The University of Florida is actively seeking companies interested in commercializing a novel device to help ENT and emergency room physicians quickly and accurately create tracheal windows during tracheotomy. ENT surgeons perform more than 60,000 tracheotomies annually, making this one of their most frequent procedures. The most common method currently employed to create a window uses a combination of scalpel and heavy scissor dissection. However, this practice is difficult and extremely risky; the slightest imprecision can result in hypoxia and brain injury. Since this surgery is often performed under emergency conditions in which the patient is experiencing severe breathing difficulties, there is a need for an improved methodology. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a “tracheal punch” device that enables surgeons to safely, rapidly create a precise window during a tracheotomy.
Fast, precise creation of a tracheal window during surgery
# Provides a mechanism for creating an appropriately-sized rectangular window in every patient regardless of circumstances, thereby reducing imprecision and associated consequences such as brain damage
# Improves efficiency and safety of tracheotomy, providing greater patient survival rates
# Scientifically reduces hypoxia and associated brain injury, enhancing and prolonging patients’ lives
# Compact, easy to use device provides opportunity for broad market application
In elderly patients with calcified cartilage or in emergency tracheotomy cases where the airway in a conscious patient changes with respiration, using scalpel and heavy scissor dissection to create a tracheal window can be difficult. The “tracheal punch” device created by University of Florida researchers increases the speed and accuracy with which surgeons can create tracheal windows. After making an initial horizontal scalpel incision between cartilaginous tracheal rings (the standard first step to enter the airway), the surgeon inserts the device through the incision with a single handle squeeze maneuver called a “punch” to create a window in the trachea. This maneuver is similar to using a paper punch to make a hole in a sheet of paper. The device can then be sutured to the skin to assist with tracheotomy tube replacement.
Full story: http://apps.rgp.ufl.edu/otl/viewTechInfo.cfm?case=10785