My name is Hans Utz, and I'm a proud father and husband. I'm also a grieving parent, having lost Colin to HLHS, a severe heart condition, despite the heroic efforts of the nurses and staff. I'm also an inventor, an engineer and problem solver, but the problems those nurses routinely dealt with were harder than anything I've ever had to face in my life.
I saw that one of the hardest parts of the nurses' job was the enormous complexity of all of Colin's medication lines, which were constantly tangled and mixed together. I couldn't help my son, but I thought I could help the nurses who helped him, and that is how Lightengale came to be. The idea came from watching the nurses trace those lines, which looked like stressful and difficult work. Rather than having to touch every single line, it seemed it would be much easier if the nurse could just flip a switch and light the line up to see it clearly.
Often the most fragile patients have the highest number of lines delivering life-saving medication, and if the nurses mix up any one of the lines, the consequences to the patient can be catastrophic. To avoid this, the nurses trace the lines by hand multiple times every day. This task is both tedious and stressful for the nurses, and it takes up valuable time that could be spent with their patients. Unfortunately, it can still result in dangerous errors.
Lightengale simply lights up each individual line the nurse needs to trace. By giving nurses the ability to quickly and easily see the entire IV line from pump to patient, Lightengale shortens the time nurses spend tracing lines and decreases the chance of dangerous mix-up errors — allowing nurses to put their focus back on their patients.
My goal for Lightengale is to get this into the hands of nurses so they can keep helping people like Colin and my family, and to see his legacy truly make a difference.
Lightengale is not only for the safety of patients, but for the heroic nurses dedicated to a higher level of care.
Next up for Lightengale is FDA approval — a costly yet imperative step towards making this solution a reality for all ICU nurses and their patients. It is a long road ahead, but it will be a worthwhile journey. And through your support and donations, the future of Lightengale looks bright.
For your generosity, we’d love to send you a little piece of Lightengale as a sincere ‘thank you.’ None of this is possible without our #TeamLightengale community, and we want your good deed to shine.