Joyce Mullet, RN, never expected to become an inventor, but an e-mail she received in 2006 changed her plans
The e-mail from Patient Care Services Education included articles telling of the risks of children getting tangled in their medical lines. While Joyce had untangled many an active toddler in her 30-plus years as a nurse, she was horrified to learn of cases in which children have died from being strangled by their IV lines, feeding tubing or oxygen tubing. “The very things we are using to get them well become the objects of their death,” she said.
Although the article contained wellmeaning suggestions for reducing the risk of entanglement, Joyce found them to be impractical in a busy medical setting with active toddlers. “I knew nurses at the bedside had to be part of the solution,” she said.
Using cloth from home, she began developing prototypes of a medical line wrap. The wrap has been successfully trialed on two patients, with help from Nationwide Children’s nurses, Nancy Ryan- Wenger and Micah Skeens. The trio hopes to secure grant funding to perform multisite testing and want to develop colorcoded wraps for different types of tubing and to make them bacteriostatic to help decrease risk of blood stream infection.
The IV Safety Sleeve is only one example of inventions at Nationwide Children’s. Faculty and staff throughout the hospital work with the Office of Technology Commercialization at The Research Institute to develop technology that will be of interest to external business partners. Although the Office of Technology Commercialization is based within The Research Institute, its services are available campus-wide.
“Nationwide Children’s encourages faculty and staff to develop promising new technologies that could one day provide utility to the practice of pediatrics,” said Christopher Willson, director of the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at The Research Institute. “It’s important for employees to realize that resources exist to help transfer new technologies into the marketplace.”
Are You Developing a Health- Care-Related Invention?
Willson says employees should start by submitting an invention disclosure form which can be found at www. NationwideChildrens.org/Technology- Commercialization. Employees can also consult with OTC staff members before a disclosure form is complete. The OTC will work with the Patent and Copyrights Committee to help inventors navigate the process of protecting, licensing, developing and commercializing inventions.
Contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at (614) 355-2818 or by e-mail: Tech.Commercialization@ NationwideChildrens.org.