I retired in April 2013 after 25 years as a librarian at the British Library specialising in inventions. This included running numerous workshops; writing books on inventions and a work blog; carrying out searches for clients; and one-to-one meetings with inventors. [more]


4 December 2013

Easing childbirth: Argentine mechanic Odon's invention

I love it when the story behind an invention is revealed. The story Odon childbirth device: car mechanic uncorks a revolution on the BBC website tells of a bottle, a loose cork inside it, and a plastic bag, and how they inspired Argentine car mechanic Jorge Odon to an invention.

Already the holder of several patents related to cars, and the father of five children, Odon challenged a friend to guess how to get a loose cork out of a bottle. As he'd seen a UTube video he knew that a plastic bag and some breaths would do the trick (the friend thought you'd have to break the bottle).

Then he realised that the same principle could be used to make childbirth easier. Thoughtlessly, he waited until 4 am to let his wife know this. "That's nice", she said, and went back to sleep.

In 2012 the World patent application was published (in Spanish, but with an English summary) with the unusual title Device for extracting elements from cavities which uses a bag for extraction and an applicator.

An earlier World patent application was published in the USA in 2010 as a patent application, Device for extracting elements from a cavity.  Presumably the later patent document is a refinement of that invention. In both of them a Spanish inventor is also named.

Using forceps is the normal method in 10% of births, and it is to be hoped that the Odon method is a successful alternative.

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