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Grant enables new wrist-splint device to move to clinical trials

A new device that offers a more effective method of splinting for wrist fractures, devised by a Loughborough University designer and a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, has been awarded a grant from the Audi Design Foundation.

The grant of £19,840 will now allow Loughborough lecturer George Torrens and John Dooley from Hillingdon Hospital to produce a prototype of the device, known as Fit-Splint, and enable an initial series of clinical trials to begin in early 2009.

Records from one hospital show that a peak figure of 94 patients with wrist fractures were treated in one day over the winter period in 1992-93, which demonstrates that clinicians are often put under huge pressure to deliver quality treatments in a very short space of time. The application of existing plasters often needs two clinicians and the treatments require the skilful realignment of the fracture. The Fit-Splint simplifies the whole process, enabling just one clinician to fit the supporting bracing and to record, monitor and alter their initial settings.

“We are very happy that the Foundation has given us this opportunity to move our idea through this next critical stage and prove the technology for the new splint, and also to gain further investment,” said George Torrens, one of the designers.
The grant has been awarded under the Audi Design Foundation’s ‘Designs for Life’ programme, which was developed to support exceptional designers by funding the development of physical prototypes, which support sustainable and inclusive design.

The Audi Design Foundation is an independent registered charity, whose mission is to encourage designers to develop ideas that create a positive change in people’s lives.

Rebecca Myrie, Grants and New Projects Manager for the Audi Design Foundation, says: “We are delighted to award this grant to this very deserving design. We hope to enable, guide and inspire the talented designers of today, while changing or saving the lives of many. In the last 11 years, we have awarded more than £800,000 in grants to young designers.”

Hannah Baldwin | alfa
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