The University of Florida is seeking companies interested in commercializing a medical device that combines the functions of ultrasound imaging and needle placement by keeping the needle inside the ultrasound beam at all times, thus keeping it visible at all times. This also allows a solo physician to operate the device with one hand and use his free hand to administer the injection, or place a catheter for continuous nerve block or guide wire for performing a Seldinger technique though it. A simplified design combines the ultrasound probe and the needle support and provides functionality to lock the needle support in a desired position. Once the needle is locked in place, the physician can use the hand that was previously used to guide the needle to depress the plunger or place the catheter or guide wire, while still holding the ultrasound probe and needle in place with their other hand. A procedure that required two people now requires only one, saving time and money and simplifying the procedure. In medical procedures such as peripheral nerve blocks and central venous cannulation, ultrasound imaging helps the physician accurately place the needle, catheter and guide wire. Physicians typically use their dominant hand to place the needle, and the other hand to hold the ultrasound probe against the patient’s skin for guidance. Because both of the physician’s hands are occupied, a second person must depress the plunger, or advance the catheter or guide wire. The new device allows one physician to perform the procedure alone and accurately.
Medical device that combines ultrasound imaging and needle, catheter and guide wire placement, allowing for solo operation
- Allows solo administration of medical procedures requiring precise needle placement, reducing personnel needs and simplifying the process
- Locks needle in place, reducing margin of error and increasing safety
- Simplifies the process, saving time and money
This medical device enables a single physician to perform a procedure, which has typically required an assistant. It is comprised of an ultrasound probe connected with a needle support by an arm mount. The arm can be manipulated freely to place and orient the needle in virtually any desired position, while the needle remains inside the ultrasound beam and thus fully visible. Once the needle is in the desired position it can be locked in place - a capability that is unavailable with free-hand techniques, which are always subject to accidental adjustments. This simple ability to lock the needle in place reduces the tendency for error and increases safety for the patients. Once the needle has been locked in place, the physician can use the hand that would normally be used to hold the needle in position to either depress the plunger on a syringe within the needle or pass a catheter or guide wire through the needle, according to the needs of the procedure.