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Cevec - A central venous catheter for emergencies

Cevec allows a quick and safe placement of a central venous catheter in emergencies.

  • Cevec - A central venous catheter for emergencies

  • This video shows the catheterisation process

    This video shows the catheterisation process

  • The system guides the user through the catheterisation. After each step the process can be paused.

  • Prototypes helped me throughout the design process

  • Cevec reduces the time and required steps.

  • The main features of the design proposal

What it does

Cevec is a product system that enables paramedics to administer medication by inserting a central venous catheter quickly and safely. It considers the specific conditions of emergency situations such as unsteady surroundings, untrained users and time pressure.

Your inspiration

The project started with visits and interviews at the maritime rescue centre and the ambulance service. During an interview with an emergency doctor, I learnt that placing a catheter during emergencies can be quite challenging. In particular, the unpredictable environment and conditions pose problems. Therefore, doctors seldom use them in emergencies. A central venous catheter (CVC) is a catheter which is placed into a patient's large vein. Since the body responds very fast to medication given by central venous catheters, this type of catheterisation could be a "lifesaver" during emergencies - especially if other methods are inapplicable.

How it works

The system consists of three parts: The port, the syringe and the catheter. The components need to be put together during the catheterisation. The steps are the following: 01 Attach the port at the desired point of puncture. The opening at the top shows the track of the needle. The sterile and adhesive patch at the bottom of the port keeps the location underneath the part clean and prevents dirt from falling into the wound. 02 Advance the syringe through the tunnel of the port. Once blood enters into the syringe, the needle has approached the vein. Now the syringe can be withdrawn. While pulling it back, the adapter tip and the adapter lid connect to the port. The guiding sleeve which has covered the needle remains inside the vessel. 03 Advance the catheter through the stretchable guiding sleeve, which acts as a cannula. After finishing, the catheter can be connected to the adapter lid at the top of the port with a screw-cap.

Design process

After having identified the design opportunity, I needed to comprehend how doctors usually insert catheters. To fully understand the process, I made research visits at the local University Hospital. There, I had the chance to observe how anaesthetists place a central venous catheter before surgeries. They have used the current standard method, called the "Seldinger technique". The on-site research proved to be very valuable for the further explorations. I have realised that a lot of steps are required for the placement of a CVC and that the physicians always need to use both hands. My further design process involved sketches, building and trying out different mockups and conducting feedback loops with doctors and paramedics. During the process, I realised that I needed to make the prototyping phase tangible. To explore different directions of possible solutions, I built a 1:1 foam model of a human neck. It features the correct head position for the application of a central venous catheter. The head rotates to the left, making it easy to find the anatomical landmarks for the puncture. Starting off with rather large prototypes, this foam model helped me to push my design proposal in a smaller direction. I realised that a less obtrusive design would lead to a higher acceptance.

How it is different

Cevec is a catheter system which can be applied safely during emergencies. Thereby it reduces the necessary steps to a minimum which ensures a fast application. To reduce the number of tools to only three instead of more than six, I have combined functions of the Seldinger technique. Regarding this, the most significant difference is that Cevec uses a stretchable guiding sleeve instead of a guiding wire. An individual step to introduce this part is not required: It is inserted already into the vein by puncturing with the needle. The highly distinguishable equipment also ensures a clear understanding of the process, which makes the system easy to use for untrained staff. The port features the recommended 40° angle, which acts as a guideline. Nevertheless, the flexible silicone allows adjustment if necessary. The sliding tunnel of the port enables the needle to enter the skin at the desired spot, even in unsteady surroundings (for example at sea).

Future plans

This project gives an outline of how life-saving medical processes might be altered and further developed for extreme conditions. This kind of design process may improve current standards, too: During one of my last research visits, an emergency doctor confirmed that he liked the application of sterile adhesives in this context and how the design makes suturing unnecessary. Further, adhesive and flexible materials (for the patch, the port and the guiding sleeve) make this design proposal possible. These kinds of smart materials are now introduced to more and more applications, which give a glimpse of their potential for future healthcare.


IF Design Talent Award 2017 Core77 Design Award 2018, Student Notable

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