Around 5,000 children and 13,000 adults a year in England and Wales are treated in hospital with serious burns. Infection is a serious complication for these patients but, at present, it is difficult for doctors to diagnose these infections, and confirmation can take several days.
Often patient’s display the signs and symptoms normally associated with infection as a result of their injuries but in many cases there is no true infection. However, tests to confirm infection typically take several days and precautionary doses of antibiotics are often prescribed. Dressings that provide a rapid and clear indication of infection directly to clinician could, therefore, be of considerable benefit to patients and the NHS, and help make treatment better and more effective.
The University of Brighton and its partner organisations, Queen Victoria Hospital and Blond McIndoe Research Foundation in East Grinstead, are playing a key role in a £1m research project which is funded by the Medical Research Council through their Biomedical Catalyst Stream, to develop these new dressings.