Accurate intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring is essential to evaluating and treating traumatic brain injury (TBI) during the early hours of care. Using external ventricular drains to monitor ICP can help improve survival, yet current primitive systems are not able to take real-time digital measurements, and require manual adjustments by caregivers.

Current extraventricular drains cannot make digital measurements and rely on manual adjustments by a caregiver for any change in patient position, condition, or CSF flow. In high stress situations such as on the battlefield or in a busy trauma center, caregivers can make mistakes and not make the necessary adjustments.

The device, developed by MCIRCC researchers, aims to digitize this process so that not only would changes in pressure and flow be made automatically, but they would also be integrated with data analytics. Using predictive modeling, this device will enhance TBI and trauma care from the point of injury through all echelons of care to improve outcomes and reduce secondary brain injury.

Significant Need

The current EVD system is very time consuming and prone to error. Every time the patient position changes, the nurse has to take note and manually readjust the device to maintain the intended levels of drainage and pressure. 

This process of manually adjusting EVDs becomes much more complicated in austere conditions, such as transporting a wounded warrior out of combat. When a soldier suffers a traumatic brain injury, Critical Care Air Transport Teams (CCATTS) have to insert an EVD to monitor their intracranial pressure while the airplane takes off. If the patient position or the aircraft pressure changes, then the ICP can quickly rise above safe levels causing secondary brain injury.

Competitive Advantage

The DEVD improves accuracy of ICP and CSF flow measurements and control, providing real-time alerts to caregivers when changes occur. The device fits well into current workflows, allowing for easy integration, and provides caregivers with advanced options to deliver specific, individualized care to their patients.

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