Ear Care is a special device for medical examination of ears of patients suffering from ear infection. The design of this medical instrument does not require many hands movements to inspect the patient, which reduces the risk of pain or damage to the drum membrane. This device is ideal for the examination of children, which usually move a lot that creates barriers during the inspection. Additionally, its miniature form does not cause stress and fear in children as ordinary large medical instruments.
The ear infection is very common disease especially in patients, which have cold. Furthermore, children are more prone to this disease. Infection of the ears develops in 61% of children who have colds. This disease is characterized by swelling of the mucous membrane of the Eustachian tube, which prevents the outflow of fluid from the cavity of the middle ear. Therefore, the fluid begins to accumulate creating favourable conditions for the spreading of bacteria and viruses. When a large amount of fluid is accumulated in the middle ear and, as a result, increases pressure, the tympanic membrane stretches and splits. To prevent this, doctors use the suction equipment. This involves a metal tube inserted into the patient's ear.
This way, the procedure carries a significant risk for the patient and especially for the child, which can cause a puncture of the tympanic membrane, trauma to the ear canal and emotional trauma of the child.
To minimize these risks Marino Te Hei from the Unitec Institute of Technology has developed an innovative device Ear Care that is a medical system, which consists of 1 main product and 2 supporting accessories.
The main part of the construction is a suction tool, which is produced from the acetyl industrial plastic. The suction tool connects to a thin stainless steel piece, which is introduced into the ear canal in order to remove the infection. Additionally, the suction tool is united with a rubber tube that is also linked to a vacuum machine, which provides the main suctioning. The handle consists of 2 soft rubber grips: one on each side to provide comfort and stable medical procedure.
The next part of this device is an adjustable clip that attaches the rubber tubing to a hospital bed, chair or trolley to decrease pressure on the user's hand and makes impossible the displacement of the tubing during the procedure. This design of this tool provides its comfortable use both for the doctor and for the patient and reduces the risk of accidental puncture of the tympanic membrane.