly and wears off very rapidly with no
- Xenon has no odour and is pleasant to breathe
- Xenon has pain relieving properties
- Unlike other anaesthetic gases, Xenon is kind to the
Xenon is also being used by a team in Bristol to help prevent
brain injury in babies who are starved of oxygen immediately after
Until now, high cost has restricted the use of the Xenon. Recent
technological advances have reduced the cost of Xenon anaesthesia,
increasing the possibility of offering this unique anaesthetic to
more patients in the future.
Dr Gold, who is helping to run the clinical trial, said: "Xenon
has great potential; it is a superior anaesthetic which also
protects the body from potential harm during surgery."