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Pediatric Stands Being Used In Developing Nations

Sep 10, 2015   |   by Wayne Harvey   |   WABI TV5

Last year, we introduced you to a Glenburn man who completed a project for a class at Dartmouth.

What came out of it is now making life better for kids in Central and South America.

A three-person team went to Guatemala, Honduras and Peru to show people how to make devices called pediatric standers.

“This summer was really fantastic,” said 21 year old Scott Mitchell [Dartmouth dual-degree ’13]. “To be able to see them in person to be able to meet them, to talk to the families and to have that exchange of how does this work for you? ‘My child is a whole different boy.’ It’s really a fantastic thing to see that.”

The standers have only been in homes and clinics for about three months, but the impacts are clearly visible.

“Once they get upright,” said Mitchell the Executive Director of Stand With Me. “We’ve seen kids that become more interested in playing, they use their hands, we’ve seen them start listening and talking for the first time. We’ve seen them gain the head control and the hip control and gain leg strength. It’s been really exciting to see those developments in some of the kids which would have been impossible without the standing frame, because when you are being held, you are not developing those muscles, you aren’t getting the upright position.”

Now the plan is to open production facilities to make the standers near the patients so they don’t have to wait for shipping and red tape.

“The main thing that we’re looking for are the children that will need it,” said Emily Donaldson of Stand With Me. “So we don’t want to go in and invest all of our time and energy and resources into putting in a facility unless the patients are within reach, and that became clear when we ended up in Lima, and as Scott said, there were over a thousand patients that are now waiting for one, and we’re trying to move as quickly as we can to deliver that.”

The group may not stop here.

“As we were abroad, we were talking with physical therapists and we were working with them within the clinic and we saw other devices that we could potentially make cheaper,” said Donaldson. “We could make them out of materials that were more cost effective, and accessible and that is something that we’re really looking forward to exploring at the next few months.”

They believe the next phase of their project to start up production facilities in Lima, Peru, and expand in to other countries will cost about $100,000.

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