Have you ever tried to open a bottle of wine, only to find yourself fighting with a cork that just won’t come out? It’s a common enough occurrence, but this seemingly simple (albeit annoying) situation has now become the basic concept behind a life-saving device for babies at birth.
The birth of great ideas come from everywhere, and this one was born from an auto mechanic in Argentina.
That’s right folks, an auto mechanic. Mechanics are awesome and I totally love mine but they’re not the first person I’d think of as the brainchild behind what’s being hailed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a groundbreaking invention in a field that’s had “very little advancement for years.” Well, this story just told me, didn’t it?
According to an article on Salon, the device has the potential to “save the lives of babies stuck in the birth canal and greatly reduce the number of cesarian surgeries performed each year.”
The auto mechanic, who literally dreamed up his creation one night while sleeping (yep, like had an actual dream about it!), built the original prototype using a glass jar, his daughter’s toy doll, and a hand-sewn fabric bag his wife made, according to the Salon article. The Odón Device, aptly named after the mechanic who invented it, is now licensed for production by an American medical technology company.
The gist of how it works, according to the article: “an attendant slips a plastic bag inside a lubricated plastic sleeve around the head, inflates it to grip the head and pulls the bag until the baby emerges.” Whoa, that sounds a bit scary, right? Well, obstructed labor is pretty scary. In wealthier countries, it often ends in an emergency c-section and death in poorer countries.
And that, folks, is how great ideas are born. A dream, a bottle of wine, and an auto mechanic. Lesson learned.
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