As American Family Children’s Hospital expanded its neonatal intensive care unit in 2014 to treat Wisconsin’s high-needs surgery patients shortly after birth, anesthesiologist Lana Volz was confronted with a plumbing problem.
The “wye,” a Y-shaped connector to the tube placed inside the infant’s airway, was an awkward combination of rigid, flimsy and heavy. The design hindered the delicate process of performing surgeries in babies to repair life-threatening conditions, like heart and lung defects.
“The commercial systems routinely fall apart … are heavy and place unnecessary torque on the infant airway,” says Volz, a physician and assistant professor of anesthesiology at University of Wisconsin–Madison. “That puts patients at risk for harm and adds to the stress of anesthesiologists during high acuity, complex neonatal surgeries.” Read the full story here.