Proving that ingenuity can spring from anywhere, a 59 year old Argentinian car mechanic has invented a device that can dramatically reduce the incidence of childbirth complications. It’s called the Odón Device (named after the inventor, Jorge Odón) and consists of a plastic bag within a lubricated plastic sleeve, which is then fitted around the baby’s head while it is still in the womb. After it’s inflated and has gripped the head, the handles can be used to safely pull the baby out. There’s no need to use hard instruments, which can often injure a child. As a matter of fact, current options kind of suck; you either have to use forceps (medspeak for ‘pliers’) or a suction cup that attaches to the head. Either of these in untrained hands can be disastrous, so the Odón Device provides a safer-to-use alternative.
And this is not just a quirky human-interest story that’s been picked up by the media. Jorge’s invention has been enthusiastically endorsed by the World Health Organisation as a “low cost instrument for assisted vaginal delivery”. Currently still undergoing testing, the Odón Device could be manufactured for as little as $50.