BRIDGE Device Being Used at Reid Health to Help Patients Safely Withdraw From Opioids

RICHMOND, IN, April 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A groundbreaking medical device works to help patients at Reid Health deal with the discomfort of acute opioid withdrawal symptoms. 

The NSS-2 BRIDGE device, pioneered by Indiana-based medical technology firm Innovative Health Solutions, Inc. (IHS), is a medication-free, non-opioid management system. The disposable device can be worn for up to five days and is placed behind the ear with micro-needle arrays that percutaneously implant in and around the ear. 

Lisa Suttle, director of strategic initiatives community psychiatric services at Reid Health, said the BRIDGE device helps patients by significantly reducing withdrawal symptoms. Their Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS) scores drop from the mid-20s to six and below in the first 30 minutes. Suttle said this translates to decreased anxiousness, restless legs, heart rate, blood pressure and nausea for patients. 

Withdrawal symptoms from opioids can manifest quickly and include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, anxiety and sleeplessness. Symptoms are so overwhelming many people turn back to opioids after only a few hours. 

“In many cases, the severe discomfort of withdrawal is the reason a person continues to use opioids,” said Suttle. “For those who want to stop, the BRIDGE provides hope and instant relief from withdrawal symptoms they are familiar with and afraid to go through again.”

“The BRIDGE helps patients detox more comfortably, so they can focus on the underlying issues contributing to addiction,” said IHS President Brian Carrico. “Research shows people detoxing from opioids without the BRIDGE have only a 15 percent chance of success. With the BRIDGE, however, research shows their success rate jumps to 88 percent, nearly six times higher.” 

Reid Health was among the first healthcare providers to use BRIDGE devices as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Suttle said the majority of patients have been able to stay clean for seven to 10 days so they can begin Vivitrol, a medication to manage opioid dependence, or enter into a long-term residential treatment facility. 

In 2014, after a noticeable increase in opioid overdoses, opioid deaths and addicted babies born at Reid Health, more than 60 people representing health, law enforcement, education, elected officials, treatment centers and others came together to form the Heroin is Here committee. They hope to collectively establish an environment that fosters a healthy, drug-free and substance-free lifestyle. 

In November 2017, the BRIDGE received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Doctors can now prescribe treatment using the device to patients who are in withdrawal, along with patients suffering from post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). The FDA clearance also means the BRIDGE will be eligible for insurance coverage as soon as states and commercial carriers adopt the technology.

Click here for more information about the BRIDGE. 


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