Bluegrass Vascular Technologies is making catheter placement procedures for dialysis and chemotherapy easier and safer using inside-out technology, explains CEO and President Gabi Niederauer.
Bluegrass Vascular Technologies has figured out a way to make a catheter sheath go inside the body and back out for easy catheter placement in standard access procedures.
The San Antonio, Texas–based company’s Surfacer Inside-Out access system facilitates catheter insertion into the central venous system. The company designed it for use in patients with upper body venous occlusions or other conditions that preclude central venous access by conventional methods.
One of the challenges of having a catheter in the body for weeks or months for dialysis or chemotherapy is the risk of blood clots. Thrombosis forms 50% of the time when health providers insert catheters into people for an extended period of time. When thrombosis occurs in a long-term catheter, it can turn into a chronic occlusion — which happens in an estimated 16% of long-term catheters, according to Gabi Niederauer, president and CEO of Bluegrass Vascular Technologies.
Catheter placement can also become difficult if the right internal jugular becomes chronically occluded. When this happens, a doctor may try to gain access to the central venous systems through the outside of the body using a sharp needle. However, this can further complicate the procedure and create a dangerous situation as it often requires blind placement of the needle near the heart and lungs.
“Some doctors try to go in the femoral vein and push a sharp guide wire through the occlusion and snare it on the other side. But what’s most commonly done is if they don’t get access on this side, they just go to the other side,” Niederauer told Medical Design & Outsourcing. “What then happens is for patients who are dependent on catheters like a dialysis patient, they just burn up all of that central vasculature. They essentially cause the same thing to happen on the left side.”