Tracheotomies faster and safer

Tracheotomies faster and safer

Researchers at the UPM have participated in the design of a device that allows faster and safer tracheotomies, benefitting patients and healthcare staff.

January 30, 2014
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The new device, which was patented by researchers of the School of Industrial Engineering of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) in collaboration with the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), has achieved minimizing the risks associated to emergency tracheotomies and the time needed to perform planned tracheotomies. This is possible because of a combination of mechanical and drilling devices with medical imaging elements and information management that will allow the adaptation of the surgery to the physical conditions of the patient.

This system can be applied to both adults and children and it allows localization of the patient's trachea quickly and effectively. In addition, the incision is performed automatically to create a fixed airway that can facilitate future surgeries.

The main functionalities of the new device are:

  • Establishing neck position
  • Identification of the tracheal air column
  • An adequate patients data diagnosis
  • Preload adjustment according to the shot aim
  • Cut and incision to open an alternative airway
  • Incision dilatation
  • Maintenance of the airway with the support of electrical and air power


The design is currently in the development phase and is being assessed through the Medtronic Eureka platform.

In the future, apart from being used in surgery, the new tracheotomy device could become an element of public health security present in public places, the same as currently are present the defibrillators devices.

Source: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid