• AGA Medical(Minneapolis) said it would present an update on its RESPECT clinical trial, plus an in-depth examination of the issues facing clinicians who treat patent foramen ovale (PFO) patients affected by stroke, during a symposium at the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions annual scientific sessions in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The RESPECT (Randomized Evaluation of Recurrent Stroke comparing PFO Closure to Established Current Standard of Care Treatment) trial is designed to investigate whether transcatheter closure of PFO using the company’s implantable Amplatzer PFO Occluder is superior to standard of care medical treatment in preventing recurrent stroke or transient ischemic attack in patients with PFO. RESPECT was the first trial of its kind unconditionally approved by the FDA, the company said. The study includes 45 investigational sites that will enroll up to 500 patients. Patients are randomized so that half are implanted with the Amplatzer PFO Occluder and half receive one of four standard medical therapy regimens.

• Baxa (Englewood, Colorado) reported the release of the new PhaSeal System Connector, which attaches a PhaSeal Injector to an IV line for safe administration of hazardous drugs. The new Luer Lock Connector was redesigned in response to customer requests for a closed system that can be used with needleless IV access devices. The new connector is longer, to accommodate valve-actuated access devices, while ensuring that the injector needle is never exposed. The PhaSeal System is a set of disposable containment devices that connect the original drug vial, syringe and IV injection or infusion set together for a completely sealed drug pathway. The system’s double membrane provides dry connections between system components, preventing drug leakage. The connector ensures that the PhaSeal System remains closed. The new PhaSeal Connectors are currently in inventory and replace the previously sold connectors. The PhaSeal System is manufactured by Carmel Pharma (Goteborg, Sweden).

• Draeger Medical (Telford, Pennsylvania) reported the release of its newest addition to the 3-D Anesthesia family. The new platform, Apollo, is modular in design and can be expanded with software options. Apollo has the ventilation technology to care for patients of a range of ages and medical conditions. Designed as a workflow-oriented workstation, Apollo not only provides assistance through therapy, it also offers an open-platform architecture enabling it to be entirely integrated into a hospital’s existing workflow. Users are able to create a custom-designed workplace, suitable for low and minimal flow anesthesia, thereby minimizing the costs of anesthetic gas consumption. In the Apollo, a central TFT color screen controls the electric ventilator (E-Vent Plus), gas and ventilation monitoring, as well as future monitoring parameters. The electronic control system allows the ventilation parameters to be retained when switching between modes.

• IMI International Medical Innovations (Toronto) said patients with elevated skin sterol and a high Framingham global risk score have a significantly higher risk of multivessel disease (narrowing in two or more coronary vessels), according to data presented at the 6th annual Conference on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology in Washington. The study, which included 649 patients, measured skin sterol non-invasively using the company’s Prevu Point of Care Skin Sterol Test (previously known as Cholesterol 1,2,3). Prevu POC, marketed worldwide by McNeil Consumer Healthcare Canada, does not require the drawing of blood or a special pre-test diet and takes less than five minutes to perform.