A ‘smart’ medical dressing that glows when it detects bacterial infection is a step closer to saving lives of burns victims.
Around 5,000 children and 13,000 adults a year in England and Wales are treated in hospital with serious burns. Infection is a common and serious complication for these patients, but at present it is difficult for doctors to diagnose these infections, and confirmation can take several days.
The University of Brighton, and its partner organisations – the Queen Victoria Hospital and Blond McIndoe Research Foundation in East Grinstead – are playing a key role in a £1m research project to test the effectiveness of a new infection-detecting dressing which aims to improve treatment and save lives.
The University of Brighton’s Dr Brian Jones and colleagues are working in collaboration with the University of Bath and the Healing Foundation Children’s Burns Research Centre. The team has developed a prototype dressing that will detect infection by a simple and easily-observed colour change, alerting healthcare professionals that the wound is infected.
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