FFE Magazine

Mechanic solves birth Problem

by FFE EU News Staff


Jorge Odon_2

Jorge Odon


Father and garage workshop owner Jorge Odon has been cooking up ways to simplify jobs in his workplace by inventing patents. He has made 8 patents that deal with cars — until 2005 when he delved into obstetrics.


Odon’s garage staff showed him a YouTube video of how to remove a cork inside a bottle without breaking it. In the video, a plastic bag was stuffed inside the bottle and blown. The bag then wrapped itself tightly around the cork, allowing both to be pulled out through the thin neck.


The trick so impressed Odon that one night he was struck with the idea of using the same principle to those giving birth. At first people thought his idea was crazy. But with the help of a friend, Carlos Modena, he got hold of an obstetrician and had a meeting with him.


Odon said ‘My friend was still sceptical, so when we went to see the doctor, at first he sat quite far away from me. But once he saw that the doctor was interested in this idea and quite impressed, he moved his chair closer and started saying “we” have invented this!’


Encouraged by the doctor, Odon registered a patent and started to experiment using his daughters dolls and jam jars. Once he came up with a working model, he showed it to Dr Javier Schvartzman of Centre for Medical Education and Clinical Research in Buenos Aires. At first Dr Schvartzman was sceptical, but he agreed to help Odon develop the device.


In 2008, World Health Organisation chief co-ordinator Dr Mario Merialdi asked for a 10-minute demonstration that stretched to two hours. Merialdi said ‘I was intrigued, but also sceptical because for many years, almost centuries, there has been no innovation in this area of work.’


At present, doctors use two devices to aid births: forceps and the ventouse. But both instruments often left scars and deformities on the baby’s head and may also be traumatic for the mother.


With the ‘Odon device’, a double layer of plastic is inserted through the birth canal and grips the baby’s head and chin. Like the cork, the baby can then be pulled through the canal with minimal damage or bleeding to both mother and child.


The device was later tested that same year at the Des MoinesUniversity in Iowa using a state-of-the-art birth simulator. Experts were convinced.


Some 99% of maternal deaths happen in developing countries. Worldwide, about 5.6 million babies die (stillborn or after birth) annually. Bleeding, suffocation and complications are the leading causes of maternal and child deaths related to birthing.

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