Background: Tube-Evac is an award-winning device that makes stripping surgical drainage tubes fast and easy, allowing for better patient outcomes. The Tube-Evac device was invented when my wife Linda had surgery in January 2008 and came home with drains. We were both terrible at clearing the drains and we had conflicting ways we were told for clearing the drains. As a result of this really awful experience I set about to make something that would be beneficial to those following after us so they would not go through the same awful experience we did ever again.
Methods and Outcomes: The first try was to weld some bolts on to a pair of water pump pliers, add some rollers and restrictor plates then bingo I had a working model. Quite crude but it worked. The next step was to reduce the size – a lot – and make it out of plastic. We met with Plastic Concepts in Jacksonville, Florida and they introduced us to a prototype builder. We worked with him until we had a device almost exactly the size it is today – a little over 1 inch width by 2 inches length with a set of rollers in it. The prototype had no hinges because it was layered 1/1000 inch at a time with very hard plastic so hinges were not possible. It was simply two halves that were laid one on each side of the drain and then rolled down the drain. It was crude but worked perfectly.
The next step was to make a stainless steel die which we could use to do the plastic injection molding. This was very expensive and took over two months to make the die. However this one cavity die worked great and we could make Tube-Evac devices. A few years later we made a 4 cavity die. We now had the capacity to make 4,000,000 TubeEvac devices per year. Mayo Clinic tested 500 of the Tube-Evac devices in 2009 and loved them. They were our first customer and still are.
Author Name: Vance Shaffer
Affiliation: Tube-EvacTM, USA
International Conference on Wound Care, Tissue Repair and Regenerative Medicine
Date & Venue: June 14-15, 2018 | London, UK
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