ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) – An Argentine mechanic was inspired by a wine bottle trick to invent a cheap medical device that could reduce complications in women during labor delivery.
CBS News reports Jorge Odon came up with the idea of the “Odon device” first in a dream after he won a bet with friends to remove a cork stuck in a glass bottle without breaking it.
The 59-year-old took it a few steps further realizing the same process could be done during vaginal delivery.
According to Odondevice.org, a plastic bag is slipped inside a lubricated plastic sleeve around the baby’s head by an attendant. It’s then inflated to grip the baby’s head and pulls the bag safely until the baby emerges.
A YouTube video showing a person dislodging a cork from a wine bottle by rolling up a plastic bag, placing it in the bottle and inflating it, before pulling out the bag and cork is where Odon got the idea to create the device.
The night Odon thought of the concept, he was asleep dreaming and thought the idea could work on babies who got stuck in the birth canal.
Using his daughter’s toy doll, a glass jar, and a fabric bag sewn by his wife, Odon created the first prototype of his device. From that point, he brought his idea to a hospital chief in Buenos Aires who then sent him to a maternal and perinatial health researcher at the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr. Mario Merialdi was extremely impressed with the concept and idea so he commissioned to have preliminary testing conducted at Des Moine University in Iowa in 2008.
“This critical moment of life is one in which there’s been very little advancement for years,” Merialdi explained to The New York Times.
Medical doctors believe that Odon’s invention has huge potential to save a lot of lives in underdeveloped countries around the world. In addition, it could also help prevent women from undergoing c-sections where the procedure is affordable.
“The Odon device, developed by WHO and now undergoing clinical trials, offers a low-cost simplified way to deliver babies, and protect mothers, when labour is prolonged,” WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan said in a press release. “It promises to transfer life-saving capacity to rural health posts, which almost never have the facilities and staff to perform a C-section. If approved, the Odon device will be the first simple new tool for assisted delivery since forceps and vacuum extractors were introduced centuries ago.”
So far, the device has already won awards including the “Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development” award.
According to the odondevice.org, the device is being tested in a two-phased study in health care facilities in rural South Africa and Argentina. During phase one, it will be tested for safety and feasibility under normal delivery conditions.
In the context of the WHO approved study, “testing has started at a tertiary care center in Argentina.”