Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A cheap test of Anemia

Anemia is a lack of iron in the blood, impoverishing the sufferer's hemoglobin to the point that it is inefficient at carrying oxygen. The sufferer is flimsy and weak, and tends to pass out frequently. It is exceedingly rare in rich countries, but all too common in poorer ones, where food of any kind is hard to get, let alone iron-rich food.
A simple blood test on centrifuged blood can definitely prove a case of anemia (verses another disease causing dizziness, lack of muscle tone, frequent loss of consciousness and so on), except that centrifuges are expensive machines that count on electricity, which is severely lacking in the regions that most frequently report anemia. Not to mention that the centrifuge itself tends to be unfordable, being an expensive machine that costs thousands of dollars.
Discovery News is reporting rescue from a most unlikely source. An excellent medical centrifuge has been crafted from a simple Salad Shooter. Ironic because the salad shooter has long been decried by various radicals as a symbol of western decadence, serving no useful function. The main draw is its ability to achieve a high rate of rotation with only a minor application of hand-power, requiring no electricity, steam, or other power source unavailable in the regions that need it the most.
One begins to wonder what other technology can be recycled into a useful medical device.

2 comments:

Ocean Girl said...

Thank you.

themadengineer said...

Why are you thanking me? I didn't invent this, I'm just reporting on it.

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