WSU grad student hopes to make childbirth safer with new tool


Childbirth can be a challenging experience for some mothers. 

One Wichita State grad student has invented a device that not only takes away some of the stress, but she says it can also make it safer. 

“It was super scary, had all these NICU doctors just rush the room,” said Tammy Dorsey, who received her bachelors in biomedical engineering from WSU and is currently working on her masters in innovation design. 

Dorsey’s son Gabriel is a healthy 11-year-old now. But, when he was born he had a blue complexion because he was at only 80 percent oxygen capacity.

“I was terrified and all I could think was, there’s gotta be a better way,” said Dorsey.

It’s something she says is not uncommon in delivery rooms around the country.

“They’re literally suffocating and the doctors have to try to guess that with just the heart rate monitors and the mom’s contraction to stress test,” she said.

Because doctors interpret the data, Dorsey says there’s only about a 49 percent accuracy rate.

So she’s made a device called the Pedi-Cell to help them have more certainty.

“The device would be able to be inserted vaginally and can make contact with baby for a few seconds to get that information to greatly help the doctors make the right decisions,” said Dorsey.

Aubrey Balman’s recent delivery of her baby Tallulah was also a challenging one, since her recent surgeries made the delivery more risky.

“With her, not knowing her her positioning and how quickly she was coming, it made things a little bit scary you know whether or not she was going to be okay,” said Balman.

She says with the Pedi-Cell they would have been more confident during the delivery.

“I think that the more prepared you can be in a delivery the situation is always much better,” said Balman.

Dorsey says the tool is patented. 

She is hoping to meet with the FDA over the next month. 

The goal is to have the Pedi-Cell in delivery rooms in the next two years. 

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