System for regional anesthesia comes to the US veterinary market


20/20 Imaging and Medovate Ltd sign distribution agreement to bring this product to the veterinary industry

SAFIRA device. (Image courtesy of 20/20 Imaging)

SAFIRA device. (Image courtesy of 20/20 Imaging)

SAFIRA (Safer Injection for Regional Anesthesia) is a medical device designed to limit injection pressure and automatically stop injection at high pressures, helping to reduce the risk of nerve injury and improving patient safety. This technology will now be available to the US veterinary industry through an agreement between 20/20 Imaging, a veterinary imaging solutions company, and Medovate Ltd, a medical device development company. These businesses hope to further expand the use of regional anesthesia with ultrasound imaging in veterinary practices, according to a recent news release.1

In human medicine, ultrasound guided regional anesthesia (UGRA) for peripheral nerve blockade is becoming increasingly popular. In a study2 by Brian D Sites and John G Antonakakis, they concluded that:

  • Ultrasound allows for the real time evaluation of neural anatomy, needle position, and spread of local anesthesia.
  • Challenging patients can be successfully approached with regional anesthesia.
  • New techniques are emerging for continuous blocks.
  • Nerves in the distal extremity can easily be blocked and imaged.

On the veterinary medicine side, UGR is growing due to the improved quality of patient recovery compared to general anesthesia.1 According to a news release, nerve injury for instance, is harder to ascertain in animals. Small animals, such as cats, also have increased sensitivity to local anesthetics when compared with other species, necessitating much lower maximum doses be used.1

“As with human patients, regional anesthesia delivers numerous advantages to animal patients and by enabling a 1-person procedure, more veterinarians will be able to utilize this capability. SAFIRA is the perfect complement to our portfolio of leading ultrasound solutions, further enabling our veterinary customers to deliver the best care to their patients,” said Bob Salzman, president 20/20 Imaging, in the release.

“With a significant number of regional anesthesia blocks performed in veterinary practice each year globally, SAFIRA can play a significant role in the future of veterinary regional anesthesia practice... We look forward to helping veterinarians across the US elevate the quality and safety of interventions and treatments,” said Stuart Thomson, managing director at Medovate, in the release.1

SAFIRA has already been launched in the human health care field in the US, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the Middle East. It was developed in close collaboration with anesthesiologists in the UK National Health Service.


  1. 20/20 Imaging signs distribution agreement with Medovate to bring pioneering SAFIRA regional anesthesia solution to veterinarians. News release. 20/20 Imaging. June 20, 2023.
  2. Sites BD, Antonakakis JG. Ultrasound guidance in regional anesthesia: state of the art review through challenging clinical scenarios. Local Reg Anesth. 2009;2:1-14. doi:10.2147/lra.s3444
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