Infant Lumbar Puncture Innovation
by Robert Cooper
Medical Devices & Digital Health
Febrile infants often require a work-up that includes gathering CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) via a Lumbar Puncture to test for Meningitis and other potential infections. Meningitis can be fatal if left untreated. To conduct the lumbar puncture, doctors insert a needle into the lower spine in order to collect a CSF sample for testing. However, today's existing procedure, with infants, can be problematic as the current standard of care involves holding the babies by their feet and head, forcing them into a recumbent C position, which can be distressing and even dangerous for the baby and difficult for doctors and nurses performing the procedure. The failure rate of infant spinal taps is high, with some studies reporting up to a 50% failure rate, leading to unnecessary hospitalizations, treatments and increased costs. To address this challenge SMOLTAP has developed a positioning device that increases repeatability, reduces risk and aims to increase 1st "stick" success rate. By improving lumbar puncture success rates hospitals can improve patient care as well as increase staff satisfaction and workflow.