A Better Catheter for Neurosurgery

Advancements in the world of medical technology are saving and improving lives every single day, but issues with current procedures cannot guarantee that patients will receive perfect care. That’s why there are medical innovators working around the clock to solve these issues, with a recent example being the SoundPass team at the University of Utah.

Founded by medical students Matt Findlay, Travis Hotchkiss, Jordan Johnson and Kyril Cole, SoundPass aims to vastly improve how external ventricular drains are placed during neurosurgery.

Findlay explained that following trauma or other pathologies, patients can have swelling within their brain that requires immediate drainage. This is standardly accomplished through the placement of a catheter into the right lateral ventricle of the brain, however, due to the urgency of this procedure, image guidance is usually not possible. Therefore, this procedure is most often performed blindly.Numerous attempts are often required, causing additional unnecessary damage to patient brains.

SoundPass adds an imaging component to this procedure by using an ultrasound-tipped stylet inside the lumen of the EVD catheter to give the surgeon visibility when performing this procedure. They hope that with the real-time visualization of the ventricle, patient morbidity and mortality associated with this procedure will decrease.

More articles like this in ‘Student Innovation @ the U!’

Find this article and a lot more in the 2024 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.

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About the Author:

Mary Allen Mary Allen is an undergraduate student from Salt Lake City studying graphic design. She has been working in marketing with Lassonde since she began her time at the University of Utah and is also involved at the MUSS Board and the Daily Utah Chronicle. Her passions lie in the arts, sports, and outdoors.

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