Guest Post: Dorota Dyk on her invention, MEDAPTI

I suspect we’ve all been there. Sick, sobbing child. Your heart breaking for them. Desperately trying to get them to take the medicine that they need, while they insist on spitting it out or swallowing too fast and choking on it.

I’ve lost count of the times that I’ve ended up covered in Calpol/Tylenol, or even worse, an antibiotic, with no idea how much, if any, of a dose my child has taken.

Fellow mum Dorota Dyk took her concerns and frustrations and put them to good use, and decided to develop a product that would help parents to easily and safely give medicine to their children. Here she tells us her story.

MEDAPTI The Idea

The idea of MEDAPTI is born

I am a mum of two boys and when they were little, I found it a struggle to give them medicine. My first baby was on reflux medication for a long time and I was always concerned about hurting his gentle gums with the regular oral syringe. With my second baby it was almost like mission impossible to give him medicine. He completely refused it. It was always so stressful and upsetting for me and him. It was heart breaking to see him so distressed and not being able to help it in any way.

I used to cry with him a lot of the times because I was so overwhelmed with the whole experience. He either spat the medicine out, was sick on it or the medicine would just end up all over him, me or the floor which meant I never knew how much he actually swallowed. There were countless times when I would rock him, trying to calm him down and just couldn’t stop thinking: There has to be a better and safer way!

This is how I started thinking of a solution and the idea of MEDAPTI was born. The more I researched, the more I became aware that I was not the only one who had this problem. Here are just a few examples of other parents’ struggles:

I got the gripe water out and tried to give with syringe, which was a bit of a battle bless him. Suddenly he started choking on the last bit….went so stiff trying to get air, coughing and spluttering eventually.

I tried the sneaky syringe technique. Unfortunately, my baby is able to rotate his head almost 180 degrees so I can’t see his mouth let alone stick a syringe in half the time!

I am a pharmacist and found it incredibly difficult with my two (…) Very difficult issue.

When I’ve had trouble giving her Calpol, it’s been because she thrashes her head from side to side, and refuses to have it in her mouth, or just won’t swallow and dribbles it back out again.

Well tonight I was giving it to her (in small amounts at a time) and the last amount that I squirted into her mouth made her choke. I was terrified!

I tried pinning her down, but I’m nervous because she fights so hard I’m going to hurt her, plus I really don’t want her taking medicine to be an overly traumatic experience.

The doctor prescribed antibiotics. I’ve tried giving it by spoon & syringe but it ends up all over & him in tears!

Used the Calpol syringe they supply with the Calpol and my 9week old choked and wasn’t taking a breath for about 40seconds. It was horrible and my stomach sank felt physically sick!!! It’s very stiff and ended up squirting all the liquid into her mouth.

A nurse at hospital choked my son by squirting 5ml of medicine straight to the back of his throat he’s 7 now and still hates having medicine.

How it works

There are many medicine dispensers out there: soft syringes, dummy dispensers, syringe bottles and many more but to me, none are safe or effective enough. Some can make your baby choke, some are too difficult to use, some are too messy, some are unsuitable for babies that don’t accept dummies or bottles, some are simply ineffective.

A medicine dummy helped me with my baby as at least I wasn’t worried about hurting his gums but because he didn’t like dummies and he wouldn’t suck, the only way I could use it was to press the plunger. Unfortunately, on numerous occasions I accidently shot it straight down his throat and made him choke which was incredibly scary.

MEDAPTI, although it looks similar to a dummy, works in a different way and can be used with babies that don’t take dummies or bottles. MEDAPTI is a simple solution that tackles all of the problems outlined above:

  • It directs medicine to the cheek which is the safest way as it prevents from choking. This way also helps to avoid taste buds and makes it harder for a baby to spit the medicine out which in result minimises the risk of baby taking an incorrect dose.
  • It helps to keep the syringe in baby’s mouth even if the baby is moving around or refusing to take the medicine, which also minimises the risk of baby taking an incorrect dose.
  • It is soft, protecting baby’s mouth and gums.
  • It is simple and mess free.
  • It only requires the use of one hand when dispensing the medicine, leaving you with a free hand to hold your baby.
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    MEDAPTI How it works 1
    MEDAPTI How it works 2
    MEDAPTI How it works 2

    What do people think of MEDAPTI?

    Some of the feedback I have received to date:

    I’m a paediatric nurse and I think this is fab idea and could see us using it on the wards in hospital!

    It would be very useful with disabled children.

    I wish I had it with my premature baby to give him milk!

    I think this is a great idea to be honest. Giving medicine can be quite a traumatic experience all round sometimes!

    Oh great, I have one baby who vamps his mouth tightly shut at the sight of any syringe so this would be great!

    As a mother of two children both of whom did not like to take medicine I think its very interesting.

    I’m a paediatric nurse and think this is brilliant!

    I could have used it when I gave birth and needed something for colostrum when I struggled.

    Clever idea! The times when I could have used this!

    I had problems with 2 of my children. I think it’s a great idea and I would have bought it.

    I too had problems administering medicine. I think I would have tried something like this if it had been available especially for my first born as I recall looking for all sorts of solutions to the problems I encountered at the time.

    That actually looks fantastic!

    I think is a great idea to avoid the fight of getting the medicine in and I like that it goes to the cheek.

    I used to really struggle getting medicine into my little one when he was younger. In the end I was using the dummies you fill with medicine but he soon cottoned on & refused them too! I would definitely try this, looks a great solution!

    100% would buy this. My son will not take his medication, this would help loads.

    This would be very handy! My daughter spits out medicine most of the time!

    MEDAPTI In use

    What next?

    I am extremely proud of how far I got with the development of my invention. Articles about MEDAPTI were published in The Sun, The Mirror and second best-selling newspaper in Poland last year. I never thought that just the idea I had due to the necessity of my own would go that far. It’s hard to believe sometimes. The more feedback I get, the more I realise that MEDAPTI could help so many people. Not just parents and carers of babies but also disabled and elderly.

    I am especially proud of the fact that MEDAPTI gained interest from health professionals in hospitals like Great Ormond Street Hospital, Alder Hay and Sheffield. It shows that giving medicine to babies is a real issue.

    A recent guest blog post is also a proof of that. It was featured by a mum blogger whose daughter was born with half a working heart. She said that MEDAPTI would have really helped with giving medication when her baby was born. It’s incredibly moving to think that my invention could help those babies who need extra medication or anyone else who struggles with giving medicine.

    If you’d like to learn more, head over to Dorota’s website, or you can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
     

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