A Comprehensive, Disposable Thoracostomy Trocar System

Period of Performance: 09/01/2000 - 05/31/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Avatar Design and Development, Inc.
Seattle, WA 98133
Principal Investigator


The proposed research is designed to demonstrate the feasibility, safety and effectiveness of an innovative disposable thoracostomy trocar system intended for use in treatment of chest injury. When pneumothoracies, hemothoracies, pleural effusions and empyemas occur, insertion of a chest tube is indicated, requiring a combination of sharp and blunt dissection to gain access to the pleural space. Our new device for chest access is a trocar design that should be quicker, easy to use, less painful and safer than currently used techniques, with improved final cosmetic result. We propose to conduct acute and survival surgeries in swine to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this new device. Results will be compared to those using conventional methods far thoracostomy and chest tube insertion. This research is expected to lead to new and improved methods for emergent and non-emergent management of traumatic chest injury and its complications. If proven effective, this technique will also be applicable to non-trauma related pleural processes requiring tube decompression. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: The low cost disposable thoracostomy trocar and chest tube delivery system could be used by paramedics, emergency physicians trauma surgeons, intensivists and anesthesiologists, all of whom encounter patients with pneumothoracies and other acute pleural processes. This minimally invasive device could become the new standard of care. The next evolution will put our automatically retracting, twin-bladed incision mechanism on laparoscopic trocars - a huge potential market.