Medtronic plc announces the U.S. commercial launch of the SonarMed airway monitoring system, which utilizes acoustic technology to check for endotracheal tube (ETT) obstruction and verify position in real-time. This, Medronic officials say, gives clinicians vital information required to make more informed decisions for their smallest patients.
Globally, 415,000 neonates and infants require invasive mechanical ventilation per year and are intubated for greater than 24 hours. Despite recommendations and reduction efforts, 75,000, or about one in five, of these neonates and infants will experience at least one unplanned extubation (UE). In the NICU, UEs are a significant safety concern for neonates and newborns and are the most common adverse event during mechanical ventilation. These events can lead to increased length of stay and hospital costs.
Adoption of the SonarMed airway monitoring system can help reduce the frequency of these events, which in turn can help improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs, company officials say.
“The SonarMed airway monitoring device has revolutionized the way we care for our littlest patients. There is no other device in the world that can tell you where the endotracheal tube is located within the airway continuously in real-time, and whether the tube is obstructed or even partially occluded,” says Jamie W. Powers, MD, MBA, neonatologist at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, Calif.
“At our hospital, this information has led to a drastic reduction in the number of x-rays performed and marked improvement in the effective suctioning of the airway,” Powers adds. “It also provides the care team and parents the added reassurance that the breathing tube is where it needs to be while repositioning the patient and during kangaroo care. In our institution it has become the new standard of care for all intubated infants.”
Moreover, the SonarMed airway monitoring system is the first and only FDA-cleared airway monitoring system that provides timely notifications and specific measurements that help enable a coordinated response to address potentially critical events such as ETT movement and migration, company officials say.
Further, SonarMed, which was acquired by Medtronic in December 2020, specializes in developing technologies that increase patient safety while significantly decreasing healthcare costs.
“With Medtronic’s extensive market presence, clinical leadership, and market development expertise, coupled with SonarMed’s innovative technology, we are confident that together, we can potentially help save the lives of thousands of infants,” says Tom Bumgardner, strategic planning program director, Medtronic Respiratory Interventions, and former SonarMed CEO.