DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.16973 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 16973: Using an in-vitro and ex-vivo Test Platform for Evaluation of a Pen-Sized Ultrasound Vascular Access Device (Vu-Path)

Sofia I Hernandez-Torres, Eric J Snider, David M Berard, Robert Rothstein, Theodore Abraham
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Introduction: Despite several off-the-shelf ultrasound systems being used for large vessel access, reliable and safe vascular access remains a problem. This is especially true during combat casualty care where skilled operators may not be available. We tested a novel small-footprint platform for efficacy and timeliness of large vessel access at normovolemic and hypovolemic states

Hypothesis: A custom-designed device with optimized ergonomics and workflow will yield high success rates and low training needs for large vessel access

Methods: Vu-Path has a pen-size 10 mm ultrasound transducer with a proprietary needle guide and a lightweight engine deployed with a tablet or laptop. The display has an overlay showing the needle insertion path. Once the vessel is visible within the overlay, insertion of the needle using the needle guide directs insertion to the vessel. We used 3 models to simulate femoral vessel access: 1) a commercially available phantom (CAE Blue Phantom); 2) a custom in-vitro tissue phantom mimicking swine normovolemic and hypovolemic femoral vascular states; 3) an ex-vivo model of a euthanized swine lower-body section with canulated femoral vessels looped with a peristaltic pump to simulate normovolemic and hypovolemic states.

Results: Vu-Path tested in these 3 models resulted in 87% successful insertions across all models and conditions; 100% success on the commercial model versus 83% in the custom tissue phantoms. In every model, 2 metrics were evaluated as summarized in Figure: total time to align vessel in the needle track window, and total time after aligning to confirmed insertion. Mean attempts needed to gain system expertise was 6.

Conclusions: Vu-Path had high success rates for vessel visualization and needle access guidance in 3 models simulating normovolemic and hypovolemic conditions. Training requirements were minimal. These data suggest Vu-Path is capable of potentially improving safety and reliability of large vessel access.

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