Interoperative Neuro-monitoring Needle Safety Flap
An Upstate physician has designed a new safety interoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) needle electrode which protects medical technicians from being injured before, during and after use.
Licensing Status: Available for Licensing
Find a powerpoint presentation here
At University Hospital, the most common type of injury associated by IONM needles are needle stick puncture wounds caused by the exposed tip of an IONM needle that has reemerged through a patient's skin while the patient is being moved or shifted. When moving or shifting a patient, medical technicians often inadvertently apply pressure to the shallowly placed IONM needle electrodes, forcing them back up through the skin surface and into their hand. Needle stick injuries can be very costly to an institution. The packaging for some IONM needle electrodes currently on the market includes covers over the needle to protect medical personnel before use, and some incorporate safety retraction chambers into which the IONM needle electrode can be withdrawn after use, but no IONM needle electrodes until now incorporate a safety feature to protect personnel while the needle electrode is in place in a patient.\
Upstate Medical University’s new safety IONM needle electrode incorporates an adhesive-backed safety flap designed to provide a barrier between the needle electrode’s tip and medical personnel, preventing a needle stick injury due to a reemerged needle electrode tip. The safety flap is made from a transparent, pierce-resistant polymer. Once the needle electrode has been placed into the patient, the medical personnel adheres the safety flap to the patient’s skin over the needle electrode’s tip. If the electrode needle’s tip reemerges from the skin, it will be blocked by the safety flap and prevented from puncturing the medical personnel’s skin. The adhesive safety flap also serves to anchor the needle in place during the case, eliminating the need for a separate strip of adhesive tape. This new safety feature has the potential to dramatically reduce the number of needle stick injuries related to the use of IONM needle electrodes.
Presently in the United States, about one million surgeries requiring the use of IONM needle electrodes are performed annually, and between 16 and 32 electrodes are used during each procedure.