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Bloop - A life-saving 10$ device to recycle your own blood during surgery

Blood reserves are rarely available in emerging economies. In 2015, 1.2 Million people died of major bleeding during surgery. Bloop is a reusable, affordable medical device making it possible to instantly and safely ‘re-use’ a patient’s own leaking blood.

What it does

Blood reserves are rarely available in emerging economies. In 2015, 1.2 Million people died of major bleeding during surgery. Bloop is a reusable, affordable medical device making it possible to instantly and safely ‘re-use’ a patient’s own leaking blood.


Your inspiration

I was inspired by a magazine article, which addressed the issue of the missing blood products in developing countries. As a result, 40 million of people can't have a surgery because of the risk of bleeding to death. Due to major bleedings during pregnancy complications over 800 women die in emerging economies every year. In consequence the idea came to me not to waste the leaking wound blood and let it 'flow on the ground', but rather to collect it and give it back it to the patient immediately, so that the patients life can be saved.


How it works

Bloop works by a simple siphon principle allowing a patient’s blood to flow uphill without pumps. Initially, a blood thinning medicine inside the vessel flows down the tube. This creates gravity, which makes the wound blood flow downwards. The blood is then filtered and discharged in a blood bag at a level lower than the surface of the blood filled wound. As soon as the blood bag is filled, it will be replaced with an empty one and the first unit of collected – and filtered – blood can now be given back to the patient. Depending on the financial and infrastructural development of medical facilities, Bloop can be scaled up and extended to a high-end (yet low-cost by comparison) version, thus benefitting developed countries also.


Design process

Several prototypes have been built. Special attention was given to the suction principle - various mechanical (cranking, squeezing, etc.) and physical principles were tested. The goal was to evaluate a simple suction method that harmonizes with Bloop's other product requirements. It was clear, that Bloop has to be easy to clean, affordable ($10), reusable, collapsible, compact for transportation, sterilizable, understandable and operable by only one person. In addition, it was important that the subsequent expansion possibilities of Bloop are also given. The test phase in which various blood filters were attached to the Bloop prototypes was indispensable. In this step, the flow property were tested depending on the size of the filter mesh (micromilimimeter range) and the diameter of the suction tube. Finally, an ideal ratio could be achieved. This way Bloop can aspirate half a liter of blood within 20 seconds. During the entire development phase, doctors and surgeons of a Augsburg hospital stood by my side to answer my questions and to bring in their expert knowledge.


How it is different

There is no comparable device, that was created for developing countries. The research revealed, that in emergency situation, the so called, highly infectious, 'soup ladle technique' is used . Thereby the blood is scooped with a soup ladle, or something similiar, directly from the patients stomach area. Subsequently, to filter the blood, it will be poured through a few layers dressing material and then filled into a blood bag to re-transfuse it. The low-cost Bloop device could replace current expensive, unavailable, and/or unsafe transfusion methods and potentially save millions of lives around the world – especially in developing countries.


Future plans

In the autumn of 2017 the next step will be to create some Bloop prototypes with FDA materials. Then the first fieldtesting should take place in Sub-Saharian Africa regions like Kenya and Ethiopia. In order to raise awareness for Bloop and the topical problem a publicity campain ist planned, which will contain a social media and a kickstarter campain. In the second half of 2018, I really hope I will be able to start with the production and destribution of Bloop.


Awards

VDID Newcomers' Award 2017 Mia Seeger Award 2017 INDEX: Award 2017 Finalist


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