Nerve injury prevention device
Lead investigator: Boris Aronzon, MD
The use of intravenous (IV) tubing and other medical lines for diagnostic and treatment purposes has become extremely common in the field of surgery. While medical lines are essential for treatment, they are not without risk. During many common procedures, particularly robotic and laparoscopic surgeries, the patient’s arms must be restrained and tucked against the body tightly with sheets. The resulting prolonged pressure between the medical lines and the patient can cause nerve damage or damage the medical lines themselves. This is not only costly in terms of resulting complications, extended operating room time, and damaged equipment, it also exposes hospitals to potential malpractice lawsuits. A device is needed that simultaneously allows for the undisturbed function of medical lines during procedures and that protects patients from nerve damage.
The nerve injury prevention device (NIPD) alleviates both concerns.
The NIPD is a specially designed tube / case constructed for the purpose of housing the medical lines safely while reducing pressure on the patient’s skin. The tube is designed to be opened or closed either by multiple methods, and medical lines can be seamlessly placed so they are encased within the protective tubing. This removes the possibility of damage to the cables and provides a barrier between the medical lines and skin. One side of the casing conforms to the patient’s body, padding and distributing the pressure created by the medical lines. The NIPD can be constructed from a selected variety of closed cell materials and be easily sterilized, tucked, and wrapped when securing a patient for surgery.
While this device is equally important across surgeries where arms are tacked or medical tubing creates pressure points on the patient’s skin, it is particularly applicable in robotic surgery. And robotic surgeries are increasing in frequency globally.
The use of robotic surgery for all general surgery procedures increased from 1.8% in 2012 to 15.1% in 2018. Hospitals that launched robotic surgery programs have had a broad and immediate increase in their use, which was associated with a decrease in traditional laparoscopic minimally invasive surgery.(1) The risk of nerve injury during robotic surgery increases exponentially (up to 1 in 15), due to patient positioning on the operating room table during these procedures.(2,3)
By applying the NIPD, thousands of patients can avoid debilitating injuries that prolong recovery and sometimes lead to malpractice claims. Nerve-compression injuries during robotic surgical procedures are a costly problem that will only get worse. The NIPD provides an inexpensive and effective solution that can instantly be adopted by hospitals worldwide.
- Protects medical lines from damage while they remain easily accessible
- Design of the tubing conforms to the patient and distributes pressure from medical lines
- Closed cell construction of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) foam allows for full sterilization and resists absorption of fluid in the operating room
The NIPD can be used in any medical procedure where nerve damage due to compression of the medical lines is a concern, most prevalently during robotic surgeries.
Stage of development
Provisional Patent applied for April 2020.
Seeking investment or partner for further development.
Institutional contact: George C. Prendergast, PhD, LIMR President and CEO, 484.476.8475, [email protected]
L2C Partners contact: Merle Gilmore, 610.662.0940, [email protected]
- Trends in the Adoption of Robotic Surgery for Common Surgical Procedures, K.H. Sheetz, J. Claflin, J.B. Dimick JAMA Netw Open. 2020. Jan 3;3(1):e1918911.
- Complications of robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery distant from the surgical site, D.A. Maerz, L.N. Beck, A.J. Sim, D.M. Gainsburg. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 2017 Apr 1;118(4):492-503.
- Robotic surgery tied to temporary nerve injuries. G. Pittman. Reuters Health News, March 29, 2013.