Merit Medical’s Portfolio of VCF Solutions Continues to Grow: DiamondTOUCH™ Syringe and StabiliT® Introducer

This week Merit Medical announced the launch of two products that enhance their complete portfolio of vertebral compression fracture (VCF) solutions: the DiamondTOUCH™ Syringe and the StabiliT® Introducer. With the addition of these innovative products, Merit expands upon its diverse spine portfolio, further establishing its commitment to minimally invasive vertebral augmentation (balloon kyphoplasty) and vertebroplasty treatments.

NEW DiamondTOUCH Syringe – simplified bone cement delivery and balloon inflation

The DiamondTOUCH Syringe is a cutting-edge dual indication 30 mL syringe that offers both simplified bone cement delivery as well as inflation and deflation of interventional devices up to 35 ATM/500 psi. A bright LCD screen with oversized time and pressure digits provides exceptional visibility and accuracy.

From precise cement delivery to balloon inflation, the enhanced design allows for the convenience and control of one-handed precise preparation paired with quick and easy release capabilities. Moreover, the DiamondTOUCH offers a 36-inch delivery line, allowing clinicians to operate the syringe away from direct radiation.

The DiamondTOUCH Syringe is compatible with Merit’s portfolio of vertebral compression fracture products including StabiliT cement delivery and Osseoflex® balloon inflation.

NEW StabiliT Introducer – now with optimized radiolucency

The new StabiliT Introducer offers easy and safe percutaneous access to bone and is fully compatible with current and future product lines, including StabiliT, STAR™, and Osseoflex. It retains established introducer lengths (10 cm and 12 cm) and tip configurations (trocar and bevel). To enhance clarity and ease of use, tip configuration and directionality are now printed directly on the handle. The new handle design optimizes radiolucency by minimizing obstruction.

The StabiliT Introducer offers a number of new features including an ergonomic handle for increased comfort and interoperative device manipulation, depth markers on the cannula to assist with intraoperative positioning, and a snap locking mechanism engineered to be more defined and stable.

Discover for yourself the new DiamondTOUCH Syringe and improved StabiliT Introducer, and explore all the ways Merit can support your spine procedures.

Merit Medical Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Fred Lampropoulos, Honored as the 40th Giant in our City

Merit Medical’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Fred Lampropoulos, was honored as the 40th Giant in our City, a prestigious award that recognizes exceptional and distinguished service and extraordinary professional achievement. Presented by the Salt Lake Chamber, Utah’s largest and longest-standing business association, it’s the most esteemed business award given in the state.

Mr. Lampropoulos founded Merit Medical in 1987 on a single innovation: a stronger, safer, disposable syringe. Fast-forward more than three decades later, and Merit is now a leading manufacturer and marketer of proprietary disposable devices, holding over 800 patents and pending applications that represent thousands of inventions used in diagnostic, interventional, and therapeutic procedures worldwide.

Mr. Lampropoulos attributes Merit’s growth to skills he acquired during his time serving as a military officer and combat officer—actively observing and listening. By applying this knowledge to customer needs, Merit Medical has been able to set itself apart in the medical device industry, providing physicians with tools they need to simplify and improve patient care. According to Mr. Lampropoulos, this has made several primary therapies more accessible, helping to treat and save upwards of 15,000 lives a day, something he acknowledges as a primary motivation for his work.

With its roots in Utah, Merit has continually expanded over the years, adding facilities around the globe. In addition to the United States, Merit Medical can be found in the Netherlands, France, Ireland, China, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Singapore, employing approximately 6,000 people.

Before Merit Medical, Mr. Lampropoulos was Chairman and CEO of Utah Medical. In 1991 he founded Sentir Semiconductors, now Merit Sensor Systems, Inc., a company that operates as a subsidiary of Merit Medical. In addition to his corporate work, Mr. Lampropoulos makes community a priority by supporting the arts and sciences. He has also worked with homeless and youth centers—places where Mr. Lampropoulos believes Merit Medical has a corporate responsibility. He was inducted into the University of Utah College of Science Hall of Fame, the Utah Business Hall of Fame, and the Utah Technology Hall of Fame. Mr. Lampropoulos has also been the recipient of several awards and honors, including the MWCN 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Utah National Guard Bronze Minuteman Award, the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology, and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award.

Fred Lampropoulos was presented with the 40th Giant in our City award on May 31st at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.

Merit Recognizes National CPR and AED Awareness Week with Employee Safety Training

This week is National CPR and AED Awareness Week, a time dedicated to spotlighting how lives can be saved if more Americans know how to react in a cardiac arrest emergency.

As a healthcare company that always puts people first, Merit Medical recognizes its responsibility to go above and beyond to keep its employees safe. Thanks to a recently implemented wellness initiative at Merit Salt Lake City, more employees are being trained in Hands-Only CPR and early defibrillation with an AED emergency device, equipping them with the knowledge they need in the case of a cardiac arrest emergency. To maximize workplace safety, additional AEDs have also been placed throughout the facility.

“About 90 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die,” says Nicole Priest, MD, Chief Wellness Officer at Merit Medical and member of the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association Utah Division. “People can take this training and use it at work as well as in the rest of their lives. Just having that awareness is going to increase somebody’s chance of survival. Hopefully, they don’t ever need to use it, but if they do, that confidence is there now.”

Cardiac arrest—a type of heart malfunction that stops it from beating—can occur suddenly and often without warning.1 About 10,000 sudden cardiac arrests happen in the workplace each year in the US,2 and yet statistics show only half of people can locate an AED at work.3

Despite the fact that CPR—especially if administered immediately after cardiac arrest—can double or even triple the chances of survival, only 46% of people who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital get the immediate help they need before professional help arrives.3 For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, the chances of survival decrease by 7–10%.4

In cooperation with the American Heart Association Utah Division, more than 1,000 Merit employees were trained in April and May in Hands-Only CPR and early defibrillation with an AED device. These trained employees are in addition to a team of skilled, on-campus first responders.

To ensure AED accessibility, Merit conducted a facility-wide review that investigated the placement of emergency devices. Although findings showed that Merit Salt Lake City exceeds the number of AEDs required, the company recently added eight more emergency devices to further increase employee safety.

“Merit Medical is truly setting the best example for our community by continuing to provide its employees with not only lifesaving Hands-Only CPR training, but instruction in the use of an AED,” says Laura Western, Executive Director at American Heart Association Utah Division.

These efforts have had a notable impact on employee safety. Because of the training received and wide availability of AED devices in the workplace, Merit employees were recently able to act and save the life of a fellow colleague who went into cardiac arrest. The company also donates funds to the American Heart Association to help ensure this life-saving training and awareness continues.

“The fact that Merit provides a potentially life-saving skill at work speaks volumes,” Dr. Priest says. “The company’s willingness to be proactive and encourage employees to attend these hands-on trainings shows that it places much emphasis on patient wellness and safety.”

REFERENCES

  1. American Heart Association. (2015, Jul 31). Heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest: How are they different? Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/about-heart-attacks/heart-attack-or-sudden-cardiac-arrest-how-are-they-different
  2. United States Department of Labor (Occupational Safety & Health Administration). (n.d.). Saving sudden cardiac arrest victims in the workplace. Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/Publications/3185.html
  3. American Heart Association. (2019). CPR Facts and Stats. Retrieved from https://cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/AboutCPRECC/CPRFactsAndStats/UCM_475748_CPR-Facts-and-Stats.jsp
  4. American Heart Association. (2013 March). Rural and community access to emergency devices. Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@adv/documents/downloadable/ucm_301646.pdf

Merit Addresses Growth in Home Dialysis Care with Patient and Physician Tools

There has been a recent shift in kidney care with both industry leaders and the White House showing support of home dialysis. This forward momentum is due to several advantages home dialysis offers patients, such as lower mortality rates,1 flexible treatment schedules,2 and reduced cost.3 Merit Medical is pleased to support this transition by providing dialysis patient education, clinician training, and a number of therapeutic products.

Heading the movement are international industry leaders DaVita® Kidney Care and Fresenius Kidney Care with an initiative called 20% by 2020, a program that aims to have 20% of dialysis patients on home dialysis therapy by the year 2020. Both DaVita and Fresenius provide two types of home dialysis options: peritoneal dialysis (PD) and hemodialysis.

“The initiative is important from several standpoints,” says John H. Crabtree, MD, general surgeon, chair of PD University for Surgeons-North America, and visiting clinical faculty at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA. “Number one, patients do better on home dialysis.”

Patients on PD therapy in particular, a group that comprises the majority of the home dialysis-treatment population, “have improved survival over the early years on treatment,” Dr. Crabtree told Merit Medical.4 Moreover, for individuals who receive a kidney transplant, “the results tend to be better when they were on peritoneal dialysis prior to the surgery as opposed to hemodialysis.”5

Home dialysis also offers greater autonomy. Because patients are properly trained and therapy can be done overnight, home dialysis allows for a regular work schedule.3 Moreover, the average cost of care for home dialysis is less.3 PD in particular, Dr. Crabtree went on to explain, is approximately $15,000 less per patient per year compared to hemodialysis.6

The White House recently announced a new government-sponsored payment approach for treating kidney disease that favors lower cost home dialysis. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is considering a trial program design that would improve care in the early stages of kidney disease, increase access to kidney transplants, and favor home dialysis over clinic-based treatment.3 It is particularly looking at the benefits of PD.3

Despite these advantages and the fact that many physicians believe 25%–35% of patients would do better on home dialysis therapy, the number of people receiving home dialysis in the US still remains low, with only 7% receiving PD and less than 1% choosing home hemodialysis.7 The 20% by 2020 initiative plans to change this through several avenues.

“The way that we can drive this is by improving patient education…Many patients aren’t provided information about home dialysis,” Dr. Crabtree explains. In addition to patient education, Dr. Crabtree says many physician education programs lack the training needed to take care of PD patients. “[I]t’s important to provide courses [and] educational opportunities that allow them to have hands-on training.”

Merit Medical is ready to address these needs through its Ask4PD™ patient education site and ThinkDialysisAccess™ hands-on physician training experiences. Merit also offers high-quality dialysis products, such as the Flex-Neck® Peritoneal Dialysis Catheter, a premium catheter that allows for up to 30% higher flow rates than other catheters currently on the US market.8

The support for home dialysis is expanding. By providing the tools and education needed to advance the 20% by 2020 initiative, Merit shows its ongoing evolution as a healthcare company as well as its vision to continually find ways to improve patient care.

Watch Dr. Crabtree’s interview to learn more about the benefits of home dialysis and how Merit supports it.

Dr. Crabtree is a paid consultant of Merit Medical.

REFERENCES

  1. DaVita® Kidney Care. (n.d.). Top 5 benefits of home dialysis treatment. Retrieved from https://www.davita.com/treatment-services/home-dialysis/home-benefits/top-5-benefits-of-home-dialysis-treatment.
  2. Fresenius Kidney Care. (2019). Learn more about home dialysis treatment options. Retrieved from https://www.freseniuskidneycare.com/ckd-treatment/benefits-of-home-dialysis.
  3. Copley, C., & Humer, C. (2019, March 3). U.S. seeks to cut dialysis costs with more home care versus clinics. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-dialysis/us-seeks-to-cut-dialysis-costs-with-more-home-care-versus-clinics-idUSKCN1QL0G6.
  4. Teixeira, J.P., Combs, S. A., & Teitelbaum, I. (2015). Peritoneal dialysis: Update on patient survival. Clin Nephrol, Jan;83(1):1-10.
  5. Joachim, E., Gardezi, A. I., Chan, M. R., et al. (2017). Association of pre-transplant dialysis modality and post-transplant outcomes: A meta-analysis. Perit Dial Int, May-Jun;37(3):259-265.
  6. United States Renal Data System. (2018). 2018 annual data report (Chapter 9: Healthcare expenditures for persons with ESRD). Retrieved from https://www.usrds.org/2018/view/v2_09.aspx
  7. DaVita Kidney Care. (n.d.). Majority of nephrology professionals prefer home dialysis. Retrieved from https://www.davita.com/treatment-services/home-dialysis/recommended-approach.
  8. Data on file.