Bloop: The Ten Dollar Reusable Device That Saves Lives

Bloop: a low-tech and low-cost device that can save lives during surgeries.

For people in low-income countries, undergoing surgery can bear one key additional risk: a lack of access to safe blood supplies means that too many still end up perishing due to loss of blood. But how to prevent major blood loss during surgery, and ensure timely availability of clean and safe blood to those who need it, even in places lacking the appropriate medical infrastructure?

Author Annalisa Dorigo, 08.30.17

Translation Annalisa Dorigo:

For people in low-income countries, undergoing surgery can bear one key additional risk: a lack of access to safe blood supplies means that too many still end up perishing due to loss of blood. But how to prevent major blood loss during surgery, and ensure timely availability of clean and safe blood to those who need it, even in places lacking the appropriate medical infrastructure? Bloop can help.

In emerging economies, blood is a precious commodity: poor medical infrastructure means not only that not enough of it is collected, but insufficient screening facilities also lead to a much higher rate of transfusion-transmissible infections.  

Bloop is a reusable medical instrument that allows doctors to instantly recycle a patient’s own blood, that is the blood they are losing during surgery. Bloop relies on a simple siphon principle to suck out the blood from the wound, clean it, and collect it in a blood bag.

A blood-thinning medicine contained in the vessel of the device flows down towards the bag. This flow generates the gravity necessary for the blood to move from the wound and into the bag. This safe filtered blood can then immediately be given back to the patient, thus preventing dangerous blood loss.

Here’s how it all works:

Safe, low-tech, re-usable and low-cost

The device is not just low-tech, simple to use and to maintain, but also reusable and, priced at just ten USD also low-cost, making clean and safe blood accessible even in places where medical infrastructure is poor or lacking. It’s also available in different versions: the basic model is the most simple, but can be scaled up to take advantage of better standards of infrastructure. The plus model for example, allows for suction of even smaller amounts of blood, requires no starter liquid to create the gravity that ensures the blood collects into the bag, and is suitable for mobile-clinics.

Bloop are currently in their prototyping and field testing phase. In 2018 they plan on linking up with interested partners, and to start distributing their Bloop basic and Bloop plus models. 

Bloop is a finalist in the Index Award 2017, an award for design solutions that improve lives. The winners will be announced on September 1st 2017.

Here’s their video for the award.

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