While many MIT students busily build break-dancing robots or websites that let your pets network better at doggie daycare, PhD candidate Danielle Zurovcik has designed a $3 pump to drastically speed up the healing of countless patients in the aftermath of Haiti's recent earthquake.
The pump works by sucking bacteria and rancid fluids out of a wound, and by encouraging healing blood flow. Inspired by a toilet plunger, Zurovcik's device consists of nothing more than a bellows pump, a plastic tube, and a fitting that covers the wound or amputation site.
Zurovcik originally intended to test the device in Rwanda, but when the Haitian earthquake hit, she joined up with a wound-care team, and deployed her new invention. It may not be the most mysterious quantum doodad or augmented-reality monocle, but Zurovcik's pump proves that sometimes the most useful futuristic technology is actually just simpler, cheaper, easier, and fills a proven need.
Plunger grommet and fish tank air tubes. I suppose as long as the parts are new and not used it's great.
What a great idea. Reminds me of the Lung Flute featured here on PopSci.
This is what I love to see. Inventions that better the world and will help those who cant help them selfs.
This is the stuff that Nobel prizes are made of.
Umm, no need to sound the hero trumpets, as a duplicate wound drainage function can be found in the Zimmer, Inc. product called the Hemovac.
A Hemovac drained my chainsaw wound in 1984. Probably before the MIT student was born.
This is awesome! Simplicity is always overlooked... We try to make all of these contraptions that are too overly complicated. Keeping it simple is almost always the best procedure.
I remember as a kid watching MASH and they made something similar with two bottles one filled with water and tubes between. The water in one is drained producing a vacuum suction like this. Not anything new. But good to keep thinking of ways to do stuff, sometimes you rediscover the old ways, or even improve them.
That is true elgsis, simplicity is key. In the history of science, how often is it a complicated elaborate machine or mechanism that comes to shine light on things? Almost never. There is no need. Think about it. We all look back at devices in the past and either say "Why didn't I think of that" or to us, it seems a easy device to have though of. Always simple. Good job MIT student.
This seems to be the exact same thing as a JP drain.
@spuffler Hemovacs are the expensive pumps that the author was referencing to, very effective but expensive.
There is nothing new here at all. I had one of these attached to my knee in 1984 while recovering from a knee injury when I was in the Air Force. Had one of them draining my knee for over a week and remember it well.
The device is smaller, cheaper, lighter and better build. Same device only better, awesome.
Nothing new here. This has been known for decades as a redon drain.
Does anyone know if this is something that can be attached to Wound-VAC® devices?
Err, ah, that is right. Not new except in design maybe. I just had a face lift and a small bulb was hanging around my neck after I awoke from the table. All you had to do was squeeze it from time to time to create a vacuum. It was connected to a small tube that went into my neck.
@airforce cmd, yep thats the JP drain
@cabbot, To my knowledge there would be no reason to hook this thing up to a wound-vac device because they perform the same action except the wound-vac has a battery operated pump and can create a stronger vacuum.
I'm an RN, and I use these wnd-vac devices. What an f'n rip off at $100/day! A glorified vacuum f'n cleaner. $3 sounds a bit more like it! Wnd-vac and other "medical devices" are partly the reason why we have escalating medical costs and resultant premiums etc. The principle and operation of these kind of devices are not rocket science, as illustrated by a $3 device that was devised to work just as good as the $100/day one (granted there is a bit of manual operation involved with the $3 device). Lets hope that Obama can reign in this kid of crap so we can all enjoy a DECENT quality of health care without having to loose our house over it!
Obama won't reign anything in. Have you not noticed that the insurance companies haven't fought this at all. One little peep that premiums may be a little higher and thats all. Remember when the clintons tried it, they advertised, fought like crazy. The deals with the insurance companies whatever they are had been made at the start of this. 30 million new high dollar policies guaranteed by the government and everyone else REQUIRED to buy insurance whether you want it or not, or fines and jail time.
They aren't working against those "greedy insurance companies" and CEO's. Their working together. I found a report that health insurance industry gave obama 20 million in the 2008 campaign 3 times what they gave mccain. It's time for some pay back for that 20 million.
I'll second linefulback98; someone please explain how this is any different from a Jackson-Pratt drain, a.k.a. JP drain or 'bulb" drain, which has been around forever, works well, is very simple, durable and inexpensive, and requires NO power. Sounds like all these guys have is a better marketing department.
If invented/marketed by a corporation it would cost $75/day...just enough to undercut competition and maximize profits.
This is a JP drain, which has been in use for ages. Comparing it to the battery powered Woundvac makes *no* sense -- you're comparing apples and oranges.
Hate to say it but I sincerely doubt you can make a *sterile* version of this and ship it to Haiti for $3 each.
I get the feeling nobody did any fact checking when they printed this press release word for word?
Have you ever heard of the government taking over *anything* without causing its cost/price to go through the roof? Add three layers of bureaucracy to an existing bureaucracy and the price goes down? Not in my reality. More to-the-point; you're an RN - are you overworked now? Are your doctors accepting new patients, or are they already overtaxed? In 2008 there were 385,508 non-federal primary care physicians in the U.S. There were roughly 305 million residents in the US in the beginning of 2009. If *everyone* has insurance, that's a caseload of 791 patients for every primary care physician in the US, whether they're OB/GYN, Pediatricians, or family practice. That's 790 people in the waiting room before *you*... I used to live in the SEATAC region - and on the news several times was video of *busloads* of Canadians coming to Seattle with cash in hand to pay for medical appointments they *could not get* in their Universal Health country.
Give this kid a Nobel prize we need more simple medical solutions like this.
This is much like the JP drain but I have to say you will more likely find the parts to make this homemade one already in Haiti.
Did any of you even read the article?
The device or its function is not the improvement here the article even states that they exist and are in common use.
The revolution here is in the cost and therefore relative availability to people in 3rd world countries.
If you make $1.50 a day a $100 per day device might as well be science fiction to you. a $3 total device however is affordable and can save the lives of people all over the world.
Making and shipping a Sterile device is not really that difficult or expensive. medical devices are made and shipped and remain sterile for very low production costs. Do not assume that because you are charged a lot that they are that expensive to make or distribute.
OR are you just spewing misinformation ?
^^ Here, here, @mitEj It's all about cost and feasibility for the location.
too bad you fell for all the misinformation available in the US. regardless of the government leaning, a single payer solution like applied al over Europe would save a huge amount of money on health care.
29% of health care cost in the US goes to administrative costs. IN Europe it's 4 to 7%. My family doctors when I lived in France and Switzerland didn't even have any admin personnel because the ppaperwork was easy. Ever wondered why there are dosens of ladies sitting in front of computers and on the phone when you go to a hospital or clinic? It's because ever john Dick and Harry has a different private insurance and the insurance needs to be contacted to find out what they will cover and at what price. A "government controlled" system allows to provide the same coverage to everybody, no question needed.
Of course, in every such country, as well as in the US or Brazil or India or anywhere, if you want to spend a ton of money for special treatment, you can do it - at your own cost.
For every Canadian who comes to the US for an expensive treatment, there are hundreds of Americans who would love to go to Canada and receive subsidized treatment. You will also find thousands of Americans who travel to Thailand or India or Brazil or even Mexico to get surgery or dental care at an affordable price. Hence the expression "Medical tourism".
When my son, during vacation in Europe, took a bad fall and hurt his feet, I took him to the local emergency room in a small town of about 20,000 people. He had X-rays, an emergency doctor visit then, + a follow up visit the next day, all with very nice, attentive medical personnel. When I asked what my bill was, at first the hospital people didn't understand, as the locals never see a bill. So I could have cheated and spend nothing. When I explained that I lived abroad and had no local health coverage, they presented me with a bill for less than $100 (yes, one hundred). It was not even worth submitting that to my US insurance once back, because that was less than my deductible.
As far as the 791 patients per doctor are concerned, that would be a great luxury in most of the world where the ratio is in the thousands. If my primary care doctor had 791 patients who like me, only visit him once a year, that would mean that there would only be 2 patients a day. A pretty short waiting line, I'd say...
Don't believe the propaganda from people who just love the status quo. Talk to regular John Doe's like me who have see first hand what universal health care can look like.
Quote: If *everyone* has insurance, that's a caseload of 791 patients for every primary care physician in the US
Answer: Actually I have JUST posted a story in which the doctors in the States are slowing switching to a 'concierge' type medicine and the doctor in the article had switched FROM 2500 patients DOWN to around 600 patients soooo I don't really believe the 'statistics' as to the WORKLOAD of a doctor being too much WHEN around 800 patients. Simply because this doctor didn't seem to have any problem handling his 2500 patients.
"Dr. Kaminetsky became a concierge doctor five years ago.
He had 2,500 patients in his practice. His list now numbers 600. "
"Practices typically charge at least $1,500 a year, with the most
elite services asking $25,000 or more per family. The fees cover a
thorough physical exam and enable physicians to limit the number of
patients they see so they can provide premier service. "
@ironjustice and Michelmge
Amazing - If the doctor in your article could service 2,500 patients, the US would only require 122,000 general practitioners to cover the entire population. Guess the other 263,000 were just slacking. Regardless, please don't confuse "boutique medicine" with HMO-style, insurance-driven (soon to be government insurance) practice. Ask Dr. Kaminetsky how many new Medicare/Medicaid patients he enrolls each year. Take a look at the health care bill, get back to me when you find the part where the government will pay a "concierge fee".
...two patients a day? Show me a doctor who sees patients 365 days a year, never takes a vacation, never attends training and professional classes/seminars to stay current. Just one.
The busloads of Canadians were (are) not crossing the border for "special treatment" - they come for *routine* but non-life-threatening appointments that can't be obtained without being placed on a months-long, or longer, waiting list. Deny it all you want - I was there, saw the interviews, and they're still available if you'd like to see them as well.
...$100 for all of that medical care? Was it only worth $100? Or did some poor regular (European) John Doe shell out *half* their paycheck to subsidize your care. I lived/worked in Europe for seven years ('82-'89), and was shocked when my secretary showed me her pay stub - as a single wage-earner, exactly half of her wages went to the government. And now you know who *really* pays for any government handout.
Evil corporations (and yes, there are evil corporations) *do not pay taxes*. Let's repeat that - business does not pay taxes. They raise prices on the goods and services the "regular John Doe" buys, and hand that money to the government. Don't ever forget that the "regular *working* John Doe" pays for the entire dog-and-pony show. Not business, not "the government". Wage-slave you and wage-slave me - and no one else.
i love the idea of a 3 doller pump that can save millions of peoples life a day! it may come in handy alittle more in the future untill a week from now while scientists figure out a new source of healing and saving lives ^_^
$3 and designed off the fundamentals of a toilet plunger? Now that is creativity! It goes to show you what a little forward thinking can to do potentially save thousands of lives. I recently saw an video that reminded me much of the same concept. It was about how doctors and scientists figured out how to treat wounds by printing new skin with ink jet printers! This one really blew my mind. I'll post a link cause you have to see this process to believe it. I guess sometimes the most common everyday objects like a toilet plunger, ink jet printer or if you get hit on the head with a falling apple, can inspire some of the the greatest feats of human ingenuity.