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Medtronic Spends $110 Million on Latest Acquisition

The Aircraft Medical buy allows Medtronic to expand the endotracheal tubes portfolio of its Covidien division.

Aircraft Medical McGrath Mac
Aircraft Medical's McGrath Mac (Image courtesy of Aircraft Medical)

Nancy Crotti

Medtronic recently announced that it has purchased Aircraft Medical, a Scottish company that makes handheld video laryngoscopes used to intubate patients.

The $110 million, all-cash transaction expands the portfolio of endotracheal tubes that Medtronic's Covidien division makes to address difficult airways and prevent respiratory distress and arrest.

The Aircraft Medical purchase is the latest in a string of acquisitions by Dublin, Ireland-based Medtronic. The company has spent well over $1 billion on small device makers worldwide since it closed on the $48 billion Covidien deal in January.

Based in Edinburgh, privately held Aircraft Medical makes the McGrath Mac for routine to difficult intubations and the McGrath 5 for difficult airway management. The McGrath 5 also has a variable-length blade for use in children to adults.

Aircraft Medical's devices enable clinicians to see a patient's vocal cords, allowing them to quickly and effectively insert the breathing tube into the trachea, according to a statement by Medtronic. Video laryngoscopy is associated with an increased number of successful intubations, improved laryngeal views and more successful first-attempt intubations than direct laryngoscopy among patients with difficult airways, the company said.

Post-surgical respiratory failure is the second-most-frequently-occurring preventable safety-adverse event,, according to the 2013 Health Grades report on physicians and hospitals, and is rapidly becoming the third-most costly hospital inpatient expense in the U.S., according to a National Center for Biotechnology Information report.

Learn more about cutting-edge medical devices at BIOMEDevice San Jose, December 2-3.

Nancy Crotti is a contributor to Qmed and MPMN.

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