Patent: Virtually risk-free spinal anaesthesia through sound waves
Lechner & Van Wijk
Timo Lechner and Maarten van Wijk, two anaesthetists at the Jeroen Bosch hospital in 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, were recently awarded the Herman Wijffels Innovation Award for their invention, the Acoustic Puncture Assist Device (APAD). APAD is an aid that uses sound waves to significantly reduce the risk of puncturing the spinal membrane or the spinal cord when applying spinal anaesthesia. The use of sound waves enables doctors to pinpoint the so-called epidural space down to the millimetre to more accurately apply anaesthesia. Their invention also keeps a paper record of the spinal anaesthesia procedure.
APAD currently enjoys wide protection, with patents in Europe, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Russia and South Africa. Applications are also pending in several other countries. The protection is necessary, as the inventors believe APAD can potentially be applied to many other types of puncture procedures.
Attorney: Reinier Wijnstra