Cinde Dolphin’s experience as a four-time cancer survivor made her determined to help other patients. Her medical device company, KILI Medical Drain Carrier, provides a better way for people to wear and access wound-care drains. A JP drain is made of two parts: a tube and a bulb that is about the size of a lemon. The tube is inserted in the body and removes fluids from the point of incision. The bulb collects those fluids outside of the body.
Dolphin’s invention is a mesh bag that looks like a small, half-apron with a zipper. It holds both parts of a JP drain and can be tied around a patient’s waist and secured. Prior to Dolphin’s work, the traditional method of securing a JP drain was to use a safety pin to fasten the device to a patient’s clothing. The conventional method of securing the bulb on a patient’s shirt was cumbersome and had the potential to make patients self-conscious. Even though wound-care drains are commonly used post-surgery, many patients opt to stay at home during recovery so they do not have to visibly carry around a bag of bodily fluid. By comparison, the Medical Drain Carrier can be worn discretely under clothing, thereby increasing mobility and independence following surgery.
Dolphin’s SCORE mentor, Venki Venkatamaran, helped her create a business plan and a sales forecasting template. He also guided her company through the process of converting from a Sole Proprietorship to a S Corporation, gave her counsel on how to land a small business loan, and worked with her to secure operations so that her device could be produced overseas. “The key to my success is a wonderful and professional SCORE mentor,” she says.