Becoming a doctor takes a high amount of industriousness and discipline. Not everybody has the fortitude to succeed. Becoming an inventor takes foresight and imagination. Dr. Saad Saad has devoted his life to both of these endeavors and has done it with a deep sense of compassion for humanity. Specializing in pediatrics, he was always on the look-out for ways to enhance the present methods of doing things regarding pain management and general risk reduction for his patients. His devotion to his craft resulted in the patenting of two medical inventions and multiple new methods of surgery. He currently retires in New Jersey after a 47-year career as a pediatric surgeon.
Dr. Saad’s first invention was a catheter with an electromagnetic location identification device. A catheter is a tube that gets inserted into canals or body cavities that permit injections, fluid withdrawal or to keep a specific passage in the body open. Putting the catheter in the right place requires surgeons to track and monitor its position reliably. The method conventionally used to do this is by taking X-rays. This practice continues despite knowledge that constant use of X-rays exposes the patient to unsafe levels of radiation. The alternative is MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), but those machines are huge and impractical much of the time.
The need to have a better way of locating the catheter inside of the body led to Dr. Saad’s invention of a tracking device that doesn’t require the use of large scanning machinery. Other methods also use guiding wires to track placement which sometimes break inside of the patient. His model works like a metal detector. The user sweeps the device around the outside of a patient’s body until it connects to the electromagnetic locator at the tip of the catheter and is perpendicular to it. A light goes on in the external locator to let the user know that they are directly above it. It’s portable and safer than the other options and is faster in emergencies. Due to complex assembly procedures, manufacturers were regrettably reluctant to make it. A company in Utah, however, is showing an interest.
His second patent improves the function of endoscopes. An endoscope is an optical instrument used to look inside of the body. They are employed by doctors to examine internal organs and provide visual insight into a patient’s internal condition. When inside the body, however, the endoscope’s lens gets fogged and obstructed by liquids. The standard procedure for solving this problem has been to take out the endoscope, insert a suction tube to clear the area and reinsert it. After reinsertion, the doctor has to find his place again from scratch. Dr. Saad’s solution was to install a suction-irrigation device on the endoscope. This way the user can clear his view in an instant. He has tested this invention personally and has removed many objects with it that young children have swallowed. This device is very cheap to produce and is used today by doctors everywhere. Learn more: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/saad-saad
The world enjoys the legacy from which Dr. Saad left for future generations to learn and benefit. When asked in an interview on his blog what daily habit makes him the most productive he said, “you should never wait for tomorrow to do something you can accomplish today.” His career is proof that he took his advice to heart.