Will the Birthing Suit Save Lives?

Tue Feb. 28, 2006 7:11 PM EST

The invention of the birthing suit is upon us, and while it may sound silly, this Velcro contraption can save lives of at-risk women in remote locales by preventing haemorrhaging, which causes a third of the 500,000 deaths during delivery a year, can potentially be averted by this new invention.

Assembled from a mass of Velcro and tight fitting material, the reusable suit circulates blood from the legs to the vital organs, thus delivering oxygen. While it is not a permanent solution, it buys time, and according to Sullen Miller, lead researcher at the University of California, "in our research, women who appeared clinically dead, with no blood pressure and no palpable pulse, were resuscitated and kept alive for up to two days while waiting for blood transfusions." This technology could have major effect in developing countries, as the suit requires no medical training to apply, and if it allows enough time to get the appropriate care, can rescue women from deadly situations.

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