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BME.05 Reimagining Surgical Head Clamps in the OR

Team Members Heading link

  • Valerie Hernandez
  • Vanshika Kamthan
  • Nina Laliwala
  • Liliana Landi
  • Nora Qatanani

Project Description Heading link

Stabilization of the head is an integral part of cranial and cervical spine procedures. Surgeons preparing for these procedures face challenges in positioning and stabilizing the head and need a secure way to reduce patient complications. The current method for stabilizing the patient’s skull involves the usage of a three point fixation device, a skull clamp. Despite the skull clamp being the main method of head stabilization, there have been numerous MAUDE database injury reports regarding pin slippage of this device. However, there has been little innovation in this design since its initial creation in 1967. Slippage of the pins results in trauma to the patient which remains undetected due to sterile draping procedures. Therefore, the objective of this team’s device is to limit and alert the physicians of potential ongoing trauma to the patient. This requires the device to be able to detect, quantify, record, and alert the surgeon of any displacement of the skull. Moreover, it must also be compatible with current devices being utilized to fixate the skull. Therefore, the team has created a monitoring device for trauma as a result of head fixation. This was achieved with a magnetometer fixed onto a clamp arm to detect relative displacement of a magnet affixed to the skull. The team performed critical verification testing for this magnetometer based measurement system in high versus low magnetic environments. Results were not found to be sufficient for medical grade use in an OR simulated environment, suggesting that a new quantification of distance is needed due to excessive magnetic interference. Therefore, for the project’s final iteration, the team aims to implement a capacitive touch sensor to quantify distance alongside the magnetometer.

Project Video Heading link