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Brig. Gen. Dr. Otu Oviemo Ovadje (Rtd.) – Invented The Emergency Blood Auto Transfusion System

by Felix Omondi

Brig. Gen. Dr. Otu Oviemo Ovadje (Rtd.) – Invented The Emergency Blood Auto Transfusion System
Dr. Otu Oviemo OvadjeDr. Otu Oviemo Ovadje born in December 1954 in the Delta State, Nigeria, is a highly accredited Nigerian medical doctor who invented the Emergency Auto Transfusion System (EAT-SET): an affordable, simpler and effective blood auto-transfusion system. He pioneered this invention at the Military Hospital Ikoyi Lagos when he was working that the Benin Teaching Hospital and the University Hospital in Lagos.

Auto-transfusion medical mechanism is a technique that has already been in use in developed countries. However it has little to no existence in developing nations due to the fact it is expensive, complicated to use and requires electricity to work; something that most parts of the African countries are still lacking.

Dr. Oviemo’s inventions the EAT-SET is a simpler, inexpensive and effective compared to the conventional Auto-transfusion technique being used in the industrialized nations. The EAT-SET system recovers blood from the patient’s internal bleeding organs. This device has the ability of using the patient’s own blood and in a safe manner reinfuses it into the patient’s blood system. This is if the processing is done within 24 hours after hemorrhage. The patient’s blood is drawn into a special collection container and later reinfused into the patient by gravity after it has undergone a filtration process. The EAT-SET system takes about 2 minutes to process about 500 ml of blood. The EAT-SET system presented the solution to the problem of blood salvaging from the body cavities and replaced the gauze filtration technique that is being practiced in developed nations, by providing an improved alternative.

Dr. Oviemo’s system is completely closed and is manufactured by reusable collection devices that have disposal filters hence there is no risk of infection. It has a suction and retransfusion lines that are connected to the EAT-SET system. It is also fitted with a hand-held vacuum pump that is used for sucking blood from the patient’s body cavities. This is the key advantage of the EAT-SET; it functions without electricity, making it the most ideal auto-transfusion system for most parts in Africa that still don’t have electricity supply or the electricity is expensive to utilize. In addition to this it prevents diseases transmissions and avoiding immunological complication associated with homologous transfusion. Another key advantage of the EAT-SET system is that is gives room for greater flexibility in terms of its use and blood supply to blood banks especially in Africa nations where blood resources extremely scarce due to lack of an organized voluntary blood donation programs.

Although Dr. Oviemo started the prototype project with a budget of $120, his invention became quite practical in Africa and addressed the unique challenge facing Africa thereby attracting much attention and recognitions. This lead to Dr. Oviemo being declared the best African scientist in 1995, and hence he established the EATSET industries. He has since received financial support from United Nation Development Program (UNDP), Nigeria’s government and World Health Organization (WHO) which is the acting executing agency and provides assistance as far as coordination of the project is concerned. The EAT-SET has earned Dr. Oviemo various highly accredited awards from World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the African Union (AU) among other renowned organizations.

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