Doctors usually take up to 48 hours to detect a surgery or bandage infection when it gets visible, but this new “smart” bandage might help detect them much faster and easier. The bandage can detect the first signs of infection and display a glowing yellow, and can even detect septic and infections under dressings that can’t be removed.
This invention has been devised by British researchers from the University of Bath and is currently under trials with burn victims in four hospitals in the United Kingdom.
The product is currently under development, and the researchers hope that the tests can give them adequate data on how sensitive and effective the bandages are toward infections, and what improvements are needed to make it a fully functional solution.
“We believe our bandages have great potential to improve outcomes for patients, reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics and save the NHS money,” said Professor Toby Jenkins, who is leading the study,
The bandages can perform this feat using small nanocapsules bearing fluorescent dyes. The bandages are triggered when they are mixed with infectious bacteria, with the dye being released and issuing an alert.
Jenkins urged more and more people to be part of the trials,
“These trials are an exciting and essential step towards getting the bandages into hospitals to help treat people, allowing us to find out exactly how well they work using real samples from patients. We hope as many people as possible agree to take part in the trial, which is completely non-invasive.”
Along with taking up to two days to be identified, dressing and undressing of surgery or accident wounds are quite a painful ordeal for the patients. Dr Amber Young, who is leading the clinical trial at the Bristol Royal Hospital spoke on the interesting technology,
“Diagnosing wound infection at the bedside in patients with burns will allow targeted treatment of those with true infection; allowing earlier healing and reduced scarring as well as preventing overuse of antibiotics and unnecessary dressing removal in those patients with no infection,” Young said. “This will benefit both patients and the NHS.”
If the trials are successful, the bandage can save a lot of time and guesswork for doctors and paediatricians. The team hopes that they can roll out the product commercially by the end of next year.