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Kayla Spinks, Andrew Dychdala, Alexis Seith, Luke Vanhoozer, Timothy West
‘Ear me out
Sticky Stick: turning risky ear foreign body removals into routine operations
This image contains our motorized prototype which releases UV resin at a controlled amount onto the object. The attached LED bulb can be switched on to begin the curing process, firmly attaching the foreign body to the end of the dispenser nozzle for extraction. This view shows the device’s inner circuitry and components.
The Sticky Stick is a device meant to assist physicians in ear foreign body extractions. Throughout our research and interviews, we found a great need for a device that is easy to use and accessible, particularly in emergency room settings and pediatric offices where physicians may not have the specialized training necessary for removing objects closer to the eardrum. Around 60,000 cases of ear foreign body removals are reported annually, the majority of these cases involving children. If the object is close to the eardrum, the pain of touching this sensitive area at any point during the procedure, as well as the scraping motions often needed with current devices used such as rosen picks, can be traumatic and make it even more difficult for the physician to remove the object as the child becomes restless and resistant. In many cases, children may need to be anesthetized, which increases costs and further induces medical trauma for the patient. Our device is intended to transform this removal process into a fast, painless procedure that any physician could perform. The device will utilize a fast-curing UV resin, which is dispensed at a set volume to prevent overflow, to attach to the object. In less than 10 seconds, the resin will cure and the object can be extracted. This will decrease the costs associated with further visits/anesthesia as well as improve the patient experience.