PMD March 2005: Announcing the PedREST

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 12:20 pm

In 2004 Pediatric Medical received notice that we were going to be granted our first patent – YEAH!!! We were finally ready to share our “creation” with the world

Our first opportunity came in March 2005 with something called the LifeSavers Conference. For those of you not familiar with it, Lifesavers is the premier national highway safety meeting in the United States dedicated to reducing the tragic toll of deaths and injuries on our nation’s roadways… The conference addresses a wide range of safety topics, from child passenger safety and occupant protection to roadway and vehicle safety and technology. It offers the latest information on advances in highway safety, highlights successful programs and draws attention to emerging safety issues.” It was to be held that year in North Carolina and seemed like the perfect place to “showcase” our new device. They even had a workshop scheduled on “transporting children on ambulances” being run by Dr. Marilyn Bull of Riley’s Children’s Hospital – well known for her work on ambulance safety. And for the icing on the cake – I had family in Charlotte – so I could attend the conference without having to rent a hotel room.

I made arrangements to attend the conference and not too long after drove to North Carolina for breakfast with my mother’s cousin and his girlfriend who worked for Britax (one of the most well-respected manufactures of child seats in the world – seriously what a coup)! Later that afternoon I met her over at the conference and she introduced me to the Britax folks in charge of new business development – who took one look at what we had and introduced us to SnugSeat – the company they partnered with to manufacture “specialty child seats”. Oh, and before I forget, while we were still at the Britax booth, some local EMS guys stopped by, saw our demo, and asked where they could get one. Can you say happy as a pig xxx xxxx??? (I’ll let you fill in the blanks)

Later that afternoon I attended the workshop on safe ambulance transport for kids. Unfortunately Dr Bull had been taken ill and could not attend herself – however her colleagues (Dr Judith Talty and Shayne Merritt) gave the presentation on her behalf. Their conclusion – which was no surprise to anyone, especially me – was that there really were no safe ways to transport little kids and that they hoped manufacturers would change this for the future.

At this point – totally “jazzed” – I waited until after the session and spoke with Dr Talty and Shayne. Both were floored by the PedREST presentation and asked me to please keep in touch and forward whatever I could to Dr Bull. Flying high I made the rounds of the other child seat manufacturers attending the conference (Graco, Evenflo, etc.) and finally, exhausted, headed for home.

5 days later I headed to Philadelphia for the EMS Today conference and there met with the top “players” in the EMS industry – Stryker, Ferno, Laerdal, Microtek Medical, Allied Health, etc. The response was tremendous, and the offers of encouragement and support, overwhelming! The PedREST was a hit!

Two weeks later, the following email arrived from Shayne Merritt:

Stephanie,

We will be passing this information on to Dr. Bull. In the meantime, if you have any photos or schematics that you could send for Dr. Bull, that would be helpful.

Your product is very intriguing and exciting since it’s success would fill an important need.

Shayne

As I look back on all of this, I can’t help but smile when I think about how on top of the world we were. The people we met…the welcome we received. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to start the next phase of our journey! Little did I know how much more of a journey lay ahead. To me, at that moment, the PedREST had officially arrived…

Until next time…

PMD 2004: And After Every Rain…A Rainbow

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 12:21 pm

As you can probably tell, 2004 was a bit of a rollercoaster. And trust me when I say that after that disaster of a weekend, I was seriously ready for the cart to start rolling uphill again.

Sure enough Monday afternoon found us on a conference call with the examiner from the US patent office. See our patent had been already gone through 3 office actions and things were getting a little frustrating (not to mention expensive) so we decided to speak directly to the examiner to see if we could understand the rationale behind what he would and wouldn’t approve. Now having gone through this process several times, I feel obliged to tell you that unfortunately, in all likelihood a call like this will probably not leave you with a better understanding of how your examiner thinks.  What it can do however is provide you with insight into the one or two words or phrases that your examiner has a conflict with….and that can make all the difference in the world. Case in point: 

Our call began with our examiner showing us the “prior art” (i.e. other existing patents filed before ours) that he believed we would infringe upon with our current claim language. We went back and forth over a couple of minor points, made some small changes and then sat down to discuss what he considered to be the one “obstacle” we hadn’t yet overcome: a portable surgery tray that attached to a stretcher and kept the medical instruments secure – OR – as far as we could see – a cafeteria lunch tray with a strap running across it. (note – those of you who’ve been through this process are no-doubt chuckling because you’ve “lived the dream” of bizarre prior art references – for those of you whose jaws just hit the table, know that ours did too and we hadn’t even gotten to the best part).

We were quiet for a second and then our patent attorney who had joined us in the call proceeded to ask very calmly how the examiner thought this could be used to secure a child for safe transport to a hospital.  His answer – no joke – “well you could tape a baby to that tray”.

The silence was deafening…I mean seriously, how do you counter that??? Finally, after what seemed like minutes (ok, really only seconds) of silence I made a decision. No amount of intelligent discussion / arguing was going to change his opinion. I just needed to know where in his opinion we had gone wrong so that we could fix it.  So I sucked it up and asked…and to my surprise, he told me.  Not long after that we filed our final response with the USPTO.

For weeks I checked PAIR (the Patent Application Information Retrieval system for the USPTO) daily hoping for some kind of sign that we were finally done.  Thanksgiving morning (…and yes it really was Thanksgiving) I got one – our official “Notice of Allowance” was posted.  🙂

I could follow this part of the story with a section on “what I learned” but I feel pretty confident that you all can figure that out on your own. I will say that after what felt like a torrential downpour I finally got my rainbow…

Until next time…with love from the “tape a baby corporation”

Dealing With a Child Who Is Lying

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 12:22 pm

Today I had a very interesting incident with my almost 5 year old daughter.  I had sent her to go brush her teeth in my bathroom and she was in there for a few minutes and I heard her say “What is that smell in here?”  I thought maybe someone forgot to flush or something. When I went into the bathroom I caught my daughter sitting on the sink with a funny look on her face and then I was hit with the strong smell of tea tree oil.  Apparently she had opened the top to the small bottle I had on my shelf and spilled some.

I asked her if she had opened the bottle and she immediately said “NO” with wide eyes.  I of course KNEW she was lying to me, so I asked her again and told her to please tell me the truth.  I really thought that she would say yes and admit to it and then I would give her a quick reprimand about touching my things and then move on to putting everyone to bed.  Well, that was not the case.  She just kept saying “no” each time I asked her.  I then told her that she was going to be punished for lying to me and that she would not be able to have dessert after dinner tomorrow.  Dessert lately (since Halloween) has been 1 small piece of candy.  The kids look forward to this very much.  But she still did not budge.

I had to put my other kids to bed and I really felt like just letting it go and having her go to bed – after all I had punished her so should be ok to let it go.  But I felt very strongly about following through with the situation, so I told her to stay in the bathroom and wait for me while I put her brothers to bed.  She was crying when I went back into the bathroom.

I sat on the floor in front of her and asked her again “Are you lying to me?  Did you open my little bottle?”  She just stared at me and didn’t answer.  Then all of a sudden she blurted out that her little brother had done it.  I was pretty shocked because I already knew she was lying and now she lied AGAIN.  Isn’t it crazy how lying can actually cause blame and MORE lying?  This happens with adults too!  Gotta love the sin nature we have right?

Well, I went through the whole shpeal about how I knew she was lying and how it is very important to tell the truth to mommy.  I told her that there are consequences for lying.  I told her that if she just tells the truth that she would not be in as much trouble, etc, etc.  Then she quietly said “I’m scared”.  I suppose she thought she would get in a huge amount of trouble for spilling the bottle and thought lying would help her to NOT get in trouble.  I did more explaining and continued to ask her if she had opened the bottle.  I wanted to stay consistent and not give up and just put her to bed without her admitting that she was lying.  I thought that it was very important for her to come out and tell the truth to me.  I spoke to her as lovingly as I could throughout our conversation.

I asked her one final time and she FINALLY shook her head yes that she had opened the bottle.  Tears welled up in her big brown eyes.  I told her that I was proud of her for telling the truth and I told her to come into my open arms for a hug.  She melted on me and cried.  I teared up as well and and asked her “what do you say to mama for lying?”  And she sheepishly said “I’m sorry”.  And I hugged her tight and told her that I forgave her and told her how much I loved her and reiterated the importance of always telling the truth.

I could’ve let the situation go and just punished her.  I often do that with little things that happen such as fights between the kids or bad attitudes.  I reprimand and punish and move on.  But there is just something about lying that I think is soooo important to really be consistent in following through and helping a child to admit they are wrong.  I did this with my oldest son a few years ago.  He is now 6 and he has not openly lied to me since then.  When I ask him to tell me the truth, he usually does the first time around.  He learned that lesson through me taking the time to sit down with him during the first major lying episode, and doing the same with my daughter will hopefully prove to be a valuable lesson for her as well.  I know some kids take more time to get things just because of their personalities, but the whole point is to be consistent with discipline and take the time out to talk to your child right away when things like this happen because it really pays off in the end.

How about you?  Have you dealt with lying with your child?  What did you do?