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The Role of Specialized Medical Tools and Flowprobes for Pediatric Patients

By Kiele Hayes Rigaud31 Jan 2024

Medical professionals who care for infants and children pull from a range of pint-sized tools, scaled to the size of the patient. From smaller needles to child-sized stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs, it’s almost a given that medical equipment should be specialized to fit the anatomy of pediatric patients.

That’s all the more true when it comes to complex medical procedures like heart surgery. In fact, it’s often the smallest of patients – infants, newborns or premature babies weighing only a pound or two – who undergo highly specialized surgeries like congenital heart defect repair procedures. It takes incredible precision and skill to perform this type of surgery on a pediatric patient.

Tools scaled for adults aren’t optimal – tiny vessels and arteries require tiny flowprobes.  

Pediatric Medical Tools

The definition of “pediatric patient” varies slightly depending on who you ask.  The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) defines it as anyone aged 21 or younger, while other organizations delineate “under 18” or even “under 16.” 

In general, pediatric populations are categorized as follows:

  • Neonates: From birth through the first 28 days of life
  • Infants: 29 days to less than 2 years
  • Children: 2 years to less than 12 years
  • Adolescents: Aged 12 through 21

In addition, there are also babies who are not considered full-term. Preemies (born at less than 37 weeks gestation) and micro-preemies (born at less than 26 weeks gestation or born weighing less than 1.75 pounds) also need special consideration when it comes to instruments and devices.

Designing and developing tools for each of these pediatric populations can be challenging. Consider how small the vessels of a micro-preemie are compared to a toddler, let alone compared to an adolescent or adult.

In some cases, medical tools are designed especially for each of these different sizes while other times, they are modified or borrowed from the adult versions. In either case, using instruments that fit the patient is critical. And when it comes to intricate, delicate heart surgeries, the right tools can make all the difference between life and death.  

Flowprobes for Pediatric Use

Transonic’s flow measurement tools are tailored to fit the needs of all sizes of pediatric patients (and adults). Our COnfidence Flowprobes (AU-Series) are available in a range of sizes including 4 mm and 6 mm, while our Microvascular Flowprobes (MU-Series) offer sizes as small as 0.7 mm – that’s less than half the thickness of a penny and the smallest clinical flowprobe currently on the market.

Our pediatric-focused flowprobes were born from a special request from the Boston Children’s Hospital who needed the smaller-sized tools. Years later, we continue to offer specialized pediatric flowprobes because we’re dedicated to filling this need and contributing to life-saving efforts for all people.

Learn More About Optimizing Pediatric Congenital Heart Defect Repair