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N.C. State Students Help WakeMed Heart Center Enhance Patient Care

Members of the Heart Center’s Invasive Cardiology team stand with three of the six N.C. State Bioengineering students who worked with them to design and create an armrest device for improved patient comfort during transradial procedures. The device is also shown.

In May, the WakeMed Heart Center received a special gift from six students in North Carolina State University Biomedical Engineering Senior Design course.  The gift – is a device that affixes to the invasive cardiology procedure room table during transradial cardiac catheterization procedures to support a patient’s arm. 

The students began their endeavor last fall by meeting with the transradial cardiac catheterization team led by Tift Mann, MD, a cardiologist with Wake Heart & Vascular Associates, who communicated that they had been facing a challenge – how to best position a patient’s arm during a transradial procedure to ensure comfort and safety while allowing Dr. Mann and the scrub tech easy access.

The students spent several weeks gathering input before formally presenting three designs.  Once Dr. Mann and his team chose a design, the students created a mock-up that was successfully used during several transradial procedures this April.  This helped identify a few minor adjustments for the final version.

“We were thrilled with the enthusiasm and fresh perspective these intelligent young students brought to our team and the challenge at hand,” said Dr. Mann.  “We all worked together to help these students reach a successful result, one we can all be proud of.  Not only will their device help Invasive Cardiology staff perform transradial procedures more easily and efficiently, but it will also lead to greatly enhanced safety and comfort for our patients.”

 Once they finish the final device, the students plan to donate it to the Heart Center and create a second device, altered to accommodate obese patients.  With the help of N.C. State, the students may also have the opportunity to patent the device so it can be used to benefit cardiology patients across the country.