Technologies

These are the technologies developed by students at Rice University that Andrea and I have taken with us to Maluti Hospital. The first four are for general practice while the last four are more specialized for obstetrics and pediatrics (babies and their mommas).

 

GENERAL PRACTICE

IV Therapy Monitor: IV DRIP

This is the device my team and I worked on throughout the last school year. It’s a low-cost IV therapy monitor which automatically stops fluid flow after a certain amount of saline solution has been delivered to a child. The device uses a lever arm with the IV bag hanging from one side and a counterweight hanging from the opposite side. By shifting the counterweight along the notches (each notch correlates to 50mL delivered), the physician can specify how much fluid to deliver. As fluid leaves the IV bag, the bag becomes lighter and the counterweight finally tips the scale, triggering a “spring clamp mechanism” … which is actually just a mousetrap. The mousetrap snaps shut, kinking the IV tubing like you would a garden hose, and the fluid is stopped. Clever, huh? I thought so. 😛

 

Dosing Clips: DoseRITE Clips

These are cute little clips that allow you to draw an accurate amount of medicine into a syringe. They clip directly onto the syringe, and when the plunger is pulled back, the clip stops the plunger at exactly the specified amount of fluid/medicine. The clips are color coded by milliliters.

 

Dosing Bottle: Invertabottle

The lids to these bottles have a screw tip so that syringes with a luer lock tip can be screwed directly onto the bottle. Turning the bottle upside down, the plunger can be pulled out and the medicine/fluid from the bottled can be directly pulled into the syringe for use.

 

Centrifuge: Dremelfuge

This is a low-cost centrifuge made out of a dremel. Instead of a saw though, it has a head which can accommodate 5mL samples. It is battery powered and operated by a simple on-off switch.

 

BABIES AND MOMMAS

 Apnea Monitor for Infants: Breath Alert

This is the device my partner Andrea Ulrich worked on as her senior capstone design project. It’s a device which monitors the breaths of a (usually) pre-mature infant. Because their nervous systems haven’t been fully developed, they often “forget” to breathe when sleeping. This device will sense when the baby is breathing, and there’s no breath for 15 second, it’ll send a vibration to the belt, waking up the baby. If the baby still does not breathe, a red light will begin flashing indicating a nurse needs to see to the baby.

 

Jaundice Phototherapy Lights: Bililights

These lights are used to break down the bilirubin that builds up in jaundice. The lights hang above an incubator or crib and use LEDs to shine blue light down to the baby at the correct wavelength to break down bilirubin. Though the lights are powered by electricity, because they are LEDs, they require very little.

 

Post-partum Hemorrhage Monitor: SAPHE Pad

This pad is made much like a diaper is made, but with added powder inside to absorb blood rather than… piss. Each square absorbs roughly 50mL of blood, so by counting the squares and how full each square is, a physician can estimate how much blood a mother has lost after giving birth. If the result is more than 500mL, the physician knows the mother needs to be cared for.

 

Length Board

This is a device which can accurately measure infants. Because there’s not much to go on to determine a baby’s health, doctors often go by the baby’s weight and length. The front board is pulled out, revealing a mat with two tape measures on either side. The baby is placed on the mat, and the foot and headboard are matched to the baby. The nurse can then read the measurement.

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