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Solar Power: An Alternative Device to Sterilize Surgical Instruments in Rural Areas


Science & Tech  (tags: NewTechnology, energy, solar, society, science, safety, scientists, risks, safety, medicine, illness, healthcare, health, discovery, environment, energy, Gizmos, investigation, NewTechnology, science, tech, technology, world, safety, medicine, health, des )

JL
- 615 days ago - nytimes.com
Solar power can steam-sterilize surgical instruments, according to a new study -- but the contraption needed to do so is not pocket-size.



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JL A. (272)
Thursday November 15, 2012, 11:37 am

The New York Times

November 12, 2012
Solar Power: An Alternative Device to Sterilize Surgical Instruments in Rural Areas
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.

Solar power can steam-sterilize surgical instruments, according to a new study — but the contraption needed to do so is not pocket-size.

Sterilizing instruments needed in surgical emergencies like Caesarean births or appendectomies can be a problem in rural clinics in Africa: There may be no electricity, jugs of bleach or tanks of propane.

So a Rice University team recently modified a prototype of an old solar stove to power a simple autoclave, which is a pressure-cooker for instruments, and tested it in the Texas sun.

On all 27 attempts, it reached United States government sterilization standards.

How practical it is awaits African trials; it is nearly 12 feet long and 6 feet tall and has bright curved mirrors to focus sunlight on a water-filled pipe. On sunny days, it can make steam at 150 degrees Celsius (302 degrees Fahrenheit) from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Douglas A. Schuler, above, a Rice business professor and lead author of the study, published in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, said he “married into the project.” His French father-in-law designed the solar stove years ago after a student trip to West Africa. But women in Haiti, where they tested it, “just hated cooking on it,” Dr. Schuler said, so they found a different use for it.

The initial setup costs about $2,100. But sunlight costs nothing, making five years of operation about $2,000 cheaper than using propane.

 

Kit B. (277)
Thursday November 15, 2012, 12:57 pm

Just a little thinking "out of the box" and truly ingenious ideas are born. These are the ideas of the future.
We are moving FORWARD--->
 

JL A. (272)
Thursday November 15, 2012, 1:13 pm
So true, Kit. And this technology could help with medical care in the wake of disasters in addition to developing countries and other non-electricity circumstances.
 

Roger Garin-michaud (61)
Thursday November 15, 2012, 1:25 pm
noted, thanks !
 

JL A. (272)
Thursday November 15, 2012, 1:33 pm
You are welcome Roger!
 

Anne F. (17)
Thursday November 15, 2012, 4:27 pm
A wonderful advance in public health: solar powered sterilization is important at clinics.
 

JL A. (272)
Thursday November 15, 2012, 7:37 pm
It truly is Anne!
 

Pogle S. (88)
Friday November 16, 2012, 1:05 am
Great idea!
 

Jason Topps (9)
Friday November 16, 2012, 2:08 am
Fab idea, once people grasp the idea of unlimited solar power you can run with it!
 

natalie n. (164)
Friday November 16, 2012, 10:29 am
brilliant news, finally going green in unexpected places and helping to save greater lives.
 

Husna Aijaz (0)
Friday November 16, 2012, 11:44 am
This environmentally friendly stove can be added to the emergency storage supplies to be used in case of a natural unexpected disaster like earthquakes. Any environmental group will be happy to promote this to cities across the nation.
 

Lois Jordan (55)
Friday November 16, 2012, 2:23 pm
Noted. Amazing! What a wonderful device....I'm sure it will be of great use and over time will be improved upon even more. It has great potential for the future.
 

JL A. (272)
Friday November 16, 2012, 2:34 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Pogle because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Natalie because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Lois because you have done so within the last week.
 

Dave C. (213)
Friday November 16, 2012, 7:27 pm
thanks, read this story somewhere else and what a great easy idea.....hope the price will come down rapidly....good in so many ways...
 

JL A. (272)
Friday November 16, 2012, 7:32 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Dave because you have done so within the last week.
 
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