Obstructed labor accounts for 8% of maternal deaths in developing countries, ranging from 7-45% in Africa, which amounts to approximately 42,000 deaths annually. Assisted vaginal delivery by forceps or vacuum extraction can be effective during prolonged second stage or when maternal effort is lacking. Vacuum extraction requires less training and has fewer associated risks than forcep delivery and does not require surgical facilities.
Symphisiotyomy, a minimally invasive procedure that involves dividing the cartilage of the symphysis pubis and temporarily enlarging the pelvis 1-3 cm requires vacuum extraction and can be performed in lieu of a cesarean section if there are inadequate trained personnel or surgical facilities. Many existing vacuum devices break down easily, are unused because personnel are not trained, or run on electricity, which is not always available, especially in rural areas.
The goal of this project is to develop a vacuum extraction device that can be used by a range of health care providers in resource limited settings. The final design consists of two major parts, an applicator and an extraction component. The applicator is composed of three separate units: a pronged component with three prongs, a cone, and a handle.
I have seen the people that my device will affect, and have met with the practitioners that will ultimately use it. The tangibility of that encounter makes me want to be a more accountable and ethical engineer.
What to Know About The Global Health Design Initiative
GHDI has been working with stakeholders for more than eight years to identify and address global health design challenges. Learn more about our history and core values.Learn More →
Since inception, we have worked on projects in maternal health, family planning, minimally invasive surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and more. Explore our past and current projects.Learn More →