Archive December 2017 XVIII, No. 12

12 Hot New Anesthesia Products

These devices on display in the American Society of Anesthesiologists exhibit hall could help your anesthesia providers deliver great care.

Gregory Hickman

Gregory Hickman, MD


Outpatient Surgery Magazine commissioned me to scout the exhibit hall at last month's American Society of Anesthesiologists meeting in Boston in search of the new products on display that I thought would really interest your anesthesia providers. I walked up and down every aisle and visited (most) every booth. Here's a report of what I saw. Senior Editor Jim Burger accompanied me, taking great notes and these great photos.

aerFree Non-Invasive Airway Management System NO MORE CHIN THRUSTS Dr. Hickman tries on the aerFree Non-Invasive Airway Management System, which applies negative pressure to a patient's neck to support the patency of the upper airway. One of its advantages: It can free up busy PACU nurses who are caring for multiple patients, says Dr. Hickman.

Smiths Medical | aerFree Non-Invasive Airway Management System
I'd never seen anything like this before, but it's definitely an interesting idea. Basically, it's a precautionary device for busy PACUs with heavier patients and/or patients with undiagnosed (or diagnosed) sleep apnea. The system uses wall suction to pull the soft tissue around the airway forward, so you don't have to worry about sedated patients obstructing, and PACU nurses can confidently go about the business of caring for multiple patients instead of having to periodically wake patients up and do chin thrusts to make sure they're breathing.

The vacuum forms a seal around your lower jaw and neck, but it's not uncomfortable; it's just a little pressure. And of course, the patients who need it probably aren't going to remember anyway. Obviously, you won't use it on patients who are awake and moving, but for those who are snoring (a sign of sleep apnea), or whose oxygen saturation is dropping, I think it would be a reassuring helping hand. It runs about $60 and is disposable.

LMA Gastro TWO IN ONE The LMA Gastro can secure an airway and provide a pathway for the GI scope to follow.

Teleflex | LMA Gastro
This is such a great idea, I can't believe it's just coming out in 2017. When you're doing an upper GI procedure and administering propofol, it's helpful to be able to monitor and maintain the airway with an LMA. But LMAs typically get in the way of GI scopes. The LMA Gastro lets you secure the airway and at the same time maintain a channeled pathway for the scope to follow.

That way, if a patient desaturates, you don't have to pull the scope and reintubate, or deflate the LMA (which is a really bad idea). And since you don't have to intubate, you don't have to use a neuromuscular blocker that can turn a 6-minute procedure into a 40-minute procedure.

It's not for every patient, but the population is getting heavier, and we're seeing a few more comorbidities in the outpatient environment, so the risk of airway compromise is increasing. This is a great tool for the roughly 10% of patients who don't need an endotracheal tube, but who might warrant a little more caution than the average patient.

Glidescope KEEP ONE ON HAND? The Glidescope Go provides a good image at a good price.

Verathon | Glidescope Go
It's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but the new Glidescope Go provides a solid image in addition to convenience and affordability. At about $4,000, it may be within reach for facilities that have been resisting the inevitability of video laryngoscopy. And its easy portability makes it a solid adjunct for those who'd like to be equipped for unexpected emergencies.

It fits onto all types of blades, has auto-recording capability and comes with a rechargeable battery that provides about 100 minutes of continuous use. Just plug it into a docking station to recharge it. It's also fully submersible without special caps, so it's relatively easy to clean.

CompuFlo Epidural Instrument TRIPLE GUIDANCE When you hit the target with the CompuFlo Epidural Instrument, you feel it, see it and hear it — all at the same time.

Milestone Scientific | CompuFlo Epidural Instrument
When placing an epidural, it can be hard to know where the tip of your needle is when you're relying on the traditional loss-of-resistance technique, which is both blind and subjective. But with this cool machine, it's very obvious when you reach the target. You feel the pop, you see it and you hear it, all at once. It works by measuring pressure at the tip of the needle and providing audio and visual feedback.

If you do a lot of regional anesthesia, you know it can be confounding when you're in the inner spinous ligaments. You've got to get through the ligamentum flavum to get into the epidural space. You may think you feel a loss of resistance and that you're in the epidural space, but are you? Or, if you go too far, you can be responsible for a dural puncture and a spinal headache, the worst type of headache anyone can imagine.

This device provides peace of mind for pain management procedures, labor and delivery, or any type of lumbar epidural procedure. It might also be useful with total joints in the outpatient environment.

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