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Team Members:
  • Alina Andrews
  • David Maher
  • Elizabeth Russo
  • Madeline Wartan
  • David Zarrin
  • Jake Abernathy, MD
  • Akbar Herekar, MD
  • Sarah Coppola, PhD
  • Prashanth Reddy, MBBS
  • Naresh Pagidimarry, MS
  • Youseph Yazdi, PhD
  • Soumyadipta Acharya, PhD
  • Aditya Polsani, MS
  • Joshua de Souza, MSE
  • Medtronic, Minimally Invasive Therapies Group (Boulder, CO)


In a study of global access to surgical care, the Lancet Commission found that more than 4.8 billion people in the world do not have access to surgery. In India, this results in 90% of the population lacking access to safe surgical care. In order to achieve safe, affordable, and timely surgical care, patients also need access to reliable anesthesia care. Urban hospitals in India often deal with high patient volume which limits the amount of attention each anesthetist can reasonably give each patient. Accordingly, physician attention is a limited resource in these clinical settings. Maintaining a patent airway is essential for adequate oxygenation and remains a significant demand for the attention of the anesthesia team on a daily basis. Failure to maintain a patent airway can be life-threatening to patients. Glossoptosis is the downward displacement of the tongue that is often caused by loss of muscle tone. This complication often presents when escalating sedatives are administered to comfort patients during cases using regional anesthesia and can lead to complete obstruction of the upper airway. The primary clinical response involves three, two-handed maneuvers performed by the anesthetist: head elevation, chin lift, and jaw thrust. Although this approach effectively maintains the patency of the airway, it does not allow the provider to attend to other responsibilities until the risk of airway compromise is alleviated. In some cases, after five to 10 minutes of performing the jaw thrust, anesthetists will elect to intubate the patient and transfer to general anesthesia. Our solution to relieve this burden on anesthesia providers is a medical device that can keep the patient in the jaw thrust position. Although competitors in this space focus on replicating one of the three maneuvers performed by the anesthetist, Safe-T aims to prevent upper airway obstruction by designing a device that mimics all three of these maneuvers.

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