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For over two years, H&H Medical worked on an improved method for performing a needle decompression. We are pleased to announce the availability of the new H&H Enhanced Pneumothorax Needle (EPN). The EPN is designed with a hollow, closed-end stylet, spring loaded safety tip housing a 14 gauge interior diameter catheter that is 8.6cm in length.
The needle housing comes color indicator showing when the safety tip retracts, the EPN is designed to stay in place. The cap is also a luer connector to allow for the rapid removal of air using a manual suction device (e.g. syringe) or the clearing of fluids from the needle (not recommended for use with a hemothorax).
The Enhanced Pneumothorax Needle was designed to overcome the shortfalls of the flexible catheter. The catheter was never designed for this purpose and as a IV catheter it is designed to become soft and pliable in the body. This fact makes it only a very temporary solution for a tension pneumothorax, one which will fail shortly after insertion as we have seen many times on the battle field requiring multiple needles with an increase in misplacement and damage to the tissues.
Placement verification of the flexible catheter in the chest could not truly be delineated as there is no indicator other than the potential audible rush of air. On the ground, in the air, or in combat this is very difficult to appreciate. Even when one is successful, there is no indicator to show placement and to ensure proper depth to maintain for continuous venting of the pneumothorax.
We designed our product along the similar design of a Veress needle used in the operating room for laparoscopic procedures. If you google a Veress needle, you will see the inner cannula retracts to expose the needle. The needle inserts through the tissue and deploys the blunt tip cannula once the needle is through. Our needle has a blue plastic indicator that moves up and down with the cannula.
Once our needle penetrates, the cannula will deploy and the blue indicator will click in the down position to show the operator that they are in the pleural cavity. Now the needle can be secured in place at the proper depth for transport. The needle will not collapse as is the case in the flexible catheter and there is no need to remove the needle until the patient is received in a higher level of care and definitive treatment is delivered.
Key features of the EPN over current pneumothorax needles include: