Soft BiteBlock® Product Expands, Launches Joint Commission-Compliant Packaging
Richmond Dental and Medical’s Soft BiteBlock® offering is expanding from its original large size with the addition of medium and small sizes. The expanded product lineup will now have packaging compliant with Joint Commission mandates for individually-wrapped supplies used in clinics and hospitals across the United States.
Market Demand for Soft BiteBlock®
Aimed at the prevention of tongue biting, teeth breaking, and compressing airway device during emergence from general anesthesia during surgical procedures, the original Soft BiteBlock® launched in 2016. Over the last two years anesthesiology professionals at the education conferences of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the American Society of Anesthesiology have confirmed for Richmond the need for a full complement of soft bite blocks to prevent adverse experiences for patients emerging from anesthesia.
The Soft BiteBlock® is the most recent example, in a long line of external collaborations with the medical community, to optimize Richmond’s product lines to the various specifications of clinical and surgical professionals. Co-developed with a team of women entrepreneurs, headed by CRNA Diana Roloff, the original Soft BiteBlock® entered the market in large sizing at three-quarters of an inch in diameter by four inches in length. The Soft BiteBlock®, a dense cylindrical shape wrapped in silky yarn, is placed between a patient’s molars to prevent them from biting their tongue, breaking their teeth, or compressing the airway device during emergence.
New Small and Medium Sizes
New for 2018, Richmond has launched a pair of new sizes aimed at expanding the market: three-quarters-of-an-inch in diameter by two and three-quarters-of-an-inch in length, as well as nine-sixteenths of an inch in diameter by two-and-a-half inches in length.
According to Roloff, the innovation team dreamed of having and array of products that would meet various clinical needs. "From day one, we felt we needed three sizes to properly cover all of the risk for patients," said Roloff. "We needed proof of concept with the original bulk-packaged large size. Now, we can expand to cover everyone. While kids don’t typically have the same issues as adults with respect to teeth breaking, they can still compromise the endotracheal tube in certain situations."
A League of Its Own
The Soft BiteBlock® is a true market innovation, competing in a class by itself. Actually, its main competitors are DIY rolled gauze and tampons. The main problem with the former is that DIY taped gauze is typically rolled by anesthesia professionals in open work rooms, while Richmond’s Soft BiteBlocks® are manufactured in a FDA-registered facility. The issue with tampons is, of course, that while they are made to be absorbent, they lack the resilience of a true bite block when confronted with the level of pressure generated by the jaw as patients emerge from general anesthesia.
Meeting Joint Commission Standards for Intubation Products and Supplies
Making matters more complicated for the DIY set is the advent of new regulations from the Joint Commission, a non-profit charged with certifying and accrediting more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs around the country. Without Joint Commission accreditation, care providers lose their eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for their services, a death knell for many organizations.
To give health care professionals and providers a fully-compliant and effective solution for endotracheal intubation, the Soft BiteBlock® family will now meet Joint Commission guidelines for individually-wrapped medical supplies.
"The expansion of the Soft BiteBlock® family is a winning proposition for patients, care providers, and our company--in that order," said Chuck Allen, head of product development at Richmond Dental and Medical. "An engineered solution beats a DIY or repurposed product every time, and now that we have packaging compliant with Joint Commission standards, our Soft BiteBlock® products should be a staple for operating rooms worldwide. We appreciate the efforts of Diana Roloff, her team, and our testing partners at North Dakota State University, who ensured that this product would be an elite solution at launch.”
To learn more about the Soft BiteBlock® product line or request a sample, visit www.richmonddental.net/products/soft-biteblock.