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Dartmouth Medical School Faculty Member and Anesthesiologist Invents Revolutionary Catheter System Designed to Increase Rate of Successful IV Insertions by 75 Percent

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Balch Hill Medical, Inc. of Hanover, New Hampshire, today announced the development of its new PrecisionThread IV Catheter System, which is designed to increase the rate of successful IV insertions by over 75%. According to the company, which grew out of the Dartmouth Medical School and Mary Hitchcock Clinic, the PrecisionThread IV Catheter design dramatically reduces the two main causes of IV insertion failure: premature cannula threading and vessel backwall puncture.

The inventor of the PrecisionThread System is Dr. Christopher Wiley, a faculty member at the Dartmouth Medical School, an anesthesiologist for over 30 years.

"We have 26 operating rooms at the Hitchcock Clinic where I practice," said Wiley. "And although we have a very skilled staff, over the years I observed that failed IV insertions were delaying surgical procedures, causing undue patient discomfort, and consuming valuable resources. I designed the PrecisionThread System based on my own experience and observations that premature cannula threading and backwall punctures were the two biggest barriers to successful IV insertion."

Dartmouth was supportive of Wiley's ideas and the two parties decided to commercialize his breakthrough IV design -- with the goal of improving the success rate for this very common procedure. Wiley and his partner, Balch Hill Medical CEO Martin Doyle, turned to some of New England's highly skilled metal and materials engineering and fabrication firms and worked with them to produce the PrecisionThread System.

"They were able to take my ideas for improving current IV catheter designs, and put them on their 3D computer modeling platforms," Wiley explained. "Once we settled on an optimum configuration for performance and manufacturing, the software automatically drove the metal and molding machines to precisely produce our advanced design. It was a remarkable combination of medical experience and engineering skill."

Although the PrecisionThread System must still go through additional refinement and regulatory approval by the FDA and foreign agencies, Wiley and Doyle are very encouraged by its laboratory performance to date and by the reaction of professionals who have been introduced to the PrecisionThread System.

"Everyone in medicine wants better outcomes for patients and for providers," said Doyle, a veteran medical products entrepreneur, who also has roots at Dartmouth. "One of the best aspects of Dr. Wiley's design is that we can use standard catheter materials, which means our product costs are very competitive. Even better, the design requires absolutely no additional staff training or changes in current IV practice, both of which can be barriers to new product entry."

According to Balch Hill, the PrecisionThread IV Catheter System achieves higher IV insertion success rates from two simple yet effective design features:

  • The PrecisionFlash orifice - which is setback from the needle tip so that blood flashback does not occur until both the needle and the surrounding cannula are in the target vessel
  • The PrecisionGlide needle tip design - which creates a smooth interface with the vessel backwall during insertion, reducing backwall trauma and punctures, while still featuring a super sharp "Triangle Tip" that facilitates easy skin surface penetration.

These revolutionary design features -- conceived by Dr. Wiley and enhanced by precise 3D engineering techniques -- combine to create an IV Catheter System that is materially easier to use, even for a novice, according to Balch Hill's Doyle.

"While we expect to see the biggest benefits in difficult pediatric and geriatric cases, and in field trauma settings, the data indicates that there will also be significant improvement in IV success rates in medical centers and clinics as well," Doyle said.

"In the U.S. alone, millions of IVs are inserted every year," Doyle continued. "If we can help make the procedure less painful for patients, less nerve-wracking for practitioners, and more efficient for institutions, we will have contributed to improving healthcare, which is Dr. Wiley's personal goal. He is a very skilled and inventive physician who cares deeply about the well being of patients."

Balch Hill expects to formally introduce a full line of PrecisionThread IV Catheters in 2010, subject to FDA approval. The Company will then explore other applications for its technology in additional catheters and medical products.

Balch Hill Medical, Inc. is a privately-held company based in Hanover, NH. The Company identifies promising new technologies in the life science field and works with inventors to commercialize those ideas into marketed products. Balch Hill works frequently with the faculty and research personnel at Dartmouth College, also located in Hanover, and its various constituents including the Dartmouth Medical School, Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, the Amos Tuck School of Business and the Thayer School of Engineering.

For further information please visit or contact the Company at

    Contact: Martin Doyle, Balch Hill Medical

SOURCE Balch Hill Medical, Inc.

SOURCE Balch Hill Medical, Inc.
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