Makeup brush holders inspire university students' redesign of naloxone kits
CTVNews.ca with a report from CTV Toronto’s Pauline Chan
Published Tuesday, December 25, 2018 11:40AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 25, 2018 12:17PM EST
As more people gain access to life-saving naloxone kits, two university students are looking to update the cumbersome design with a new look inspired by makeup brush holders.
Initially, only first responders used the kits, but more recently, access has increased as a way to clamp down on Canada’ troubling number of opioid deaths.
University of Toronto engineering students Jacqueline Fleisig and Cassandra Chanen said there’s a growing need to update the kit’s designs with the average person in mind.
In traditional kits and zip-up pouches, they said the vials and items can sometimes get jumbled up. And during an overdose, every second can mean the difference between life or death.
“It took us a long time to even figure out how to open the vials to get the medicine out,” Chanen told CTV Toronto.
So as part of their undergraduate studies, the pair set out to redesign the kits to resemble makeup brush holders, which can be easily unfurled or rolled up.
“So [our kits] would open and you'd have an arrangement of the components you would need,” her partner Fleisig told CTV Toronto.
Chanen thinks their new design is effective because when the kit is unfurled, the items are arranged based on what people need to grab first during a medical emergency.
“It [is] laid out from left to right in the order that you'd have to use those things,” she said, adding items were also color-coded to signify their importance.
The duo said they also looked at other medical devices such as EpiPens — which are used during severe allergic reactions — as inspiration to simplify their kit even further.
Fleisig said like CPR masks and gloves, Naloxone kits are slowly becoming part of first aid kits which can be used by non-medical professionals like teachers or party-goers.
The pair even labelled the kits for first-time users so the process is less daunting. Chanen said plenty of people are already resonating with their designs.
“They definitely found it a lot easier to use and less stressful,” she said.
The pair hasn’t presented their design to any naloxone kit manufacturers yet, but Chanen said they’d “love to see some of these ideas integrated.”