Colour-changing burns bandages begin clinical trials
Bandages that change colour and glow when a wound gets infected could be manufactured as early as 2017 if clinical trials go well.
The bandages, developed at the University of Bath, are being tested with patient samples from four UK hospitals to statistically determine how effective they are.
Sadly burns often have symptoms of infection but actual infection is much rarer. At the moment infection diagnosis takes up to two days and requires removing dressings, a painful and upsetting process for burns patients which can slow healing and cause scarring. Antibiotics are also prescribed as a precaution while the tests are conducted.
Colour-changing bandages would give an early-warning that real infection is taking hold, meaning medics could provide better and quicker treatment.
The bandage contains gel in tiny capsules. When infection-causing bacteria are present the capsules dissolve and release the gel which then fluoresces bright yellowy-green, alerting patients and medics to the problem.
If they do make it onto wards the bandages would not only improve treatment but save money through cutting down on the cost of tests and drug prescriptions. They would also help tackle the threat of drug-resistant bacteria because there wouldn’t be a need to prescribe as many antibiotics as a precaution.
Images: University of Bath