Development of the Hemafuse Autologous Transfusion Device to Treat Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancies in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sisu Global Health
Organization Location: 
Grand Rapids, MI, USA

Hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal mortality in the first trimester across Sub-Saharan Africa, often due to ectopic pregnancies. Over 20,000 of cases occur in Ghana with 87% of these becoming ruptured ectopic pregnancies. During a ruptured case, 1/3 of the mother’s blood pools in her abdomen causing acute anemia and a high risk for mortality. Due to a lack of donor blood and appropriate equipment, the women’s own blood must be transfused through a procedure that relies on a soup ladle and gauze. This unsanitary, timely procedure increases risks of infection and clotting disorders, yet is the standard of care much of Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa. Sisu Global Health (previously, DIIME and CentriCycle) is creating a new standard of care for autologous blood transfusion. The Hemafuse is handheld, electricity-independent, locally-affordable tool designed be a safer, faster replacement. The device is syringe-like to manually suction and filter the blood for transfusion in a sterile, closed environment; decreasing risk of clots and of infection and promises to decrease the mortality of women. The Hemafuse was designed collaboratively with physicians in 4 of the major teaching hospitals in Ghana. Sisu approaches this problem by integrating clinical and social needs assessments with technology specifically designed to address LMIC needs. The Hemafuse is one of a portfolio of devices specifically vetted by end-users for in-country implementation. The development and sale of this device while prove a unique service implementation strategy to deliver low-tech devices to the areas that need them most.

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