Clearer, Brighter: Ultrasound and the CCR Revolution

A change in methodology created the need for an ultrasound-guided needle

By Zach Rogers

Editor, Havel’s Inc.

Part One: The early days of ultrasound in anesthesia

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Ultrasound has dramatically improved over the years, becoming more portable, more affordable and better able to provide a quality image on screen.

In recent years, there has been a shift towards using ultrasound guidance in a number of different regional anesthesia procedures. Most notably, ultrasound has emerged as a leading force in needle-injection procedures like peripheral nerve blocks and muscular skeletal injections, and because of this there is a large industry demand for better needles that perform well under ultrasound. The market for this demand has exploded in the last five years, and it’s still on the rise today. This new wave in ultrasound technology offers better image quality, better portability and more affordable pricing. Because of this, ultrasound guidance is becoming the standard of care for most regional anesthesia procedures.

The emergence of ultrasound-guided needle injections is due mostly to the significant benefits it provides. Doctors are now better able to position the needle where it’s needed, while at the same time monitor the distribution of the anesthetic in real-time. It also allows doctors to observe the needle’s trajectory as it’s inserted into the body, which makes avoiding internal structures easier than before. Adjustments can be made on the spot, and overall success rates are dramatically increased.

Of course, with new methods comes new tools for those methods, and anesthesia is no different. Since ultrasound guidance is becoming such a dominant practice for needle injections, it would be helpful if the needles could be seen clearly under ultrasound. Conventional needles are difficult to distinguish, and it became obvious that in order to make ultrasound guidance easier for doctors new to the technique, the needles themselves needed to be echogenic.

Echogenicity is the ability to bounce or reflect ultrasound waves back in order to see something clearly on the screen. When ultrasound began making its way into needle injections, the development of echogenic needles came into play. Visualization of the needle is the most important factor in developing better echogenic needle technology, and it can be challenging, especially at steep angles. As echogenic needles became more advanced, improvements were made that allowed doctors to see their needles more vividly than ever before.


Read part two of “Ultrasound and the CCR Revolution” on Friday!


Since 1981, Havel’s has offered premium quality ultrasound needles and procedures needles for anesthesia, pain control, radiology and biopsy, as well as sutures and surgical scalpel blades for doctors, hospitals, dentists, dermatologists, veterinarians and other leading medical professionals. To see Havel’s selection of procedure needles, sutures and surgical scalpel blades, please click here: Havel’s Ultrasound Needles, Sutures and Surgical Scalpel Blades.

 

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