Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Students’ product could reduce spread of infections like MRSA

A product designed by two entrepreneurial medical graduates could soon be helping to reduce the spread of hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA.

The pair have designed a disposable tourniquet which they believe will pose no infection risk and which they hope will provide a cheap, comfortable alternative to the tourniquets currently in use. They estimate that it will cost the same to manufacture as a rubber glove, which is frequently used as a make-shift tourniquet. They developed the product whilst studying at Imperial College London.

Tourniquets are essential in helping medical staff find a vein when they are taking blood samples or inserting a drip. They are wrapped around limbs and tightened, restricting blood flow so that the veins swell and become more visible.

The designers of the new product suggest that most of the tourniquets currently in use pose an infection risk because they are reusable and could therefore carry infective organisms from patient to patient. Disposable alternatives do exist but the pair believes these are largely expensive and lack ease of use. For expediency, many medical professionals currently use a rubber glove, but these are often uncomfortable and can cause problems such as latex allergies or trauma to the skin. Around 40 million procedures using a tourniquet are performed each year in the NHS alone.

The tourniquet invented by the Imperial students, which is named Tournistrip (TM), is a long band made of a form of plasticized paper with similar dimensions to a watch strap. It is fastened using a quick seal, quick release sticking mechanism and its origins are based on wrist bands used for security at large events such as concerts. This means that the team has been able to use existing production techniques for such bands to keep costs low.

Ryan Kerstein, one of the inventors of the device, who qualified as a doctor from Imperial College in 2006 said: "Throughout our training there was always a lot of emphasis on infection control and good clinical technique. Watching some of our colleagues in the hospital environment it struck us that even though their technique was stringent they were limited by the re-usable equipment available.”

Ryan's co-inventor Christian Fellowes, also a recently qualified doctor from Imperial, added: "We came up with the idea when on the wards, as medical students, we saw tourniquets being transferred from patient to patient, which we felt was unacceptable. The only available alternative was a rubber glove, which seemed unprofessional and uncomfortable. Looking into the problem, we realised there were no financially viable alternatives that had the benefits of re-usable tourniquets, without the drawbacks of the available disposable ones. We developed a product that is easy and comfortable for patients, as it does not pinch, is easy to fasten and release, and is cheap and brandable."

The graduates developed their idea after carrying out a small study on the infective organisms present in reusable tourniquets, with the help of Dr Berge Azadian from Imperial’s Division of Investigative Sciences. In an examination of 52 reusable tourniquets, they found that 30 grew methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and three grew methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The students were finalists in the Imperial Business Plan Competition in 2005 and won the Imperial College Innovation Competition in 2004.

The team have a patent pending on their design and prototypes of the tourniquet have been successfully tested in various London teaching hospitals. Imperial Innovations, the technology commercialisation company based at Imperial College London, is assisting the team in bringing their product to market. The most likely route for this is by a licence with a manufacturer of hospital supplies.

Laura Gallagher | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>