By Abdul Ghani Nasir
Pixs by Mohd Hairul Azmi Jahid
BANGI, 16 Nov. 2011 – Accident victims especially motorcyclists brought to the Emergency Department of UKM Medical Centre (UKMMC), usually endure excessive bleedings that could be fatal from their fractured pelvic bones.
Such incidents prompted three specialist doctors and their technician colleague who were very much affected by such tragedies to create a device that could stop the bleeding thus saving lives of the victims.
After months of experimentations one such devise - to bind the pelvic bone thus helping to prevent excessive bleeding - was created by the Head of Department of Emergency Medicine, Associate Professor Dr Ismail Mohd Saiboon in collaboration with Assistant Medical Officer Bala Krishnan a/l Muniandy, Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Radhi bin Ahmad and Prof Dato’ Dr Mohamad Abdul Razak.
Dr Ismail who is also the Emergency Physician Consultant and Trauma Surgeon (Orthopaedic), said that though there are already other binding devices like the C Clamp produced overseas but it needed a surgeon to help fix it. It is thus not that suitable in Malaysia since surgeons are seldom available to go out to accident sites.
“We foresee the need to have a device which is easy to use and handled that can be fixed by our paramedics and can still perform the same function as the other devices already in use”.
Such a device was then created and named BRIM for Bala, Radhi, Ismail and Mohamad.
The BRIM Binder has since been patented. They also received a grant from the UKM Innovation Fund to further improve the device.
The BRIM Binder will be promoted and commercialised by Compleo Technology Sdn Bhd, a UKM Start-Up company.
In an interview with UKM News Portal, Dr Ismail said that Bala, Dr Radhi and he himself work in the Emergency Department while Prof Mohamad in the Orthopaedic Department.
“We have been meeting and talking about our experiences since 2006 and thought of creating a device which would help patients and at the same time make our job much easier” he said.
Dr Ismail recalled how doctors and staffs at the Emergency Department had to use bed sheets to tie the pelvis of accident victims since there were no devices available then to do the job.
“A bed sheet is not ideal though it can help to close up the broken pelvic bone. It is not strong enough to help stabilise the injury and is very much dependent on how it was tied.
“We thus felt that there was a need to quickly create a clamp device which is easy to fix and use and can save a lot of lives,” he said.
In 2006 the four of them started to make sketches of the clamp and tried to produce the first prototype of the binder.
They took about four months from the drawing board to get the first prototype. They did not, however, have the funds to finance the project and using their own money and armed with their sketches, they got a cobbler to sew the clamp using leather and pvc in late 2006.
They supplied the cobbler several equipment including a thermoplastic spleen and some other materials discarded from the Orthopaedic and Prostetic Department.
So the initial cost of producing the clamp binder was very cheap. However, the materials used were not that suitable but it was an improvisation, Dr Ismail said.
Last year, they received funding from UKM Innovation Fund to make improvements to the first devise producing the second binder with an extension.
Recently they produced and patented the BRIM Immobilizer which have added features and is a vast improvement from the first clamp.
With the availability of the funds, they have now produced about 20 BRIM Binders.
“We did a market survey and gave the BRIMs to Kulim Hospital, Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital and Sungai Petani Hospital in Kedah and hospitals in Penang and Butterworth and some health centres for trials,” Dr Ismail said.
They also gave out questionnaires to the hospitals using the devise and found that almost all of them found it useful compared to other devices from overseas like the clamp or sling.
“We have taken their testimonies and have since received a lot of orders,” said Dr Ismail.
Two of the four collegues have left UKMMC with Dr Radhi joining Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences, while Prof Dato’ Mohamad Abdul Razak is now the Vice-Chancellor of Alliance University College of Medical Sciences in Bukit Mertajam.
“I and Bala are still with UKMMC and actively improvising the BRIM Immobilizer. The price for the original BRIM Binder have not been fixed though it could be on sale for about RM1500,” said Dr Ismail.