$3 MIT Plunger Heals Wounds Quickly with Suction

Illustration for article titled $3 MIT Plunger Heals Wounds Quickly with Suction

Using mysterious-yet-well-known medical knowledge about negative suction healing and a $3 plunger I swore I just helped my friend buy for his new apartment, MIT Grad Student Danielle Zurovcik may have invented something truly special.


You see, negative pressure (suction) has been known to speed wound recovery time for decades, and there are in fact machines that do just that already on the market today. These devices are expensive, however, and as such they are out of reach for developing countries.

There are portable versions, but they too are expensive, costing about $100 a day to rent. Worse still, their batteries must be recharged every six hours. This is not ideal, especially if you remember that striking Haiti cell phone charger image we shared with you a few months ago.

Zurovcik's plunger setup, however, is extremely cheap, effective, and there's no power supply, meaning it can be left in place for days if needs be. Note: Negative suction treatment does not require constant bandage changes and can be left in place for days at a time so long as there are no leaks.

The units have already been deployed to disaster zones, including Haiti, where patients and doctors alike loved them. Next step? Mass production and an even more portable, pocket-sized version that can be worn by patients on the move. [MIT via Boing Boing]


I find it amazing that no one had come up with a similar device before. Doctors have known about negative pressure healing for decades and no one had yet figured out they could attach a squeeze bottle with a tube to a stick-on dressing covering before now?

Holy cow. Budding inventors take notice. There are probably a bazillion low-tech gadgets left to be invented.