Device protects healthcare providers from exposure to COVID-19 during intubation

The Runnels Total Control Introducerâ„¢ guides breathing tube placement
SALT LAKE CITY - April 8, 2020 - PRLog -- Through the Cords, a Salt Lake City-based company is stepping up production and distribution of its intubation device, the Runnels Total Control IntroducerTM (TCI), to meet the urgent need for first-attempt intubation success during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Runnels TCI is an articulating intubating stylet designed to increase first-pass breathing tube placement during video laryngoscopy-assisted intubations. The critical benefit of using the TCI is the distance it allows between the patient and the provider during intubation while facilitating the successful introduction of the breathing tube.

Before the COVID-19 Pandemic, intubations were the third most common medical procedure in the U.S. with more than 30 million performed each year. More than half of failed intubation attempts were due to the inability to direct the endotracheal tube into the trachea, or because of inaccurate depth control. These complications result in compromised patient outcomes, 60 thousand attributable deaths, and an estimated cost of more than $5 billion in increased medical care needed because of first-pass intubation failure.

A look at COVID-19 by the numbers:  According to the Health Affairs Blog (, between 40 and 60 percent of, or 100 million Americans will be infected with COVID-19 over an estimated period of 6 to 18 months. Conservatively, some 4.5 million infected individuals will be critically ill and require intubation. This increase in intubations not only exposes the provider population to aerosolization of the virus and risk of infection, but also creates higher risks for intubation complications such as brain injury, cardiac arrest, and death to patients from failed intubation attempts.

Dr. Sean T. Runnels, anesthesiologist and associate professor of Anesthesia at the University of Utah founded Through the Cords, a device innovation and manufacturing company focused on next-generation airway tools for use with video laryngoscopes.

Runnels says, "COVID-19 has changed our world. So much of the supply chain for PPE (personal protective equipment ) and what we need to stay safe is unavailable and out of our control as providers. Using the Runnels TCI with intubation will contribute to saving patient lives and keep providers safe. The device is being used on the front lines in Utah, Chicago, New York, and Florida. Intubation is the highest risk procedure we will perform on a COVID-19 infected patient—it is the procedure where the virus can contaminate us. Right now, too many of my colleagues are forced to perform intubation without proper PPE.
Getting this right is the difference between too many sick providers and the collapse of our medical system or survival."

Susen Sawatzki
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Location:Salt Lake City - Utah - United States
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