Following the news item on Fetal Shunts, BMFMS member Mr David Howe, wrote that his team have been using the Somatex shunt instead of Harrison drains for over a year now.
David says “We found the Harrison drains to be very soft, so that they were often dislodged and fell out shortly after insertion. The Somatex shunt has been used on the continent for some time now. The shunt has the advantage of fitting through a narrower needle than the Harrison so is less likely to disrupt membranes and less uncomfortable. It also seems to stay in place better - if anything, it can sometimes be difficult to remove after delivery. The "feel" is a bit different when inserting so I think the technique needs slight modification, and I would be happy to discuss with anyone who wanted to consider these. The other disadvantage is much higher cost than Harrison - but minor compared to additional neonatal stays.”