Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICCs) are thin, flexible, multilumen catheters used to deliver drug therapies to patients over the course of many days. PICCs are typically inserted at the bedside into a vein in the patient’s arm near their elbow, and are advanced until the distal tip of the catheter is in the superior vena cava (SVC), at its junction with the right atrium of the heart.
However, patient anatomy makes accurate placement of the PICC difficult. Post-insertion radiographic imaging and assessment by a radiologist was required to confirm the tip location, prior to delivering therapy through the catheter. Because PICC placement is a sterile procedure, the extra time and care required to obtain the imaging was burdensome.
Lucent designed an electronic sensor and display system, the Sherlock® , which in real time tracks and displays the location and orientation of a string of very small permanent magnets attached to the distal end of the PICC’s stylet – a preinserted wire used to stiffen the catheter during insertion. Lucent was responsible for the entire Sherlock® development cycle, including electronic, mechanical, and industrial design, prototype builds, agency safety testing, FDA 510(k) submission, and production rampup, and currently manages the ongoing manufacture of Sherlock sensors for Bard.
The Sherlock® allows catheter navigation adjustments during insertion, and eliminates the need for post-insertion imaging confirmation. PICC line navigation and confirmation can now be achieved more quickly and easily using Lucent’s permanent magnet technology.
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