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Dal Alumni Take the Pain and Destruction Out of Ring Removal
It may sound like a scene out of a comedy TV show or movie, but getting a ring stuck on your finger is a rather common occurrence. In fact, one or two people a week will walk into an emergency room to try and have their rings removed from their swollen finger.
Conventional methods of removing the rings often involve painfully wrapping string around the finger to compress the swelling or, in a worst-case scenario, simply cutting the ring off entirely. But emergency room doctors are now taking a new approach to the problem, using a device known as RingRescue to treat patients.
Created by four alumni from Dalhousie’s Faculty of Engineering, RingRescue is designed to temporarily decrease swelling in your finger, allowing a ring to easily slip off within minutes.
“The device is a solution to a problem that we thought we were going to solve a very different way,” says Patrick Hennessey.
Hennessey, along with former classmates Mason Landry, Brad MacKeil and Callum Thompson, designed the device as part of their 2017 Dalhousie University Capstone Design Project.
Students within the Faculty of Engineering are required to complete a Capstone project in their final year of study. Student teams are matched with partners from industry to solve real world challenges. However, in some cases, students can pursue their own ideas.
“At the time, when we were trying to come up with concepts for our design project, we thought we were going to design a ring cutter because that’s what everyone complained about,” says Hennessey. “Then we started digging a little deeper and realized that people just don’t want to have their valuable rings cut off.”
Instead, what they invented was a first-of-its-kind product: a device designed with a simple air pump and a cuff that easily slips onto your finger and removes a ring within five minutes.
“What the device is doing is applying external pressure to a swollen finger. There is fluid in-between your cells, and we just want that fluid to temporarily go somewhere else,” says Hennessey. “So, we force it either to the tip of your finger or past the ring base and it will temporarily make your finger small enough to get the ring off with lubrication.”
Fast forward two years and Hennessey and team have now established RingRescue as their own business, manufacturing devices for hospitals and jewelers all over North America.
From concept to reality
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