Rapid Chest Tube Inserter
Current chest tube insertion techniques are lengthy and require extensive training and experience. The Rapid Chest Tube Inserter enables a simple, rapid and safe insertion of a chest tube (or other types of drains) that is firm and stable. This technology extends the ability to insert the chest tube to trained emergency medical personnel other than experienced doctors.
Key issues for chest tube insertion include location, penetration angle, control of depth of insertion (to minimize the risk of injury to internal structures), and effective evacuation of air/blood from the pleural space. In addition, the chest tube should be well secured to the chest wall such that it will not be dislodged accidentally. Moreover, it should be easy to remove the chest tube once the pneumo/hemothorax is absorbed. The Rapid Chest Tube Inserter addresses all of these concerns. The proposed design allows for a controlled insertion into the chest and minimizes the need for an initial incision. The design also adjusts to limit the depth of the penetration and therefore minimizes the risk of injury to internal organs. Preliminary studies have shown the chest tube can be inserted with minimal normal force, with a high degree of control of insertion depth, and remains positionally stable within the chest wall.
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