In developing our project the Baltimore Bio-Crew found wanted to consistently follow our values. We considered the impact of ethics, safety, education, security, product design and various other important aspect on the community of Baltimore city. Throughout our entire research process we engaged in many different opportunities allowing us to interact with the diverse community that we are apart of. Since our project is based on creating a solution for some of the major illnesses and health issues that marginalized populations in Baltimore city face, it was crucial to stay engaged with the public. We believe that the creation of Coagulance Rx has the prospect of inspiring a change in the ways that preventable health issues are addressed in our city.
Since our goal was to bioengineer a cost effective and efficient medicine, we decided it was necessary to start a dialogue with stakeholders, medical professionals, and the general community. Through many different methods we were able to gain insight and advice, the conversations that we had contributed to the progression and growth of our project. By integrating much of these insights into our product design, we were able to create a product that would be more accepted and ethically aligned with the communities within Baltimore.
Informational Conversations with Medical and Research Professionals
Our team was able to improve our product, discuss community participation, and understand laws associated with our project. When we talked to Alayna Balzakis — Nurse Practitioner at the University of Maryland— our lab was introduced to the Good Samaritan law, something that our lab was not thinking about prior. This is law that protects people who try to save one’s life but fail to do so or cause adverse effects on the person’s health. She noted that our product should be protected under this law. In addition, she helped us understand the role of Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) within the “clot-breaking” aspect of our project. She told us that tPA is used in mild strokes and is highly effective, especially if given at an early stage. This means that our product would be most effective in areas that experiences high rates of heart disease and stroke, and can be implemented at an early stage.
“The application of the Good Samaritan Law is necessary, the people who step up and take action should be protected for their courage and selflessness”
“The implementation of Personal Protective Equipment in the design of your trauma kit would create a more safe and secure product for both the victim and the helper”
Alayna Balzakis, N.P.
Our lab also talked to Dr. Thomas Scalea, Head of Shock Trauma at University of Maryland, who helped us understand our final product and where it is needed. He focused heavily on the Sandy Hook school shooting and where our product would have been life saving if it was available then. He said a majority of the students died from wounds in their extremities, an he believed our product could have saved teachers’ and students’ lives if they had Coagulatance Rx. In addition, he told us that our product would be very useful in public areas, such as schools, airports, train stations, malls, or any other place that holds many people. This product could also be very useful in large urban cities with dense populations, such as that of Baltimore. He also told us that our kit design was a brilliant idea, as it is not only accessible but since the item is contained it can be used under many circumstances.
“Mass shootings and the rate of casualties due to exsanguination is a big deal”
“The development of a more economical and accessible trauma kit would be revolutionary”
Thomas Scalea, M.D.
Integrated Human Practices and Final Product Design
The final draft of our kit will include a tourniquet, gauze pads, gauze rolls, latex gloves, goggles, and directions. We are including the tourniquet because it is commonly used in the military to prevent soldiers from bleeding out and is very effective in stopping major bleeds on the extremities. The gauze pads are included to clean any blood from the wound, as well as soak up excess blood. The role of gauze would be embedded with our designed Russell's Viper Venom protease to clot the patients blood at enhanced rate. The gloves and goggles are for the person who is providing care to the trauma victim, as personal protective equipment is crucial when dealing with a major bleed. Finally, the directions are included because education is very important for the function of our product. Understanding the proper directions and uses of each item is crucial in making our product efficient.
Through our ability to have many different experiences and interactions with our community, and obtain feedback we were able to adapt our project and product in a variety of aspects. In valuing the pillars of human practices: ethics, safety, education, security, product design and more we were able to develop a project that was conscious and community-oriented. We were able to understand our project from a variety of perspectives and adapt our product based on the information and feedback we received. Gaining feedback from different populations helped our team create a conscious and effective product that can serve communities within Baltimore city and beyond.