Cancer chemotherapy affects rapidly dividing cells and at any given time, 90% of human hair follicles are in the actively dividing phase. Hair loss frequently occurs due to partial or total atrophy of the hair root bulb, causing constriction of the hair shaft, which then breaks off easily.
Scalp cooling works by lowering the temperature of the head and scalp immediately before, after and during the administration of chemotherapy. This in turn reduces the blood flow to the hair follicles, thus preventing or minimising the damage, meaning that hair loss is not inevitable.
Although successful scalp cooling depends on many factors, research and studies - several of which can be found in our downloads and resources centre – have shown that scalp cooling can be effective across a wide range of chemotherapy drugs such as; Epirubicin, Doxorubicin, Taxol and Taxotere.
Many patients experience great concern over the possibility of hair loss during what is already a distressing time and scalp cooling provides the only real alternative to hair loss with the use of many chemotherapy drugs. It can result in a high level of retention or complete hair preservation which can improve patients’ self confidence leading to positive attitudes towards treatment.
The Paxman hair loss prevention system is currently available in two models.
The Orbis I provides cooling for a single patient and is suitable for the small chemotherapy suite or private bed. The Orbis II can provide cooling for one or two patients simultaneously with each cap working independently. Both models operate in the same way and are identical in size.
The system consists of a small compact refrigeration unit containing a coolant which is circulated at -4°C through coolant lines to specially designed cooling caps. The coolant lines are supported by an adjustable arm providing maximum patient comfort.
Consideration and care has gone into the design of the system in order to meet the needs of both the patient and nursing staff. It is simple to operate with easy to read touch screen displays. The compact nature and manoeuvrability of the system ensures an efficient use of space.
The system is flexible for patients and requires minimal nursing supervision.
The most important features of the Paxman hair loss prevention system are the specially designed lightweight cooling caps. (Small cap 795g)
The caps are soft, flexible and provide a snug, close fit around the patient’s head. Cooling caps are manufactured from high grade silicone material which ensures most head shapes are catered for and are supplied in 5 different sizes, colour coded for ease of identification.
Coolant passes through the cap extracting heat from the patient’s scalp. Inline temperature sensors ensure the cap maintains the scalp at an even, constant temperature.
The cap is provided with a neoprene cover which assists in the efficiency and operation of the system by both insulating and protecting it from high room temperatures absorbing condensation and making good contact with the scalp, which is essential for successful treatment.
Caps are attached to the system with easy to operate, quick release, non drip plastic couplings. Upon termination of cooling, caps are disconnected from the cooling lines and washed with soap and water or detergent in preparation for the next patient.