How a Condom and a Catheter Are Saving Mothers From Bleeding to Death During Delivery

Thursday, July 30, 2015

An innovation that costs less than $5, and requires items that could be found in any drug store, could save thousands of mothers’ lives.

Across the world, about 130,000 mothers die every year due to postpartum hemorrhage, a condition in which a woman experiences excessive bleeding following the birth of a baby. While developed countries with advanced health systems have the resources available to save these women, many low-income countries don’t — which is why they’re looking toward a simple device that requires a condom and a catheter.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital developed a low-cost alternative to the uterine balloon tamponade, a device that’s used worldwide when women experience PPH, that’s just as effective as its pricier counterpart.

After a condom is tied to a Foley catheter, it’s inflated with clean water through a syringe and one-way valve. The process has been shown to stop the bleeding, according to an MGH press release.

This device costs just a few dollars, while the single-use medical balloons manufactured in the U.S. can run more than $400.

Source: The Huffington Post (link opens in a new window)

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