Ultrasound Transducer for Epidural Needle Guidance

Background Epidural anesthesia is administered for millions of births every year in North America, and for many surgical procedures. The market size for an ultrasound transducer for epidural needle guidance is estimated at over $200 million worldwide for obstetrics alone, concentrated primarily in North America.The complication rate for administering epidural anesthesia is reported to be as high as 20% of cases. To administer anesthesia, a needle must be entered into the small epidural space in the spine midline. The placement of the needle is critical to effectively administering pain relief and avoiding nerve damage. Accurate epidural needle insertion is difficult to learn and typically relies on the anesthesiologist to detect a loss of resistance on the needle to determine placement. The UBC researcher has previously shown that the anatomical components of the spine are distinguishable using ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound is already a common imaging modality used in obstetrics, and a growing tool in anesthesia. Meir Deutsch meir.deutsch@uilo.ubc.ca (+1) 604-822-9395

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