Nursing graduate invents a medical device to prevent vein displacement

Nurse and graduate student Spencer Jones created the FDA-approved and trademarked SafeBreak Vascular technology to prevent IV displacement, helping patients, nurses, and medical facilities.

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Nurse and graduate student Spencer Jones created the FDA-approved and trademarked SafeBreak Vascular technology to prevent IV displacement, helping patients, nurses, and medical facilities.

Spencer Jones, alumnus of Eleanor Mann School of Nursingwas working the night shift on a crowded surgical medical floor when the idea for an intravenous catheter detachment device was born.

“I routinely had five to six patients at one time,” he said. “Nearly all of them had IV catheters, and they felt like they were constantly failing.” Most of the time, the tube was pulled, which happened for various reasons: patients got stuck in the tubes, were clutching the doorknob in the bathroom, or were stuck on a handrail while being transferred to wheelchairs or suspenders.

“It was frustrating because I didn’t have any tools at my disposal to prevent this complication,” he said.

Jones knew separate devices were used in gas station pumps and magnetic laptop chargers. “So, the concept was not new,” he said. “It was just a new application of an existing concept.”

His patented, trademarked SafeBreak Vascular technology — which allows nurses to rapidly switch failed IV drugs without new catheters or extra needle sticks — was approved by the FDA in May 2022. It took three years.

“That was probably one of the happiest moments of my life,” Jones said. “I cried as soon as we got off the Zoom call with the FDA.” “It took years longer than we thought it would to get clearance from the FDA, and I’m starting to feel a little bit of impostor syndrome, to be honest. I had to tell friends and investors ‘No clearance yet, we’re still in regulatory mode’ for three years now that it’s getting old. truly “.

From scrubs to sales

While clearing the FDA has been a huge burden on Jones’ shoulders, he had to quickly move into sales mode, “which any entrepreneur can tell you is just as challenging,” he said.

Jones is the founder and chief technology officer of Linus Medical, and more than half of his company’s employees are either students or current alumni at U of A. “Out of our nine employees, three are alumni and two are students,” he said. “We have also benefited from the internship program at U of A many times. It’s a great way to get talented support and a unique learning opportunity for interns.”

Lineus medical offices are across the road from the campus, two blocks from Fayetteville Square. Jones said it’s good to be back in Arkansas. He created SafeBreak Vascular while working as a nurse in Memphis and was accepted into the city’s ZeroTo510 accelerator program in 2015. He revised the business plan, prototyped and demonstrated the product to several hospital administrators and physicians in the Memphis area. He exited the incubator in August 2015 and moved to Northwest Arkansas in 2016. He then began raising seed money to start the company.

The company registered its first patent in the fall of 2015. Since then, three additional patents have been granted to SafeBreak. “We have protected the different design configurations as well because you are constantly finding ways to improve the design, and it is important to protect the best design, as well as the second and third best designs,” he said.

Nursing work

Jones loves that moment when fellow nurses see technology for the first time at trade shows. He said: “Light up their faces.” Usually, they say right away, ‘I could have used this last week when one patient got stuck in his tubes! Half the times they say, “I bet a nurse invented this,” and I can say, “Yeah, really!”

Jones said nurses are uniquely positioned to play a more active role in the development, marketing and marketing of medical devices.

“My big goal is to get nursing schools to offer more progressive design thinking and professional development courses for their students,” he said. “I truly believe that exposing young nurses to design thinking and helping them understand the different life sciences career paths available with a nursing degree will help transform our healthcare system, which is in dire need of change.”

This story is the latest in a series featuring students, faculty, and staff at College of Education and Health Professions Who represent the core of the college Priorities we care. The college is helping solve complex education and health challenges across Arkansas and beyond with this new initiative. Visit COEHP’s online magazine, The ColleagueFor more news from the six units that make up the college. visit Eleanor Mann School of Nursing Page for more information about the COEHP Nursing Program.

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