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MedicInvent Receives U.S. Patent for Potentially Life Saving Catheter Design
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
New Design a Primary Defense Against Deadly Catheter Related Infections
San Rafael, CA & Tulsa, OK -- MedicInvent, LLC, a company which develops designs which improve the efficacy of existing medical devices, announced today that it has been granted a patent for textured surfaces incorporated with cannulas, wire guidelines and stents (catheter incorporating devices) at the interface with the skin (U.S. Patent No. 7,361,158). The purpose of the design is to fight catheter related infections which are primarily caused by 'staph' and other bacteria which reside on the outer surface of the skin. Visit www.medicinvent.com for more information.
"Our newly patented design provides a simple, cost effective method to fight a very large and expensive global health problem, commonly known as catheter related infection," stated company Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith. "On a global basis these types of infections cost healthcare patients, providers and payors billions of dollars annually and take an untold numbers of lives. We believe that our design will become a global industry standard design to combat these infections when applied to any medical device which incorporates a catheter, including all cannula, wire guidelines and stents."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that there are over 500,000 catheter-associated urinary tract infections per year in the U.S. and 250,000 central line associated bloodstream infections. In American hospitals alone, healthcare-associated infections account for an estimated 1.7 million total infections and approximately 100,000 associated deaths each year. "According to a CDC report, bloodstream infections are the second leading cause of death from hospital acquired infections, second only to pneumonia, but they have a higher morbidity rate," stated company President, and industry veteran, John Klem. "Roughly 25% of hospital patients who acquire a bloodstream infection may die from it, particularly those with weakened immune systems, those requiring long-term care and the elderly."
Driving demand for the company's patented design will be rule changes recently adopted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which cease Medicare reimbursement to hospitals for care associated with treating in-hospital acquired catheter-associated urinary tract infections and vascular catheter-associated infections. The new Medicare regulations further prohibit hospitals from billing patients for the amount that Medicare refuses to pay. The new rules will go into effect in October 2008. To put this in perspective, it is estimated that across the U.S. healthcare system as much as 60% of the costs of treating in-hospital acquired infections are currently being absorbed by Medicare.
"Changes in Medicare reimbursement rules will soon have a significant negative economic impact on U.S. hospitals with respect to who bears the cost for treating the types of hospital acquired infections which our design is made to prevent," continued Klem. "We believe that hospitals will be soon demanding cost effective solutions from medical device manufacturers in order to save money where Medicare coverage is no longer in effect. This puts us in the sweet spot, as we offer catheter related device manufacturers the ability to incorporate customized implementations of our design into their product lines and therefore to offer differentiated, cost saving solutions." And private medical insurers are beginning to follow Medicare's lead, as evidenced by the recent declaration by WellPoint, the nation's largest health benefits company, that it will limit or eliminate payments to its network hospitals for catheter related infections.
The CDC has confirmed that the primary site of entry for microorganisms into the bloodstream related to the use of catheters is the site of the cutaneous incision into which the catheter is inserted. During the past few years, a better understanding of the pathogenesis of catheter related infections and the interaction between microorganisms and catheter surfaces has been sought in order to find effective methods for prevention. Evidence suggests that the primary cause of blood infection is when microorganisms break away from a colonized catheter seeding the blood. MedicInvent's design seeks to prevent the catheter from colonizing.
MedicInvent's patented design works by stimulating tissue growth at the juncture of the cannula (catheter) and the cutaneous incision point, thus increasing bacterium blockage and static friction or 'stiction' of the catheter. This results in both decreased pathogen migration into the bloodstream via 'blockage' and reduced catheter dislodgement via 'anchoring.' Blockage prevents entry for microorganisms and thus disrupts a pathogenesis which would result in bacterium migrating into the bloodstream causing infection. Anchoring results from stimulated tissue growth adhere to the catheter at the entry site, which reduces catheter dislodgement and resulting infections. Added design inventor and company founder David Mooney, "The design takes a 'free ride' on the body's natural ability to heal. Further, its implementation is low cost and non-disruptive to current manufacturing processes or pathogenic interventions and is compatible with all catheter types."
In terms of reducing the cost in lives, the company believes that its design should prove particularly beneficial in lower income countries where follow-up care is compromised and the morbidity rate associated with contracting one of these infections is close to 100%. "Everyone participating in global healthcare systems should benefit from this design, which has a low implementation cost yet is highly effective," concluded Klem. "We ourselves are patients in the healthcare system and we believe that it should be incumbent upon all medical care professionals and their employers, who expect us to turn ourselves over to their care, to demand access to remedial solutions to a problem which has been demonstrated to sicken and kill so many people every year."
About MedicInvent, LLC (www.medicinvent.com)
MedicInvent, LLC is a privately held company, which has patented a value-added surface treatment to any intravascular catheter device whereby a textured surface is incorporated with the catheter at the interface with the skin.
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