With the official launch of our new venture in collaboration with Carolinas HealthCare System, Edison Nation Medical, we’d like to introduce you to one of our Edison Nation Medical inventors, Bob Heitkamp!
Bob Heitkamp always enjoyed tinkering with machinery, tools, and processes even as a child, but never dove into full-out inventing until unexpected and unfortunate events sparked an incredible idea!
After undergoing a simple knee surgery, Bob was nine days into recovery when he had what he believed to be a heart attack. Upon treatment at the hospital, doctors confirmed that it was a pulmonary embolism (PE) — and not just any PE, but a form that is referred to as “saddle block” in the medical industry. With both lungs and a pulmonary artery filled with a blood clot, against the odds, Bob managed to stay alive. After doctors performed a procedure that allowed them to send powerful stroke medication directly to his clots, Bob’s condition improved and he was able to go home after 11 days.
Two days later, Bob suffered another PE and was forced to return to the hospital, where it was discovered that he suffers from a rare blood disease called Prothombyn 20210A (the opposite of hemophilia). Bob had to undergo the same procedure all over again — except this time a filter was placed in Bob’s Vena Cava and was left there to prevent any further clots from reaching his heart or lungs. During the ensuing 17 days in the hospital, Bob struggled to sleep at night due to an overwhelming fear of the IV falling out of his arm, as this is what was keeping him alive.
It was this fear that sparked the idea for a new innovation to solve common problems associated with IVs. The very next day, as Bob filled out insurance paperwork, he turned the form over and began sketching his idea — he still has this sketch today.
Showing the drawing to a few of the nurses who had cared for him, Bob received extremely positive and excited responses, and he vowed to them, “Someday, I will make it for you.”
Bob has made good on his promise with the invention of Site Saver®, a device that attaches the IV needle and tubing to the patient’s hand securely and comfortably. He hopes to see it not only benefit healthcare professionals, who must frequently replace lost IVs – costing both time and money – but most importantly, improve care for patients who, like him, find themselves dependent on an IV to save their life.
Do you have a great medical idea like Bob? Visit www.EdisonNationMedical.com to find out how your idea could be the next to make an impact on health care.