N.3 Drug Cuffs allowing anyone to administer intramuscular (IM) medicines
Acute intramuscular (IM) shots are nearly always given by health care professionals (HCPs): nurses, physicians, pharmacists. Acute IM injections can save lives. Examples include naloxone for opioid (e.g. fentanyl) reversal, epinephrine for acute allergy and anaphylaxis, olanzapine for acute psychoses/agitation and midazolam for acute seizures. Current products do not solve the crisis. For example, less than 1% of opioid overdoses are treated with naloxone. In addition, we have 100’s of life-saving medicines for acute use that are only administered by HCPs. What if anyone/everyone could easily administer life-saving IM injections, and could save and improve lives?
Current IM injections are administered by needle and syringe by HCPs. There are a few autoinjectors, e.g. Epipen®, but these are expensive, often difficult to use, and only available for a few medicines. IM injections are indicated for patients who require immediate action and are unable or unwilling to receive drug through other common routes. Based on current medical practice, when drugs are injected IM, they are injected into the upper arm (deltoid), thigh (vastus lateralis) or buttocks (dorsogluteal or ventrogluteal site). These sites are chosen due to their large muscle mass. Some acute medicines are available by nasal administration (e.g. naloxone), but the onset of action with IM is generally faster.
As a result of these limitations, there is a significant unmet medical and patient need for products in the treatment of acute and intermittent conditions that can be delivered by injection in precise amounts, provide rapid therapeutic onset, and are easy to use by anyone. The goal of this project is to design a new product which will allow anyone to administer an IM injection, and will address patients noted above, including uncooperative, combative, or psychotic patients. The overall product concept uses a Drug Cuff™, but the design, prototype and mechanical features require bioengineering. If successful, this product will save lives, improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.