Editor’s note: This is the second in a series featuring the five finalists in the 11th annual Carroll Biz Challenge. The competition, which will conclude Aug. 18 with a live finale at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster, is run by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. For more about the chamber and this event, visit carrollbizchallenge.com.
David Stonko has cared for many patients in trauma, assisting gunshot victims who need quick and accurate care. Now a senior surgical resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Stonko has used that experience to create a medical device that provides a solution to the way fluid is currently being delivered to patients.
A better way to deliver intravenous fluid to patients came to Stonko when he was caring for a patient who had been shot in the chest. Squeezing the fluid bag from the top rather than the middle, he realized, would allow him to deliver the fluid quickly while still being able to see how much fluid was left in the bag.
Stonko, of Manchester, developed a rolling pressure infuser and began his business, Patapsco Biomedical, LLC, to provide better care to surgery and trauma patients.
“The medical device that I created has developed a new way to pressurize IV fluids that’s more efficient and safer and faster than the way that we currently do it, which uses a different kind of device that really has been unchanged for 40 years and needed to be innovated on,” he said.
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Stonko, 30, is one of five finalists competing in the Carroll Biz Challenge, a competition presented by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce that gives local entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their business ideas before a panel of judges and a live audience and win a $10,000 cash prize. The live finale will take place on Thursday at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster.
“We run this event because Carroll County is ripe with entrepreneurs and we give them a chance to be discovered and to grow in their business connections,” said Mike McMullin, chamber president. “We’re like a local ‘Shark Tank’ show, where every applicant gets a spotlight cast on them for a little while.”
Stonko said he wants his device to be available in hospitals across rural Maryland.
“In the rural parts of the state there are job markets, but sometimes we don’t have the same rates of engineering, innovation or medical devices that tend to concentrate in the urban areas of the state,” he said. “There’s no reason medical device companies can’t exist in a place like Carroll County.”
Stonko said if he were to win the Biz Challenge, he would use the prize money to manufacture and patent his device.
He said winning the challenge will help show there is a need for his device in the medical field.
“This is sort of a really big inflection point for protecting my intellectual property and also proving that this is a viable medical device and that there’s a market for it,” he said.