Angel Dominguez, a Spectrum Health surgical technician, wondered for many years why the only tool available to capture fluids and tissue during irrigation of arm and leg wounds was a 7-quart, round, hard plastic basin.
Dominguez said that the design of existing basins often caused the patient’s limb to bend uncomfortably during the procedure.
At times the pressure placed on the limb by the edges of the basin left noticeable marks and raised the potential for constriction of blood vessels and nerve bundles. Furthermore, the existing basins did nothing to protect the surgical team from splashing fluids or to manage wound irrigation.
“So I started experimenting and cutting up the rims of basins and padding them with towels to better protect the patient,” Dominguez said. “It’s amazing how a good idea can actually be so simple.”
With the resources and expertise of the Spectrum Health Innovations team behind him, Dominguez’s idea has evolved into a better trauma basin. The Angel Ortho Basin, named after Dominguez, is a portable, recyclable polypropylene device. Its design enables ease of use and improved comfort for patients during wound care procedures.
Spectrum Health Innovations has signed a licensing agreement with Min-Bio, LLC, of Lowell, Mich. to manufacture the basin. It is scheduled for limited market release this summer.
“The Angel Ortho Basin is an excellent example of a relatively simple design change that can vastly improve an existing product type,” said Min-Bio CEO Louis Weijers. “There is an enormous potential market for this type of device.”
A Level I trauma center like Spectrum Health might use as many as 50,000 trauma basins in one year. They are routinely used in operating rooms, emergency departments, wound care centers and urgent care facilities around the world—any place where patients are treated for surgical procedures.
Spectrum Health Innovations helps foster innovation by helping Spectrum Health physicians and staff identify opportunities for innovation, develop and launch novel ideas, and transform the care model. In particular, the Innovations team focuses on the development and launch of promising new health care products and technologies, such as medical devices, hospital equipment, diagnostics and software, in addition to new business approaches for driving transformative change in health care.
“Angel Dominguez is a great example of Spectrum Health’s 20,000-plus employees seeking new and innovative ways to solve a variety of health care issues,” said Spectrum Health Innovations senior director Brent Mulder, PhD. “We work with them to approach challenges like an entrepreneur with a strong desire to see their idea come to life.”
Susan Walter contributed to this report.