by Chris Bate
It is no secret that infection is one of the highest priorities within hospitals due to the tough targets they have to meet and the impact it can have on patients - every corner you turn there are “catch it, bin it, kill it” signs and hand soap dispensers.
The development of a colour changing 'smart' bandage prototype, by researchers at Bath University, is a great step forward in alerting healthcare professionals to the early signs of bacterial infections and this technology could also prevent the unnecessary use of antibiotics, thus tackling the superbug epidemic.
The colour changing bandage will allow clinicians to quickly identify infections without removing the bandage.
Instantly there are a number of advantages that this will bring – early catch of infection and therefore quicker treatment for the patient, antibiotics don’t have to be used as a precaution resulting in cost-saving implications, as well as reduction in the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria due to overuse.
This 'glowing bandage' is expected to be trialled in 2019 according to the University Associate Professor in Biophysical Chemistry, Toby Jenkins.
While this may be still a few years away, the problem of antibiotic resistance remains a growing concern in the medical community. Until that time, medical device manufacturers and suppliers continue to develop new antimicrobial technologies to stem the tide of superbugs and 'smart' bandages will only help to limit the use of antibiotics.
Do you have examples of innovation to reduce the risk of infection?