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This doctor got a shoutout from Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and is overcoming systemic barriers

Maya Lora, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Health & Fitness

BALTIMORE -- Dr. Elizabeth Clayborne is beating the odds.

Since she started fundraising in 2021, Clayborne said she’s raised $3.25 million for her medical device company, NasaClip. As a biracial Black woman, the numbers aren’t necessarily always on Clayborne’s side — in 2021, startups founded by Black women received just 0.34% of venture capital funds nationally — but she wants to be more than the exception.

“I really want to knock it out of the park with NasaClip to show other women and people of color they can be successful in business — but also to show investors that investing in people from my demographic is not charity,” Clayborne said. “I’m here to bring a return on their money and have a successful business and I am very confident that I’ll be able to do that.”

Clayborne, an emergency room doctor, came up with the idea for NasaClip during her last year of residency at The George Washington University, where she was also chief resident, in 2015. She describes NasaClip, which has adjustable pinch pads and intranasal sponges, as the Band-Aid of nosebleeds.

During residency, Clayborne learned that emergency rooms see about 500,000 visits a year for nosebleeds, or about one in every 200 ER visits. She said while most patients probably don’t need to see a doctor to stop the bleeding, people can pinch the wrong part of the nose, tilt their heads backward instead of forward or fail to maintain constant pressure. When the blood doesn’t stop pouring, they often panic.

“For us as physicians, it was a really kind of usually simple issue to take care of but really cumbersome, because we didn’t have anything to give them while they’re waiting,” Clayborne said. “Because they’re a lower-acuity patient, they would sometimes have to wait for hours.”

 

Maryland has some of the highest ER wait times in the country; in 2022, patients spent an average of nearly four hours in ERs before leaving.

Dr. Maurice Reid, an investor in NasaClip who founded ExpressCare Urgent Care Centers, said it could help alleviate those conditions.

“This product could immediately be applied and control the bleed in the waiting room which would help to decompress the ERs and get other patients who have more serious conditions seen quicker, too,” Reid said.

Clayborne said nosebleeds “definitely can be tackled at home.” NasaClip can be purchased online. Clayborne also sells the product, which officially launched at the end of 2023, to physicians, ERs, urgent care centers, sports trainers and school nurses, she said, with plans to expand to airlines, cruise ships and EMS departments.

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