An innovative wound dressing which scooped second place in a
regional competition is to be showcased on wards at County Durham
and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and will be available to other
NHS Trusts across the county.
The novel cannula dressing is the idea of Barbara Jameson and
Pat Hogg, ITU nurses at University Hospital of North Durham. In
2008, the design picked up second prize in the regional 'Bright
Ideas in Health Awards' and with support from NHS Innovations North
was developed into a product and licensed to GMED UK.
Pat Hogg ITU Nurse at University Hospital of North Durham said:
"It has been a long process to get to this stage but it is very
rewarding to see now. We're thrilled to bits to actually see the
product and know that it will be available to different hospitals
across the country. We would like to thank Dr Dominic Errington, a
consultant anaesthetist at the Trust, NHS Innovations North and
GMED UK for all their support and help in getting us to this
The dressing has been designed for use with arterial cannulae.
Critically ill patients require constant monitoring so that changes
in their condition can be rapidly recognised and early treatment
administered. An important tool routinely used in the critical care
setting is arterial blood pressure monitoring. This is done by
inserting a cannula into an artery, which is attached to a monitor
and continuously records the blood pressure and allows for blood
samples to be taken without the use of needles.
However, as an invasive device it has the potential to cause
many serious complications if not managed correctly. Accidental
injection of medicines into the arterial lines can be disastrous
therefore it needs to be easily identifiable from other lines.
Arterial line dressings need to be secure to prevent accidental
removal as profuse bleeding can happen if this occurs. The
insertion point of the cannula needs to be visible to allow staff
to monitor for signs of infection.
The innovative dressing designed by Barbara and Pat solves these
potential problems reducing clinical risk to patients.
Barbara Jameson, Senior Sister in ITU at University Hospital of
North Durham explained: "We had both been through the process of
achieving a charter mark for the intensive care service when we
worked at Shotley Bridge Hospital and this really taught us to look
at our practice under a microscope, to think about things
differently and question things rather than just accepting that was
the way something was done.
"That's what really led us to start looking at a different, more
effective way of dressing a cannula. Previously the dressing could
be just a plain piece of elastic dressing and it was difficult to
see the insertion point, it wasn't as tightly secure to the skin as
it could be and there was no way of adding insertion date details.
So we really wanted to design something that was fit for purpose
and would improve the potential safety issues with the existing way
of doing things.
"The new dressing is clearly marked in red as an arterial line
so it easily identifiable from other lines. It has a higher
strength adhesive and large contact area in order to reduce the
chance of the line being accidently pulled out. There is space for
the date of insertion to be written clearly on the dressing and
there is a window in the dressing to allow staff to visibly assess
the insertion site of the line for early signs of infection. We are
delighted with the way the dressing as been developed and the
support we have received from Anna Taylor at NHS Innovations North
and Ged McGonnell at GMED UK."
Diane Murphy, Acting Director of Nursing for County Durham and
Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: "The Trust is extremely proud
to recognise the innovative work of two of our employees coming to
fruition. This has been a long process for them and has required a
lot of commitment and hard work, much of which they have done in
their own time. This is a reflection of the dedicated and talented
workforce we have in this Trust. It also highlights the importance
of schemes such as the 'Bright Ideas in Health Awards' which
encourage health staff to come forward and provide them with the
support and information to turn an idea into a real product."
Pat added: "The patient aspect of our jobs is what keep you
coming back every day and improving patient safety was really what
drove us on to develop this idea. Once we started looking at the
dressing, it led us to think about the bigger picture and the whole
packages of care around arterial lines so we have gone on to
develop a series of other tools and products as well with the
support and guidance of Dr Errington. We are extremely proud to see
the dressing now being used in our own unit and knowing it could be
used in other hospitals across the country."
Ged McGonnell, Managing Director of GMED UK said: "As a company
we strive to foster relationships with NHS partners and develop
products which fill a gap in healthcare services. Working with
clinicians and medical staff such as Pat and Barbara is a rewarding
process as they share the same drive and enthusiasm for solving
problems as we do at GMED. We are delighted to now be in a position
to launch the new dressing and hope to see it used in many hospital
wards in the future."
Published: 2 March 2012
'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their
Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital