An orthopaedic surgeon’s brainchild invention looks set to help reduce the risk of superbug contamination within hospitals.
John Hardy’s Clinicon Lavage Tray reduces the risk of infection from pathogens, such as MRSA, and blood-borne Hepatitis B, C and HIV, by retaining any spilt blood or body fluids during patient transit and surgery in an inflatable and disposable plastic tray.
Spire Bristol Hospital’s Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon even took on the scrutiny of the Dragon’s Den TV programme to find funding for the tray, he says will mean quicker turnaround times between patients in busy operating theatres and will even cut the cost of laundry bills.
Prototypes are already being used as far afield as Melbourne, Australia and the commercial launch of the product took place this month (April), with Spire Healthcare hospitals the first in the UK to benefit from the tray.
“It’s a key step in helping hospitals meet the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations which are designed to cut the risk of cross-infections during transfer to and within the hospital environment,” said John Hardy.
“For years there’s been a known risk of infecting patients and staff through soaked surgical drapes. Healthcare workers face the highest risk being three to five times as likely to contract blood borne viruses such as Hepatitis C because of their increased exposure to these pathogens.
“A recent study found there was a risk of contamination within just 30 minutes of a drape being soaked with blood or body fluids. The beauty of this system is that it captures any infectious fluids and has a sieve-like device to provide rapid drainage. Self adhesive tapes allow the tray to be folded and secured for safe disposal immediately after its use.
“It’s suitable for all forms of surgery but is likely to be particularly popular in NHS Trauma units where operations routinely last for three hours of more and the risk of contamination is therefore greatest,” he said.
Dr Antonio Orlando, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Frenchay Hospital, who has made regular use of the prototype tray said: “I found it particularly useful in situations where I had to irrigate contaminated wounds to reduce the risk of post-operative infection.
“Now it is available to the NHS and private hospitals I have no doubt that it will help to reduce both post operative infection of patients and blood-borne infections of staff working in the operating theatres.”
Dr Jean-Jacques de Gorter, Director of Clinical Services for Spire Healthcare, said the invention was an important step in helping to ensure the rates of cross-infection within the group’s 25-strong network of private hospitals remain among the lowest in the country