The Pressure Alert is a unique adaptation for a medical device known as an Endotracheal Tube. To prepare for an operation, the tube is inserted into the patient’s airway to allow them to breathe. The upper airway is then sealed to prevent leaks by inflating a small balloon called a ‘Cuff’. The amount of pressure on this cuff is critical; too low would cause leaks resulting in the patient receiving too little gas; too high and the cuff balloon could bruise or, in the worst of cases, split the trachea. Currently, the way to judge this‘safe’ pressure is by feeling (squeezing) a similar ‘Pilot’ balloon, outside the body. As with many tactile senses, accuracy comes with time and practice,but even seasoned anesthetists can misjudge this delicate process.
Pressure Alert system by Jude Pullen.
Pressure Alert helps prevent trauma by giving a pop-up warning in the pilot balloon itself, to alert the user that pressure is too high, both at the start and during the course of the operation.
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