High School Students Invent Machine To Help Hospitals Avoid Medical Errors

Posted on July 17, 2015 by Shapiro Law Group


Students with Concord High School in Delaware believe they have found a solution for a common hospital mistake made by inattentive workers. Hospital employees wash thousands of pounds of laundry every day, and dangerous objects such as scalpels or needles can sometimes be caught in blankets or hospital gowns. The team of students recently unveiled a conveyer belt equipped with a metal detector that would find potentially dangerous objects in hospital laundry and sweep them aside into hazard bins.

In addition to being able to find and remove dangerous objects, the conveyer belt would warn employees of the danger and make records of when dangerous objects were found. With a $5,000 grant from Christiana Care Health Systems and additional funding, the high school students were able to build their machine for the Lemelson InventTeam Program, a competition hosted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. InvenTeams are made up of the best and brightest high school students from around the country, and each team is given $10,000 to invent solutions to real-world problems.

How Common Are Hospital Mistakes?

Although the innovative students hope to end one type of hospital error, numerous other types regularly injure or kill patients. According to Hospital Safety Score, a non-profit organization that rates hospitals based on safety, 440,000 Americans die every year from hospital mistakes. Common hospital mistakes include medication errors, infections and botched surgeries.

Patients who have been injured by hospital mistakes can contact a medical malpractice attorney to explore possible options for pursuing damages.

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