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Argentinian Car Mechanic Invents Life-Saving Labor and Delivery Device

It came to him in his sleep: Jorge Odón, age 59, had watched a YouTube video earlier in the day on how to extract a lost cork from a wine bottle.  It was that YouTube video that spurred him to apply the same idea to babies “lost” inside their mothers’ birth canals.  With the help of his wife, he rigged up his device, a fabric bag and sleeve, to a glass jar makeshift “womb” and used his daughter’s doll as the “lost baby”.  Much to his delight, his invention worked and now the World Health Organization is enthusiastically endorsing the device.

Device Has High Potential to Save Lives Across the Globe

The device, known as the Odón Device, is already being swooped up by an American medical technology company and is slated for production.  Doctors across the world are hailing the device for its life-saving potential, especially for babies and mothers in poor countries, and to reduce the number of Cesarean sections performed in wealthier ones.  With the device, a doctor slips a plastic bag inside a lubricated sleeve around the baby’s head, inflates the plastic bag to get a grip around the head, and pulls until the baby emerges from the birth canal.  Currently, if a baby is stuck in the birth canal, medical attendants typically use forceps or suction on the baby’s head to pull.  However, with untrained hands, either method can lead to hemorrhages, crush the baby’s head, or damage the spine.

Man Inspired by Aunt Who Suffered Nerve Damage at Birth

Mr. Odón says that he was largely inspired by his aunt, who suffered nerve damage during her birth.  He says that he spent years tinkering around in the mechanic garage with car parts, but one day his co-workers were discussing a YouTube video of how to extract a cork from a wine bottle with a plastic grocery bag.  You can see an example video below:

That night, he went home and at 4 a.m. woke his wife to tell her of his idea.  He would apply the same idea used to extract the cork from a wine bottle to the extraction of a baby from a mother’s birth canal.  His wife told him he was crazy and that he should go back to sleep, but he was not deterred.  After attempting his idea with the use of his at-home prototype, he realized that it could actually work.  With the help of his cousin, he was introduced to an obstetrician in Argentina the next morning.  That doctor encouraged him to keep working on his invention.  Shortly after, he was introduced to the chief of obstetrics at a major hospital and was told his idea was “fantastic”.  It is too early to know how much the American medical device manufacturer will charge for the product, but Mr. Odón will patent it and make royalties.  It is slated to cost less than $50, and will cost even less for developing countries in high need of such a life-saving device.

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