SAN JOSE, California – Jorge Odon, a car mechanic from Argentina, developed a low-cost instrument for child delivery during the critical second stage of childbirth, dubbed the Odon Device.
The second stage of birth involves the final actions of pushing and the actual delivery of the baby. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “complications due to prolonged second stage of labour include potentially fatal maternal (hemorrhage, infection) and newborn complications (birth asphyxia and trauma).”
As reported by the New York Times, 10% of 137 million childbirths result in fatal complications, 5.6 million babies are delivered still born and 260 million women pass away during these complications.
The inspiration stemmed from a cork lost in a wine bottle. Connecting the idea to childbirth and with the help of a grocery bag and his daughter’s doll, Odon developed the Odon Device prototype in his kitchen in Argentina. To date, Odon patents each new development to earn royalties.
Apart from a hailing endorsement by WHO, donors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The device is constructed with a thin film of polyethylene material, a safer alternative to forceps or vacuum like extractions during childbirth, which often cause hemorrhage or fracture babies’ bones. The device separates the baby from the birth canal and reduces infections.
The procedure includes an insterter that grasps the child’s head. Small amounts of air are then funneled into the thin film as it securely envelops the baby. The insterter is then finally removed as the lubricated film, cocooned around the baby’s head, provides traction for extraction.
Furthermore, the Odon Device is a practicable tool in rural environments where there is a lack of surgical and human resources present. Conversely, the Odon Device can potentially reduce caesarian procedures in well-supplied environments.
The Odon Device is currently undergoing study in Argentina and South Africa, a process approved by the WHO. Presently, it is being tested under normal, uncomplicated delivery conditions in both rural environments and tertiary healthcare centers. The objective is to determine the feasibility, safety and efficiency of the Odon Device.
Thirty women in Argentina have successfully delivered with aid of the Odon Device while 100 are to be tested and will subsequently be followed by a second phase under less normal, obstructed conditions.
The New Jersey based Becton, Dickinson and Company oversees the Odon Device with an estimated cost of $50 to construct. The company plans to charge developing nations for a lesser amount pending for worldwide use.
– Miles Abadilla
Sources: World Health Organization, Odon Device, New York Times, The Telegraph