SysToe – Putting your Patient’s Feet First

In this digital day and age, you might not be surprised to hear me ask if you’ve had your digital pressure taken recently? Of course, I mean your toe and finger pressure – simple to forget but important not to ignore.

Today, we’re specifically talking about Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), which is when the arteries to the legs get either completely or partially blocked, most commonly due to atherosclerotic (cholesterol) plaques. These blockages lead to intermittent claudication, a leg pain in the patient’s calf as a result of walking, which eases at rest. Many might consider this calf pain as fairly normal, and ignore the symptoms, especially if they felt normal again when resting. If Peripheral Arterial Disease is left unchecked, it may become more advanced, eventually leading to pain at rest, leg ulcers and even gangrene.

PAD has previously been diagnosed with a physical examination by a GP, who would compare blood pressure in the patient’s arm and ankle. A difference in the two readings would be a possible indication of PAD. Whilst this technique has been in use for over half a century, it comes with problems; most notably the need for operator training and that the patient can experience some discomfort throughout the process. We now have the ‘SysToe’ machine, meaning PAD can be quite easily diagnosed with a simple reading of the Toe Brachial Index (TBI). This reading can also be used following diagnosis to track disease and help aid recovery.

So why is the SysToe system so great?

The SysToe system is a fully automated clinically validated patented device. It is not operator dependent so gives reliable and repeatable measurements. This not only saves on NHS time and money, but also helps to create more accurate diagnosis than ever before. It’s the full automation which make the SysToe so great; once the cuff and the sensor are placed on the toe (an easy job for anyone to do), just press the START button for cuff inflation and deflation to take place at the data value displayed within three minutes.

For the quick assessment of lower limb arterial diseases, the SysToe is a must have piece of equipment. Fast measurements, accurate and reproducible results, time & money saving; can your surgery or clinic not afford to have one?

Does anyone still use Mercury Sphygmomanometers?

The UM-102A is the latest second generation Mercury free sphygmomanometer from Japanese company A&D Medical. It builds on the reliability and accuracy of the previous model, which it replaces, but now features a new ergonomic, modern, lightweight design.

Designed for professional use, it allows clinicians to record accurate blood pressure measurements using the “Gold Standard” Auscultatory measurement technique whilst listening for Korotkoff sounds with a stethoscope.

An extensive range of latex free compatible cuffs, with “quick fit” connectors and inflation bulbs already attached, make swapping cuffs quick and simple.

The adjustable, clear, anti-glare LCD screen is graduated just like Mercury so it is easy to read from any angle.

Sales of new Mercury sphygmomanometers were banned in the UK in 2014, but the UM-102A is an alternative clinically validated modern interpretation of the traditional Mercury sphygmomanometer.

No More New Mercury Sphygmomanometers

The confusion that has surrounded the use of Mercury in medical devices has been rumbling on for several years. It’s use was restricted in thermometers some years ago but 2014 now finally sees the banning of it in new Mercury sphygmomanometers for environmental reasons.

The sale of Mercury Sphygmomanometers is now banned under EU directive no 847/2012 which also bans the use of Mercury strain gauges.

Alternatives to the Mercury sphygmomanometer and Mercury strain gauge are widely available, in the case of strain gauges they now use Indium Gallium.

The highly popular validated A&D UM-102A offers Auscultatory manual blood pressure measurement without Mercury in a compact design it even looks like a Mercury sphygmomanometer! Hybrid automatic and manual sphygmomanometers like the A&D Medical  UM-211 are also available.

Interestingly enough the directive does allow the use of Mercury as a reference standard for the validation of new blood pressure monitors and for research. So the Gold Standard still lives on since it’s invention over 130 years ago in 1881!