Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Plastic Bag That Will Make Difficult Labor and Delivery Easier and Safer for Mothers and Unborn Babies

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Talk about making baby delivery safer for both mother and baby without breaking the bank! Starting as an idea on someone's kitchen counter seven years ago, doctors now believe this device shown above has the potential to save lots of babies distressed during delivery in poor countries, and can also reduce cesarean section births in richer countries.

So what is the genesis of this device?

Sometime in 2006, Jorge Odon in Argentina watched a Youtube video and in his dreams that night, the idea in the video fused with his knowledge of mechanics, and his aunt's experience of child delivery, and the result is a new and simple device to help women with difficult labor have a better outcome without the need of drugs or surgery.

Using the Odón Device, an attendant slips a plastic bag inside a lubricated plastic sleeve around the head, inflates it to grip the head of the baby and then pulls the bag until the baby exits the birth canal. This invention has been endorsed by the World Health Organization and major donors, and a medical technology company in the US has just licensed it for production.

I find this so amazing, anyone can really be an inventor, make money, and do good life saving work in the process too. Kudos to Mr Odon.

Here's Mr Odon's story from the New York Times,

He tinkers at his garage, but his previous inventions were car parts. Seven years ago, he said, employees were imitating a video showing that a cork pushed into an empty bottle can be retrieved by inserting a plastic grocery bag, blowing until it surrounds the cork, and drawing it out.

That night, he won a dinner bet on it.

At 4 a.m., he woke his wife and told her the idea that had just come to him. (His own children were born without problems, he said, but he has an aunt who suffered nerve damage from birth.)

His wife, he recalled, “said I was crazy and went back to sleep.”

The next morning, a somewhat skeptical friend introduced him to an obstetrician. “You can imagine these two guys in suits in a waiting room full of pregnant ladies,” he said.

The doctor was encouraging, so he kept working. Polyethylene replaced the bag his wife had sewn, and the jar was replaced by a plastic uterus.

With the help of a cousin, Mr. Odón met the chief of obstetrics at a major hospital in Buenos Aires. The chief had a friend at the W.H.O., who knew Dr. Merialdi, who, at a 2008 medical conference in Argentina, granted Mr. Odón 10 minutes during a coffee break.

The meeting instead lasted two hours. At the end, Dr. Merialdi declared the idea “fantastic” and arranged for testing at the Des Moines University simulation lab, which has mannequins more true-to-life than a doll and a jar.

Since then, Mr. Odón has continued to refine the device, patenting each change so he will eventually earn royalties on it.

“My daughter said, ‘And now I can have my doll back,’ ” he said.

It is too early to know what BD will charge, Mr. Cohen said, but each device should cost less than $50 to make. While the company expects to profit on all sales, it will charge poor countries less.

Dr. Merialdi said he endorsed a modest profit motive because he had seen other lifesaving ideas languish for lack of it. He cited magnesium sulfate injections, which can prevent fatal eclampsia, and corticosteroids, which speed lung development in premature infants.

“But first, this problem needed someone like Jorge,” he said. “An obstetrician would have tried to improve the forceps or the vacuum extractor, but obstructed labor needed a mechanic. And 10 years ago, this would not have been possible. Without YouTube, he never would have seen the video.”

Read the full Story

1 comment:

  1. It's really impressive as article!
    Thank you for sharing!


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