Umbilical catheterization is a lifeline for delivering medication and nutrition to critically ill newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit. The rate of bloodstream infections attributed to umbilical catheters is at least five times greater than that of adult central lines. Proposed causes of this elevated infection rate include migration of bacteria after insertion, caretaker contact of catheter-stump interface, and movement of the catheter after insertion. The current standard of care for securing umbilical catheters consists only of a suture and non-sterile tape, which leads to variable securement and does not at all protect the catheter insertion site.
LIFEbubble standardizes and simplifies the process of umbilical catheter securement, enhances protection of the umbilical stump, and minimizes potential catheter translation. LIFEbubble is designed to reduce infection risk by protecting the catheter insertion site from bacteria and stabilizing the umbilical catheters.
APDC is providing funding for testing of the final prototype, the development of a quality system, and an initial manufacturing run.