Study Shows Mirador Biomedical's Compass Improves Patient Safety and Saves Hospitals Money During Vascular Access

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Multicenter evaluation of Compass™ Vascular Access shows efficacy in May issue of Anesthesia and Analgesia journal.

Inadvertent placement of a catheter intended for a vein into an artery can result in devastating complication such as stroke, severe bleeding and death. Mirador Biomedical's multicenter evaluation of the Compass™ Vascular Access has demonstrated that the device can help physicians avoid these complications while saving hospitals $116 per procedure. Trial results were published in the May edition of the prestigious Anesthesia and Analgesia journal.

The Compass Vascular Access is a small battery-powered pressure measurement device with integrated digital display. During central venous catheter (central line) placement, the Compass is inserted between the finder needle and syringe, enabling the catheter inserter to instantly determine whether the needle tip is in a vein or an artery via their different pressure profiles.

An animation demonstrating the use of the Compass Vascular Access is available at:

The Compass Vascular Access was used at four sites during placement of 298 central lines. In 5 cases (1.7%), the needle tip was inadvertently placed into an artery; all of these occurred under ultrasound guidance and all were detected by the Compass. No guidewires or central lines were placed in arteries. A cost benefit analysis demonstrated that an average hospital would experience a net savings of $116 per central line placement by using the Compass device to avoid arterial cannulation.

Kei Togashi M.D., the study’s Principal Investigator, said, “Misplacement of a large bore catheter intended for a vein into an artery (inadvertent cannulation) is a very real and potentially deadly error. Although pressure measurement is a proven, effective method to reduce this error, existing pressure measurement methods are cumbersome. In our evaluation of the novel Compass device, user satisfaction was very high. Most importantly, the device proved effective at measuring pressure and detecting arterial puncture. The Compass also features a self-sealing port which allows introduction of a guidewire directly through the device while monitoring the pressure for changes that could indicate the needle tip has migrated into an artery. The Compass proved to be a safe and effective tool in central venous line placements.”

Justin Hulvershorn M.D., Ph.D., Mirador’s Chief Science Offer added, “Over the past few years, a number of publications have shown that inadvertent arterial cannulations during central line insertion continue to occur and that the associated complications can be both devastating and costly. Using pressure for venous confirmation is a proven technique to reduce or eliminate these complications. As problem awareness has grown, societies such as the American Society of Anesthesiologists have published guidelines recommending the use of pressure as a means of venous confirmation. Also, venous confirmation has become a component of central line checklists such as those published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA). The Compass Vascular Access makes it fast and easy for physicians to comply with the guidelines, implement these checklists, and enhance patient safety at their institutions.”

The multicenter trial publication is available on the Anesthesia and Analgesia website:

About Mirador Biomedical
Mirador Biomedical is a privately held company founded in 2009 in Seattle, Washington to develop the Compass™ family of medical devices. The Compass platform consists of sterile, inexpensive, single-use devices with an incorporated digital display designed to provide quantitative pressure measurements during procedures. The device integrates seamlessly with current procedural techniques and enables physicians to simultaneously view their hands, the patient and the pressure without additional cabling, operators or connections. For more information visit

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Karl Schmidt
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