Last year, more than seven million bones were cast in the US alone. And as those bone owners will tell you, not long after the cast is set, itching and odor set in, making the healing process even more annoying. Often the patient will resort to some kind of household object to deal with the itching caused by bacteria—think coat hangers, rulers and pencils—all of which can break the skin, and can’t really deal with the smell either.
Nobody knows that tale better than John Malandruccolo, president of MD Americas.
In 1990, Malandruccolo broke his leg. Living in Phoenix at the time— a place where perspiration is persistent—he devised a home version of Sani-Cast that seemed to do the trick.
Scratch that itch. Sani-Cast makes broken bones bearable.
“I still remember the response from the physician's assistant that took my cast off, “Malandruccolo said. “It was so clean and it did not smell. A few years later I broke my foot on the same leg and again created this apparatus that allowed me to clean under my cast. Again, I got that look from the cast technician.”
After yet another broken bone in 2005 (this time an arm), Malandruccolo met up with a man at trade show who worked with large company that cut and packaged all types of wetted pads and wipes.
“I told him of my idea and he ended up calling me a couple of weeks later to discuss the potential of bringing this product to market. He saw the potential in an under cast cleanser and offered to assist with his team of chemists and designers,” Malandruccolo said.
Sani-Cast is sold at Kinney Drugs and Discount Drug Mart.
He then went to engineering firm and had several applicator prototypes made with the guidance of orthopedic professionals from around the country. From there Malandruccolo forwarded this CAD drawing to afriend in Boston and “now we had an applicator to deliver the pad undera cast.”
The Sani-Cast kit features a reusable, medical-grade 21-inch applicator and pre-moistened disposable cleansing pads. The flexible applicator is made from medical grade polypropylene, which allows it to flex without shattering, and molded rounded edges that won’t cut the skin.
The nonwoven pads are attached to the end of the applicator via “skin-friendly” Velcro and the users slowly work the pad up and down the skin underneath the cast, providing sanitizing and deodorizing in hard-to-reach places. The pad contains skin sanitizers, shea butter and a powder fresh deodorant specifically designed to combat the environment under an orthopedic cast, according to Malandruccolo.
In 2009 he reconnected with an old friend on Facebook, Mike Hogan, who later became his business partner and “brought all the missing pieces to the puzzle.” Today, the kits are selling for approximately $15 at Kinney Drugs and Discount Drug Mart shops, and online at www.sani-cast.com. It can also be found at orthopedic practices.
“This once crazy idea is now a patent pending, trade marked business,” Malandruccolo told Happi. “ We hear the same thing at every orthopedic office, ‘It's about time someone designed a safe way to get under a cast and clean!’’”