The SonarMed airway monitoring system consists of a bedside monitor and a single-use sensor.

Using acoustic technology, the device examines ETT obstruction and confirms the real-time position. This offers vital data needed for informed decisions on treating neonates and infants.

The sensor is suitable for any standard ETT in sizes varying from neonatal to paediatric populations (2.5-6mm ID). It can be non-invasively attached to the ETT’s proximal end by swapping it with the 15mm connector in the ventilator circuit.

The monitor comes with an easily readable colour screen that shows changes in ETT status.

The company noted that this is the first US Food and Drug Administration-approved airway monitoring system that offers timely alerts and precise measurements. These features aid a coordinated response to tackle ETT movement and migration, among other possible critical events.

Medtronic respiratory interventions business president Ariel MacTavish said: “Clinicians face unique challenges in the neonatal intensive care unit and paediatric intensive care unit daily, ranging from managing oxygenation within extremely tight ranges to keeping family members informed and comforted.

“With our innovative technology, this fragile patient group is continuously monitored with a real-time and accurate device that may help improve a clinician’s ability to manage the airway and enhance outcomes for our smallest, most vulnerable critical care patients.”

Unplanned extubations (UE) are a common adverse event during mechanical ventilation of neonates and newborns. This can cause longer hospital stays as well as increased healthcare costs.

The SonarMed system could enhance outcomes and cut down costs by lowering the incidence of these events, the company said.

In December last year, Medtronic acquired SonarMed, which focuses on developing solutions to improve patient safety.

Earlier this month, Medtronic received CE mark for its Evolut PRO+ TAVI System to treat patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis in Europe.