Gaby Zane isn’t your average fifth-grader and there are a lot of doctors who would agree.
How is this possible? Well, it all began with a science project inspired by Sheena, her prized stuffed animal.
Both of Gaby’s parents are doctors. So, when the time came for her fifth-grade science project, she thought about the children who end up in the hospital and what happens to them.
Is there any way for her to aid those children?
“Kids probably get stressed that they’re going to have to go through an operation. Stuffed animals really help with staying calm, but they can carry lots of bacteria into the operating room,” Gaby explained.
Cute and consoling stuffed animals riddled with unpleasant germs? Signal in the Eureka moment!
Gaby came up with a way to make operating rooms more sterile, especially for kids.
She got some stuffed animals in her own house and uncovered the number of germs they carried by stroking sterile swabs on them and acquiring culture samples.
In an interview, Gaby stated, “They had a lot of bacteria”.
She did the simplest thing. She washed them and then, she found out that if you wash and dry your stuffed animals, you stop the germs from spreading and expanding.
“When we washed them, they had a 94 percent decrease in bacteria. Put them in a sealed plastic bag before you get to the operating room to make sure they stay sterile, and you’ll be OK,” Gaby stressed.
A decline of 94% is enormous!
If Gaby’s solution sounds simple, that’s because it is.
Just imagine how huge of an impact her discovery of a simple, yet significant, way to decrease bacteria could make for people who already have weakened immune systems.
Dr. Murphy-Zane, Gaby’s mother, adored the concept. It was right on cue with what her institution had been aiming to achieve: decrease the infection in surgical-sites.
“The push is on to decrease the bacterial load for the operating room…not just people scrubbing in or wearing booties on their feet. We’re trying to minimize traffic coming in and out of the O.R. and minimize materials coming into the room,” Dr. Murphy-Zane said in a TV interview.
However, thanks to Gaby’s research, children can now carry their stuffed animals into the operating room without the risk of carrying harmful germs with them and putting their health at risk.
This is a solid example of how simple ideas can go far.
Gaby’s concept continues to develop.
Her science project can now be found in the paper “Stuffed Animals in the Operating Room: A Reservoir of Bacteria With a Simple Solution,” which was recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, according to Bustle. The book was co-authored by, none other than, Gaby herself, some of her mom’s associates, and her mom. So amazing.
Getting a scientific study published is no easy task. But Gaby, who is now 12, can mark it off her to-do list.
Now, let me be as I wash all of my possessions.
For more amazing discoveries related to health, check this out: These Ten Superfoods Hold a Powerful Secret for Better Health, You Have to See What They Do